Ocean Nutrient Pumps (Artificial Upwelling Pumps or Pumps) have a design life of 80+ years if properly maintained. Much of the routine maintenance can be accomplished in situ – removing biofouling from the buoy, swap-out of on-buoy electronics, solar/battery maintenance, etc. This is achieved by snagging the buoy recovery line and lifting the buoy onto the workboat aft deck, then performing the necessary procedures.
If the inspection determines fabric tube replacement is required, the valve/bottom-weight recovery line is winched in which lifts the bottom weight to the surface, emptying water from the tube. The tube is re-spooled and a new tube is fitted to the top valve outlet and the valve/ bottom-weight, then deployment procedures are followed.
Pumps requiring more extensive repair or refurbishment are brought back to shore and recycled or the components repaired and re-used.