Pumping Station Reality Capture using Laser Scanning

Confined space Terrestrial Laser Scanning of sub-terranean pump wells for engineering design of remediation and upgrades


A pumping station which supplied the bulk of drinking water to one of Australia’s capitol cities required remediation and upgrade of a number of pumps. The pumps were each housed in a subterranean well which extended several storeys below ground.

Engineers responsible for the design of a pump replacement and upgrade project were lacking accurate as-built information as to the geometry of the wells, access routes and the plant and equipment contained therein. An additional constraint to the project was that access to the well was only possible for a 24-hour period of availability as the pumps need to be shutdown and the well de-watered to provide access.

Laser Scanning and Handheld SLAM Scanning
Laser Scanning and Handheld SLAM Scanning
Point Cloud
Point Cloud
As-Built Model
As-Built Model



Diodrone was engaged to provide a detailed reality capture of the three pump wells and the plant therein.

Confined space trained personnel utilised a tripod mounted terrestrial laser scanner to capture the bulk of the pump well areas, and then used a handheld SLAM based scanner to pick up areas of detail behind pipework and in constricted spaces where the tripod system was unable to access.

Tripod mounted laser scanning achieved high precision capture for the bulk of the areas and was complimented with handheld SLAM scanning of tightly constricted areas around plant and pipework.

The resulting point cloud included detail for almost all surfaces within the pump wells and provided engineers with a detailed and accurate as-built model from which to plan and design the upgrade works.

Laser Scanning output of three interconnected pump wells
A series of three interconnected pump wells were scanned using a combination of tripod mounted laser scanning as well as handheld slam scanning for tightly confined areas behind plant and pipework.
High density point cloud from laser scanning
Each scan was registered into a single high density point cloud for the three interconnecting pump wells, providing a rich visualisation and spatially accurate record of the well and plant layout—critical for design and engineering of the upgrades where in-person access was largely unavailable during the design programme.