Three weeks ago, Travis Clower dove into Lake Milton to install steel plates that will eventually be used for floodgates.
“We build basically anything underwater that they would build above water, only it takes longer and costs more money,” he said.
Clower’s Cortland-based company, Integrity Aquatic, builds and inspects pipelines, dams and the piers that hold up roads and bridges.
He and his crews work underwater with equipment like LED lights, cameras and 20-pound dive helmets.
There’s also the umbilical — the lifeline for every diver.
“Breathing air, strength member to pull you back, it’s got calm line, communication line, this is a video line and this other one’s called a numo hose, which measures your depth,” Clower explained.
Clower says most of his work comes from municipal water supplies. Currently, he’s working on a tank of bacteria in Toledo that breaks down paper pulp.
He also does water plants and towers, actually swimming inside the bowls.
“We clean them, we sweep the bottoms of them out and we install mixers in them that keep the water from freezing up in the winter time,” he said.
Integrity Aquatic has worked in almost all of the major bodies of water around Youngstown, either dealing with dams or the highways that run through them.