Robots are coming to Deerfield but it is not likely many citizens will see them because they will be in the sewers.
These electronically controlled inspectors will be dispatched throughout the Village’s sewers to detect potential problems which can be repaired before they become bigger, more expensive headaches.
After a year of study and hands on testing, the Village Board of Trustees unanimously approved a contract with RedZone Robotics at its Monday meeting to use robots to identify potential problems in Deerfield’s sewers and fix them in a methodical way rather than when an emergency arises.
“We should expect less emergency situations,” . The expected return on investment should come from performing less expensive non emergency work.
Trustee Mary Oppenheim sees environmental and safety benefits which were two of the reasons she voted for the program. “It will put us in a place where we’re not going to be in imminent danger,” she said.
The Village has the opportunity to opt out of the contract at any time it does not feel Deerfield is benefiting, according to Director of Public Works and Engineering Barbara Little.
Though the robots will allow early detection, a specific amount of savings cannot be precisely forecast. Little was able to put a price on overtime savings when an emergency occurs. “Any time you mobilize any group after hours you look at $5,000,” she said in response to a question from Trustee Alan Farkas.
RedZone will help the Village operate the program providing information to assist decision making by the Public Works Department. It will let the Village know what areas need work before something breaks.