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NSW and Sydney Use Sonar Tech to Clean Flood Debris

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Article Summary
  • EPA and NSW government have decided to use sonar technology to help them locate potentially hazardous debris.
  • Sonar technology existed way before the birth of other technologies like AI.
  • So far, 6,800 cubic meters of flood debris have been removed.

Sonar technology is usually used in discovery but after the recent flooding, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has decided to deploy this technology to help clear dangerous underwater debris in New South Whales and Sydney.

After a flooding event, the EPA has gotten in touch with contractors in order to use sonar technology to help them find potentially dangerous or even hazardous underwater debris. The contractors roam the flooded areas to look for derbies and take them out of the water.

Sonar technology, unlike artificial intelligence (AI), has long been used as a way to map out new territory way before other types of technologies existed. The technology, although has been existent for quite a while, has also seen its fair share of upgrades from engineers and scientists alike.

Sonar technology relies on sending echoes back and forth. Although usually used to map out new territory (especially underwater) it can also be used to find other things as well. The returning echoes sent by the sonar technology create images of what is underneath.

NSW Flood Sonar
Sonar technology used to find debris.(Supplied: NSW EPA)

EPA and NSW Decided to Use Sonar Technology to Locate the Debris

Since manual exploration is not enough to clear the debris, the EPA and the NSW government agency have decided to deploy sonar technology in order to properly locate and extract the potentially hazardous debris.

Out of the debris pulled out, the majority of it was extracted from the Hawkesbury River. The contractors are still continuing their exploration to locate and remove other harmful debris within the area.

As per Martin Puddey, the EPA flood recovery manager, the contractors are mounting the sonar technology on a boat and have been venturing around the Hawkesbury River for over a week now. Puddey says that they expect to find caravans or big tree trunks.

Although this might not seem as pressing, there is also another dangerous thing that they might find underwater, chemical drums or toxic waste. Based on what was removed from the shore, it was noted that they also expect to find these harmful items underwater.

The Exploration has Led to the Removal of 6,800 Cubic Meters of Flood Debris

Mr. Puddey noted that the use of sonar technology is just one part of an EPA and NSW government agency effort in order to secure what they marked as hazardous debris. The contractors are expected to continue their survey throughout the different locations until at least mid-June.

As per Mr. Puddey, they have already been able to remove 6,800 cubic meters of flood debris from the shorelines of NSW ever since their start in March. Out of the 6,000, it was noted that about 5,000 cubic meters come directly out of Hawkesbury.

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