Inspecting the internal condition of gravity utility pipes is not a new thing in the world of underground utilities. However, it is something that has become increasingly important as many gravity utility infrastructures have become older, and the pipes have been compromised over the years. A problem with a sewer or storm drain pipe can cause major concerns, such as: sink holes, ground water contamination, soil contamination, sewage overflows, and many more.
Many cities and towns throughout the US have strict requirements to inspect their gravity utilities every year or couple years. However, several private lines can go several years without ever being inspected, which can cause major problems. Large industrial sites typically have the storm, or drain water feed directly into a stream or river, and if a storm pipe is allowing infiltration (which may contain hazardous materials), it can cause some major issues to a waterways ecosystem. It should be a common practice throughout both public and private gravity pipelines to have a CCTV inspection performed.
Crawler Inspection equipment has made some vast improvements in the past several years. Several systems have the ability to adapt to pipe size by changing tire or body configurations, and the use of power elevators allow the camera to re-center in a pipe even after a size change. The crawler systems are also more mobile then they have ever been. Crawler camera systems used to only be seen mounted in large trucks or vans, but some systems can be completely mobile and allow for much easier access in remote access situations. Another feature in a lot of newer crawler camera systems is the ability to take measurements of features using laser measuring. The camera can measure the diameter of the pipe, or even the length or width of a crack/fracture. With all the advancements in CCTV systems, it should be easier, and more cost efficient to maintain and monitor the conditions of the gravity utility pipe systems.
NASSCO (National Association of Sewer Service Companies) is a nonprofit association that was established in 1976, with the simple goal of increasing the success of everyone involved in pipeline rehabilitation. NASSCO’s mission is to set an industry standard for the assessment of underground infrastructure and to assure the continued acceptance and growth of trenchless technologies. The lack of standards severely limited the value of ay observations collected by crawler CCTV cameras. NASSCO coding provides a standardized system that allows video data to be compared equally from one pipeline to the next. PACP (Pipe Assessment Certification Program) certification, assures that each CCTV operator is accurately coding and assessing each pipe equally. This allows for both public and private entities to efficiently game plan the rehabilitation of each pipe to avoid major damages or problems.
One major advantage to systemized coding is the ability to put a rating value on every pipeline in a system. With every crack, fracture, break, or root ball the coding system allows a utility owner to quickly determine which pipe runs need immediate rehabilitation, and which ones can wait.
One thing is for sure, whether a pipe is public or private; it is recommended that you have the pipe CCTV inspected regularly. And when you do have the line inspected, it should be done by a NASSCO certified operator to assure that is done properly.
Within the past year, GPRS has added crawler camera inspections to the list of services we provide. As a service that is provided mostly on public utilities, and typically performed by municipalities themselves, we see an opportunity to provide inspection services to a wide variety of clientele. Anywhere from 6 inch pipes up to 8 foot culverts/pipes, GPRS has been able to efficiently inspect and code along NASSCO’s certified training. With the ability to mobilize to even the smallest jobs, we are hoping that more potentially corrupted lines can be found and repaired.
Along with video footage and pictures of the condition of the pipe, GPRS also provides a detailed breakdown report of each section of the pipe recorded. This gives a pipe owner a quick overview of what obstacles, obstructions, or the lack there of, that was found during the inspection. Providing effective and efficient details on the condition of the pipeline is the ultimate goal for GPRS during all CCTV inspection services.
Another key factor to providing excellent CCTV services is the equipment being used. At GPRS, we want to use the best equipment that still allows us to be versatile and mobile. We have used, and still us, equipment from manufacturers such as Pearpoint, Inuktun, Envirosight, and IBAK to inspect pipe lines. However, we strictly operate equipment that can be completely mobile, because a lot times we do not have the ability of pulling up to a manhole in the middle of the street and inspecting from the inside of a truck. With fully mobile equipment, GPRS has less limitations, and more capabilities then truck or van mounted systems.