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SUMMER FLOODS

ADOT to use drone to help during upcoming Valley monsoon

Posted 6/12/24

The Arizona monsoon is approaching, and state transportation officials are using a drone to monitor pump stations that remove storm runoff from many sections of Valley freeways during the summer.

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SUMMER FLOODS

ADOT to use drone to help during upcoming Valley monsoon

Posted

The Arizona monsoon is approaching, and state transportation officials are using a drone to monitor pump stations that remove storm runoff from many sections of Valley freeways during the summer.

The drone is being used to monitor for cracks, leaks, worn parts or other problems within pump stations, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The drone lets ADOT examine areas that are difficult for technicians to access, including upper sections of pipes that lift stormwater from a pump station’s storage well, according to an ADOT release.

The drone was first tested in February, and ADOT expects the device will allow technicians to more than double the number of maintenance inspections they conduct each year. 

Pump stations typically operate with three or four engines and large pumps that they power. Crews conduct regularly scheduled inspections of the engines, including oil and fluid checks. They also conduct test runs of the pumps, which can be done even if there is no water in a station’s system, according to ADOT.

“Most pumps can lift more than 12,000 gallons per minute. That means an average pump station could empty a 35,000-gallon swimming pool in less than a minute,” the release stated.

“Still, strong summer storms that drop 2 or more inches of rain in an hour can challenge any drainage system. That’s why ADOT technicians monitor pump station operations and are prepared to respond to maintenance needs.”

ADOT asks drivers to secure loads and not litter along freeways because debris that collects in drainage systems can block water flow.