Technology improves surveys

Goulburn-Murray Water’s Z Boat is just one of many newer technologies the authority is using to improve its surveying of assets.

New technologies have made data capturing more accurate, efficient and safer for Goulburn-Murray Water’s Survey Services team.

The Z Boat is one of the most crucial pieces of equipment G-MW uses, providing accurate mapping of underwater features, which is particularly useful for de-silting surveys.

The Z Boat can scan several kilometres of channel each day, providing a ‘complete picture’ rather than estimates drawn from traditional, tactile survey methods, some of which involved field staff having to wade into hazardous channels with their surveying equipment.

“The Z Boat is part of a suite of tools used in G-MW surveying that epitomise how survey technology has rapidly evolved into remote sensing as a more accurate, efficient and safer survey method,” Survey Services manager Avni Bekirofski said.

“The days of traditional measuring and paper blueprints are gone.

“As a business, we are committed to innovating and taking a more data-driven approach to improve our services, and new surveying technologies are central to this.”

G-MW has also developed a GPS-controlled machine guidance system. This system creates a 3D computer model that construction works can be based on.

Plant operators view the model guidance on a screen while project managers can view the operations of the plant remotely.

This allows for real-time oversight of progress and accurate excavation and placement of material, helping reduce delays.

G-MW first used machine guidance for the upgrade of Tullaroop Dam in 2016.

The technology minimised the need for surveyors to trek across steep embankments and work around heavy machinery.

Various other 3D modelling tools are also used.

“3D modelling has practical applications for all manner of works, from planning to construction, maintenance to monitoring,” Mr Bekirofski said.

“It enables us to operate more safely by allowing remote surveying of places or structures where access might otherwise be dangerous.

“These survey tools complement each other and position G-MW as being able to provide a complete, state-of-the-art, surveying service that can be tailored to different needs.”