Autonomous Waste-Water Detection Craft
Underground main sanitary line breakages and leakages cause millions of gallons of raw sewage to infiltrate ground water and bodies of water such as the ocean, intracoastal, canals, and lakes. These sewage leaks compromise the environment for wildlife, and residential areas. Locating the leaks as soon as possible will limit the time both humans and animals are exposed to unhealthy conditions. Specifically, this is a problem in the greater Fort Lauderdale area, where this year alone, more than 200 million gallons have leaked into the waterways. Currently, the main method of testing for these leaks is pressure testing. However, it is hard to find exactly where the leak is, due to the long lengths of underground piping. Our group seeks to build an air powered watercraft that can be launched with ease in any waterway. This craft will autonomously move to three locations and record, temperature, pH, and hydrogen sulfide concentrations. If a hydrogen sulfide concentration greater than 0.05 ppm is measured, a sewage leak has been detected. The craft will be air powered by two propellers, and steered with differential power input, with a cruising speed of 3ft/s. Due to the small size of the craft, a single person will be able to transport and launch the craft for early detection of leaks, and report the location for quicker repair and drastically less environmental damage.