Robots may soon be prowling the sewers of Wadsworth.
City officials have heard one proposal and have asked for more proposals on this issue, Service Director Chris Easton said. Easton told City Council's Public Service Committee Tuesday other proposals are expected to be ready for discussion at the February 12 session of the committee.
The objective of the robots is to search the wastewater and storm water lines to locate any faults including clogs, root invasions and breaks.
At the October session of the Public Service Committee, spokespersons for Red Zone Robotics made a presentation. Easton told the committee the main purpose for researching the sewer systems is to determine the priorities for capital improvements.
Ken Wolf of Red Zone Robotics said the program for Wadsworth would be labeled Y.E.S. for "Your Entire System." Wolf said this would provide the city with a centralized record from which information would be derived to make decisions on how to prolong the useful life of the assets and to render those services most cost effectively.
The city has 102 miles of sanitary sewer lines, 98 miles of storm sewer lines and 2,153 manholes. Contractors and city workers currently video tape a few miles a year according to City Engineer Tom Tucker, which, he noted may take up to 20 years to completely record all the lines.
Tucker said Red Zone is capable of doing all the lines and all sizes of lines within a year. He noted the city would be able to make smarter decisions with that information as compared to slowly scanning the lines, as is now being done.
At a November Committee of the Whole session, Council President Tom Palecek said it is a good idea and hoped they could do it. At that same meeting Easton said it was one of those situations, which the city could best determine how to spend dollars. He explained the city needs the best information and the program is reliable.
Committee chairman Bruce Darlington termed surveying of the lines an "important project."
Easton also informed the committee that Wadsworth has 417 customers enrolled in the Home Area Network. That network has two programs to improve the efficiency of electricity usage and to potentially lower electricity costs for homeowners and businesses.
One of the programs, Peak Rewards, provides users of the city's electricity system the option of allowing the city to monitor and control the usage of air conditioners, electric hot water heaters and pool heaters during the high electricity usage during the summer months.
The other program, Right-Time Pricing, encourages customers to use electricity during off-peak periods and to minimize electricity during peak usage periods.
Both programs are optional and are monitored through a programmable thermostat installed by the city.