Traditionally the Environment Agency has undertaken surveys of culverts using specialist man-entry teams to gather information on asset condition and check conveyance.
But this can be costly, time consuming and introduces risk for those working in the confined space. Furthermore, obtaining footage of the asset can be difficult and the quality of film or photographs taken by the man-entry team may not always provide an overall picture of the asset condition.
The East Midlands team has been trialling a different approach and MRS Training & Rescue conducted an initial trial back in 2022 to test the capability of our internal drone to inspect a culvert, surveying the confined space. Since that initial trial, we have conducted three other culvert inspections using our drone.
These four surveys have included high risk reservoirs and achieved an £8,300 efficiency saving for the agency.
To demonstrate the capabilities of the new drone technology, Alan Lovell, Chair of the Environment Agency, was invited to the site of the former metal box factory in Mansfield in April 2023, to witness first hand how drones can not only save time, money and reduce risk, but also improve the incident response capability of the Environment Agency in England.