Severn Trent Water (STW) as asset owners were required to carry out inspections as part of their principal inspection programme on two Large viaducts in the Peak district.
As part of the inspections was to inspect 4 hollow abutments, typically undertaken using vast amounts of scaffolding and manpower, the DAM team proposed instead utilising a mix of rope access and drones.
Looking for the best solution possible, Atkins provided a cost effective and risk adverse driven solution while not significantly compromising the quality of the inspection. The result was an innovative solution which reduced the cost of inspection and risk to staff, while still maintaining a high quality of inspection.
Health and safety risks were minimised using the drones in confined spaces. This approach ensured staff were exposed to less risk but also produced video footage of the difficult to access chambers.
The use of rope access allowed a more detailed inspection to be carried out in the largest chamber after the drone carried out a reconnaissance flight so the inspection could be focused and informed.
Multiple lessons learnt came from this project. Most importantly, collaboration of sources and innovative technology led to an optimised deliverable and reduced cost for the client.