Drone use for water and wastewater plant projects offers many benefits

Posted in: Municipal, Water


Water and wastewater clients are discovering the many benefits of using drones to achieve efficiency and innovation for their projects.

Mead & Hunt recently completed a project for Green Bay New Water at their DePere, Wisconsin location. Our drone took aerial photos and videos providing a comprehensive perspective of their system, which they can share with plant operators, board members and customers. Using these capabilities for public outreach and community education is an obvious benefit of drone footage, too.

That’s just one example of how we can use drones in the water-wastewater industry to support our clients’ needs. Drones are being used to collect samples from hard-to-reach locations, inspect and survey large sites, and monitor treatment systems at a distance. Drones are a great tool to support your asset management program. Specialty water-based drones can locate water quality issues like algae and then actually treat the affected areas.

We have been investigating drone use in safety and security at water-wastewater treatment plants as well. Consider using a drone to monitor potentially dangerous situations such as a chemical spill, pipe break or gas leak. They can provide a first response and identify unknown threats before exposing the human element to danger. One trained operator with a drone can also provide security to your plant and support environmental compliance by monitoring large areas with the added benefit of reducing labor costs.

Using a drone on a water-wastewater project is not without obstacles, though. You must consider these issues:

  • Initial costs associated with purchasing a drone and software
  • The time and expense of training a drone operator
  • Completing paperwork and meeting necessary requirements of Federal Aviation Administration regulations for flying drones

If you choose to outsource this work, let me recommend Mead & Hunt’s team approach. Our drone pilots and aviation engineers team with a water-wastewater professional (like me) to provide efficient and effective results. We customize our strategy to fit your project needs.

Drones are fantastic. If you want to learn more about how they can enhance your facility’s operations, contact me.


Troy Gallagher

About the Author

Troy Gallagher has focused his 25-year+ career in the water and wastewater field, working for both industrial and municipal clients. Before joining Mead & Hunt, he started and built his own water and wastewater consulting, engineering and training company. Troy now serves as Market Leader responsible for new business development and teaming relationships to pursue nationwide opportunities in  water and wastewater treatment within diverse markets (municipal, aviation, food and dairy, and industrial).

Read more posts by Troy Gallagher

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