Another example of Shearwater’s innovation is category is the removal of sediment contaminant from fresh water storage reservoirs, using techniques and technology unique to the European market.
This type of work emphasises an ambitious mindset of continuously exploring the boundaries of what can safely be achieved in the underwater working environment, an attitude that has allowed Shearwater to solve many highly complex engineering conundrums on behalf of its clients. Using a system called “reverse hazmat diving” which completely isolates the diver from the surrounding environment; divers have been able to remove sediment from, inspect and repair all types of reservoirs with absolutely no risk of contamination, sediment disturbance, or the need to drain down the systems being cleaned.
There is no requirement to take a system offline whilst divers are carrying out this work, as safety techniques to eliminate potential differential pressure incidents have been perfected, meaning absolutely no disturbance for the end consumer. Hazmat diving techniques are used when there is a risk that the diver could come in contact with hazardous materials present in the surrounding environment, such as nuclear waste or effluent. The techniques used for diving in potable water storage facilities are exactly the same; however on this occasion it is the surrounding environment being protected from the diver – hence the terminology “reverse hazmat.” Shearwater has utilised these techniques successfully in this country during a high profile sediment removal and tank inspection contract for United Utilities in Manchester in a reservoir tank that could not be taken off line and was the subject of a BBC report and was also highlighted on the Discovery Channel