American Underwater Services, Inc.


Commercial Diver & Dredging Services

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Employee Profile: Hazmat Divers

At American Underwater Services, we perform sediment removal, culvert cleaning and inspection, and even hazmat diving.

Our divers, engineers, and job foreman adhere to a rigorous and stringent safety culture that ensures the safe and successful completion of any job we undertake.

In this article, we’d like to introduce you to the job of a hazmat diver, the risks they face, and how they safely do what they do, no matter how big or small the job.

What is a Hazmat Diver?

A hazmat diver performs underwater jobs in hazardous conditions. For example, a diver might be called out to work in toxic or polluted water. They might be required to work in heavy seas or dive to extreme depths that could cause a dangerous medical condition called “the bends.”

It’s one of the most physically demanding jobs imaginable, and it requires tremendous courage and skill to perform successfully. This is why only a handful of SCUBA-certified divers willfully undergo the rigorous training required before they receive their hazmat certification.

The hazmat diver doesn’t work alone. He or she has a crew of tenders whose only job is to ensure the diver’s safety while underwater. They do this utilizing a strict safety protocol and two-way radios that enable the diver to remain in constant communication with the surface crew.

Safety comes first for hazmat divers, and they and their crew undergo constant training and retraining to ensure they can handle any emergency situation. When it comes to underwater safety, no chances are taken.

Dangers of Hazmat Diving

Hazmat divers regularly and willfully face a long list of dangers:

Polluted waters – They might be called in to perform work in highly polluted or contaminated waters. In such situations, the divers must be decontaminated once they leave the water.

The Bends – The deeper a diver goes, the higher the water pressure. If the diver surfaces too quickly, they can get a life-threatening condition called the bends or decompression sickness.

It forms when gas bubbles occur if the diver ascends too quickly. This can cause extreme sickness or even death, so divers must take precautions to avoid getting the bends.

Cuts—While the chances of a man-eating shark attacking the diver are slim, hazmat divers regularly face dangerous situations when working around underwater metal.

If the diver is using a torch to cut or weld, they have to be careful and avoid sharp metal edges as they can tear through even the toughest safety suits.

Diseases – When working in sewage plants or other contaminated bodies of water, our divers face a laundry list of potentially fatal diseases. This is why they must be vaccinated to prevent themselves from becoming sick.

Jobs that Hazmat Divers Perform

One thing is certain regarding hazmat diving: the job never gets boring or routine. Our hazmat divers have worked on countless jobs in almost any dangerous scenario imaginable:

Salvage – We routinely help boat owners and insurance companies salvage sunken vessels. In 2017, we performed a job at Lake Whitney after a tornado hit the area and sunk a boat. Our divers were tasked with salvaging the vessel.

Cargo and Equipment – When boats sink, sometimes the cargo onboard is worth more than the ship itself. In such situations, we work with our client’s priorities to ensure we get the job done right the first time.

Concrete Removal – Sometimes many tons of heavy concrete need to be removed from a waterway, lake, or river. Our hazmat divers will spring into action, safely and successfully demolishing and cleaning up the concrete debris.

Contaminated Diving – Our hazmat divers are no strangers to nuclear power plants, waste treatment facilities, settling tanks, treatment ponds, and wastewater tanks. They are prepared and fully equipped to handle any kind of hazardous underwater job no matter how big or small.

Expert Hazmat Divers at American Underwater Services

If you need a hazmat diver, look no further than American Underwater Services. Our divers and engineers have decades of experience working in some of the most hazardous conditions imaginable.

We adhere to a rigorous safety culture that dictates how we go about successfully completing each job. Give us a call today at (817) 377-8512 to learn more about how our expert hazmat diving solutions can successfully and safely get the job done right the first time around.




Anthony Di Iulio the founder, president and co-owner of American Underwater Services, Inc., started his business in 1999 with only three employees. Today this commercial diving company employs nearly 30 people and handles over 500 projects annually. Anthony moved to Fort Worth from Louisiana with his family in 1976. He worked summers during high school welding underwater for a marina on Benbrook Lake. Eventually he took scuba lessons after almost drowning on the job. Those lessons led him to training at a deep sea diving school in Houston, which included training on offshore oil rigs. Anthony spent several years in Louisiana working on offshore rigs and on inland jobs at power plants and dams before starting American Underwater Services, Inc.


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