- News - August 25, 2005
South Florida Water Management
District Triples VideoRay Fleet
Proven Invaluable for Safe, Cost-Efficient Inspections
of Culverts, Gates, and Pump Stations
VideoRay LLC (http://www.videoray.com)
announced today the purchase and delivery to the
South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD
) of two additional VideoRay Remotely Operated
Vehicles, bringing the fleet owned and operated
by the SFWMD to a total of three. The two new
vehicles join a unit that has been in operation
for more than a year, and were purchased under
VideoRay’s newly awarded General Services
Administration (GSA) contract (http://www.videoray.com/GSA
The tiny VideoRays are used to enter confined
spaces in the vital water management structures
throughout the huge SFWMD territory. With a replacement
value of over $12,000,000,000, these assets assure
regional flood control, water supply and water
quality protection, and ecosystem restoration.
With extremely tight budgets, SFWMD is constantly
innovating. The agency must use the most cost-effective
methods available to inspect these structures,
scheduling maintenance and repairs to maximize
value and minimize downtime.
Human divers have conducted inspections for years.
While this technique is often needed - particularly
when repairs are required - it is inefficient
in the majority of cases when inspection is the
only requirement. In addition, human divers risk
attack by the alligators that live near structures,
and cannot enter some water pumping equipment
enclosures safely. The process of diving often
stirs up sediment, making already challenging
visibility situations much worse.
In preparation for this purchase, SFWMD invited
VideoRay to observe the kinds of inspections they
have been doing with VideoRay, and to understand
the challenges they had experienced that were
unique to their inspections. Scott Bentley, President
of VideoRay, and Marcus Kolb, Director of Research
and Development, accompanied SFWMD specialists
to six different locations to inspect different
structures. VideoRay confirmed that recent improvements
would serve SFWMD requirements well.
"The taxpayers of South Florida can be proud
of the way the Water Management District spends
- and saves - the money entrusted to them. I've
been to many different governmental organizations
in the US and abroad, and I can’t think
of one that was either more technology savvy -
and practical - than the people and processes
I observed here" said Mr. Bentley.
SFWMD needs to discover, define, and document
the inevitable deterioration of water control
structures. SFWMD will save considerably over
the cost of teams of divers - with trappers to
watch for and shoot threatening alligators. In
addition, a digital record will be produced from
each inspection, which can be compared in future
years so the rate of deterioration of each structure
can be tracked.
During the vertical gate structure portion of
the testing visit, the VideoRay encountered a
10 foot alligator in very close proximity. No
person or equipment was hurt or damaged, but the
potential for injury was very convincingly demonstrated.
The South Florida Water Management District operates
and maintains approximately 1,800 miles of canals
and levees, 25 major pumping stations and about
200 larger and 2,000 smaller water control structures.
for more background.
For more information:
Chris Gibson firstname.lastname@example.org
VideoRay LLC Director, Marketing
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