Wastewater systems require routine maintenance and assessment. Yet completing visual inspections of many sewer assets — when accessible — requires dangerous confined space entry; in many cases, it’s impossible for human eyes to look directly on underground assets without digging up lines. Instead, personnel rely on specially designed cameras and equipment to assess the condition of otherwise out-of-sight operations. The equipment used depends on the utility’s needs and budget, but a range of modern technologies provide fast and efficient options for gathering information about a sewer pipe’s condition, while also increasing safety.
Sewer workers face risks daily, whether it’s a confined space work environment or exposure to fumes, debris and bacteria. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,250 fatal work injuries were recorded in the U.S. in 2018, which is a 2 percent increase from the previous year. But protecting sewer industry workers from hazards they may encounter on the job goes beyond requiring goggles and gloves.
Manholes give personnel and equipment access to sewer lines for inspection, testing and cleaning. They are built in areas where there is a change in the sewer line direction, slope, elevation, pipe size and junctions. The circular, usually cast iron plates seen on roads across the country cover underground confined spaces that serve a fundamental role in the making and success of a sewer system.
It can be easy to grow complacent in the wastewater industry. Many pipes in North America are decades or even centuries old, after all. But operators and contractors who pay attention to changing technology and new regulations are better prepared to maximize efficiency and improve their systems for the future.
The most robust sewer inspection software in today’s market offers users many different features to optimize efficiency, so it’s important that users know how to access all elements of it. To ensure they get the most out of their purchase, WinCan offers personal training opportunities designed around the customer’s needs.
In the wastewater industry, things are always changing. Populations shift, new environmental regulations pass, and daily use takes its toll. System operators and contractors need technology that can scale to meet their changing needs — including asset management and inspection software.
Communities depend heavily on their wastewater systems, so ensuring this resource is strong enough to withstand a natural or human-caused disaster is crucial. Building up system resiliency so it can bounce back from any harm protects against a range of health and safety risks.
More data can be gathered at once during manhole inspections than ever before, thanks to a recent integration between CleverScan and the Trimble R2 receiver, in conjunction with WinCan VX Expert.
Utilities don’t work in a bubble. And the communities that are most effectively managing wastewater systems and other services are doing so by taking a comprehensive approach to inspection, maintenance and development.
Keeping sewer inspection software up to date can help a wastewater system run more efficiently. In addition to ensuring quality data, upgrading your system allows your operators to take advantage of new features and update existing ones.