Bell Equipment Blog

Prevent the Biggest Sewer Failures with Sewer Inspection Cameras

February 23, 2021

The life of a sewer pipe is affected by both environmental and structural factors. Add to this equation the age of the pipe, its location, and frequency of inspection and the risks of sewer line problems can increase or decrease exponentially. Wastewaters operators who rely on sewer inspection cameras for regular inspections and know the increased risks of problems can avert disaster.

Proactive Sewer Inspections Save Time and Money

A study conducted by experts in the civil environmental and geodetic engineering department at The Ohio State University investigated the factors that are often responsible for concrete sewer line failure and collapse.

Being able to predict where lines might fail saves time, expense, resources, and inconvenience. Properly maintained sewer lines can become a matter of public health, so the stakes are high to keep sewer utilities clear and working smoothly. The durability of the materials used when creating sewer lines is the first line of defense. Conducting regular sewer inspections with sophisticated cameras is the second.

Causes of Weak Sewer Pipes

In the study, data gathered from underground concrete pipes in the United States was analyzed for common causes of sewer pipe failure. These included:

  • Density and makeup of surrounding soil
  • Elasticity and strength of concrete materials
  • Weight of ground-level vehicular traffic passing over lines

The determination, after conducting statistical analyses, is that sewer pipes were more likely to crack and fail because of weak concrete made of poor materials or poorly maintained, and the weight of the trucks that regularly drove over the pipes.

Knowing the areas that suffer the greatest abuse and use means they can be moved to the top of the list for periodic sewer inspections. Better to rely on a sewer inspection camera that will help prevent problems, rather than reverting to the camera that must get in and around damaged and broken pipes to diagnose trouble for efficient repairs.

Prioritizing Sewer Inspections

Knowing the threats to the longevity and stability of a sewer pipe is critical. Many wastewater operators maintain hundreds or thousands of miles of pipe. Prioritizing the oldest and most abused areas so regular inspections and upgrades can be made help ensure structural integrity and make it possible to catch existing problems before they become an acute crisis.

A system-wide understanding of the conditions of infrastructure and a prioritization of resource allocation allows wastewater and sewer crews to work more efficiently without wasting time, energy, or manpower. Future pipe work can also be informed with these findings. Installers can select stronger, longer-lasting materials and place pipes in areas that are not subject to heavy traffic.

Bell Equipment serves sewer professionals and municipalities in Michigan and Ohio and offers a range of Envirosight cameras to help maintain what goes on underground. Contact Bell Equipment today to discuss the sewer inspection cameras and equipment that are right for your community or business needs.