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Drone used for Adelaide reservoir sampling

A drone is being used to collect water samples in an Adelaide reservoir as part of an SA Water trial which could be extended to the River Murray. See the video

SA Water officials preparing a drone to take water samples in Happy Valley reservoir. Photo: SA Water/supplied

SA Water officials preparing a drone to take water samples in Happy Valley reservoir. Photo: SA Water/supplied

The drone, operated from the shore of Happy Valley reservoir in Adelaide’s south, can pick up a single two-litre water sample or four 250-millilitre samples from a pinpointed GPS location.

SA Water said it used the drone to collect samples last month as part of a trial to find safer and more effective ways of collecting water samples.

SA Water said drones could become an alternative to sending officials out on boats to collect water.

[solstice_jwplayer mediaid=”Da17xfZ8″ title=”Drone water collection” caption=”Video: SA Water” /]

“To collect samples from rivers and other sources like reservoirs, we usually need to launch a boat and deploy two operators,” said Dr Thorsten Mosisich, acting senior manager of laboratory services at the Australian Water Quality Centre.

“Therefore, using a drone will speed up and streamline sampling procedures and reduce any possible risk associated with on-water operation.

“Our challenges with traditional water sampling methods also become more prominent during unique situations like the River Murray floods, making it more difficult to safely and efficiently collect samples.

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“Collecting water samples can pose safety risks depending on the conditions present at the site such as an unstable riverbank and strong water current.”

Mosisich said the drones could be used to pinpoint an exact GPS location for water sample collection.

“If this trial is successful, we will be looking to roll out the use of drones to support water quality sampling at our rivers and reservoirs, which provide drinking water to large parts of metropolitan and regional areas of the state,” he said.

SA Water collected more than 117,000 water samples in the 2021-22 financial year.

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