Crawling beneath the city
New equipment makes sewer inspection faster, more precise
As sewer pipes under a city age, they require inspection to find and prevent problems, such as infiltration between the storm and sanitary lines. Under Environmental Protection Agency regulations, cities must maintain and repair their sewer systems to prevent fines from the federal agency.
A new piece of equipment recently purchased by the city of Bay Village will address these issues and make the examination process quicker and more accurate. And, at the same time, save the city money. The city’s service department has added a sewer inspection truck that incorporates two wheeled units mounted with video cameras that can be sent down into the sewer lines through manholes and crawl along the city’s sewer pipes.
The service department crew can remotely operate the machines from inside the truck. As the machines move underground, the cameras send real-time video to screens inside the truck’s control room. The cameras, equipped with bright LED headlights, can look left, right, up and down to provide a detailed look at the city’s sewer lines. This close inspection can zero in on an exact location inside the pipe. This saves times and money when it becomes necessary to dig up the troublesome area because the city’s crews will know precisely where to excavate.
“The new sewer camera truck is the single most important equipment investment we will make over the next 10 years," said Bay Village Mayor Debbie Sutherland. "Not only will it help us to identify issues in the public part of the sewer system, but it can also help to identify issues for homeowners – saving them money with contractors.”
The existing equipment that it replaces was decades old, and it was becoming difficult to find replacement parts to keep it in working order.
The new truck with equipment, which normally costs $329,840, was purchased for $273,557 because it was a demo model, a savings of more than $56,000.
The city was able to sell the old sewer camera truck on a government auction site. An out-of-state contractor won with the highest bid of $51,250, far above the administration’s expectation of $15,000.