The Green Bay Water Utility rescued a robot stuck within its main water pipeline on Sunday morning. The water pipeline is responsible for supplying water to Green Bay and its four adjacent communities.

On Saturday early morning, the mission to free the Pipediver had started. Residents had to conserve water so that the crew could rescue the robot stuck inside the Green Bay water pipeline. The Green Bay Water Utility recommended skipping sprinkling the yards on Saturday; to fill pools on Friday instead, shifting car washing and pressure washing to another day.

The rescue team chose Saturday to perform the rescue operation as water usage on Saturday is the least. The main component of the equipment arrived from Texas, and the service crew began working towards preparing the pipe for drilling a hole in the top.

The crew had to purchase a canopy to place over the work site so that the rescue operation could be operational. After executing some adjustments to how and where to drill into the pipeline and confirming that it was not leaking, the crew slowly drained a pipe that supplied half the water to Green Bay and its adjacent communities.

Quirk explains,

“We emptied for five-and-a-half hours. It was a mile of 36-inch pipe, which we calculated to almost 280,000 gallons of water that we had to pump out of that pipe to get it clean so this guy could go in.”

The Green Bay Water Utility inspects its primary 36-inch pipeline every 8 to 10 years for interrupted wire signaling or leakage problems, water deficiency or water quality, or health problems. The utility commenced an inspection by setting a robot, called a Pipediver, into the pipeline. The inspection team transmitted the robot across the water to look for any trouble but found itself in an unexpected problem. The role of the robot is to inspect the two principal pipelines that deliver water into the communities.

The robot, utilized by the team, was known as James Bond of Leak Detection.

Quirk said that the robot hit the pipe at an edge where it got stuck. It got stuck at a butterfly valve, and the inspection team could not get it out. It required a rescue operation.

The mystery is how the robot got stuck when it is designed to pass through the valves.

Pipediver Robot was rescued after 18 hours. It was an extremely tedious task as frequent downpours made the situation more intense.

“I just said I was so proud of the dedication and expertise of our workers because they knew they had to get that main back in service, and they stayed until it got done,”

adds Quirk.

She says that the community has responded to the call to protect water to help avoid any pressure loss or other problems.

Finally, almost 24 hours after the commencement of the rescue mission, the water level was recovered to previous levels and the Pipediver robot was rescued.