A New Era in Underground Tank Cleanup: Introducing Bay West’s Aquatic Drones


Bay West faced the unique challenge of cleaning up a diesel spill in an underground storage tank (UST) containing 2.3 million gallons of glycol solution. Bay West’s innovative solution not only saved time and money, but also ensured the safety of staff as the drone operators worked safely above ground.

Illustration of Bay West drone operators extracting ~40 gallons of diesel fuel from an underground tank.

Project Details

Traditionally, such a task would have required either using a vacuum truck to remove the millions of gallons or sending people down into the tank in a boat—both of which would be costly and risky endeavors. However, Bay West’s aquatic drones proved to be the perfect solution. These drones navigated and cleaned the tank efficiently, performing tasks that would have been difficult, more expensive, and/or potentially dangerous.

The drones were deployed in a two-pronged approach. One drone mapped out the tank, identified pockets of oil, and captured diesel fuel with an absorbent trawling attachment. The second drone cleaned the surface of the glycol solution using the mobile oil skimming unit. This method both streamlined the cleanup process and ensured that the tank’s contents met discharge permit requirements.

Aquatic drones collecting oil from inside of the underground tank.

Bay West’s aquatic drones saved the client both time and money by eliminating the need for costly disposal and hazardous manual labor. Even more importantly, it kept Bay West employees safe from potentially dangerous conditions in the UST. Bay West continues to lead the way in revolutionizing tank maintenance and environmental protection with a constant commitment to safety and new technology.

Have a project that could benefit from the capabilities of these drones? Contact us today to discuss how Bay West can help meet your environmental needs with our state-of-the-art solutions.


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