The City wastewater crews utilize a remote television camera for inspecting underground sewers and pipelines. The camera it a self-contained unit which is drawn through the pipe. Once in the pipe, the camera transmits a picture of the inside conditions of the pipe to the operator inside the video van. The inspection results are video taped for a permanent record. Defects along with their corresponding distance measurement are noted on the video cassette as well as in a written log report.
The camera is typically drawn from manhole to manhole by use of a crawler. The camera can be used for inspecting pipe diameters from 6'' through 48' diameter with a maximum cable length of 2000 feet.
The crews also use a "pole-cam". The pole-cam is a digital camera mounted on the end of a pole. The unit is used by lowering the camera into a manhole, allowing the camera to take pictures of the lines that enter and exit the manhole.
Cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) is a cost effective technique used to rehabilitate defective sanitary pipes and storm pipes without digging. The pipes in the ground are getting older and everyday more need to be replaced or repaired. CIPP is a way to repair defective pipes without disturbing the pavement, sidewalk, landscaping, or other utilities placed over them.
The process is done by cutting a flexible (commonly polyester felt) tube to fit the host pipe and saturating it with resin. High pressure water or air is then used to push the tube into the host pipe and hold it tightly against its walls. Hot steam is used to cure the resin, thus forming a strong and permanent lining that acts as a pipe within a pipe.
Smoke testing is a method to evaluate the sewer system that involves the introduction of a non-toxic smoke into the sanitary sewer system. This evaluation is necessary to locate leaks in the sewers that allow rainwater, creek water and other storm water run-off to enter, and possibly overload, the system. It's also costly for the wastewater treatment plant to process this non-sewage water.
Once the smoke production is initiated, high-powered blowers force the smoke through the segregated line segment being tested. Field technicians then observe for smoke exiting the sewer system through various locations. These leaks or intentional tie-ins, such as gutter downspouts, allow rainwater to enter the sewer, thus creating overflows, backups and additional wastewater treatment cost.
What should I do if a smoke test is being performed in my neighborhood?
If you receive a notice that testing will be taking place, please run about a gallon of water from all faucets in your home into all sinks, showers and any floor drains. If you have any dry toilets, fill them with water also. This water will fill the "traps" under the drains and prevent smoke from entering your home.
- Smoke should not enter your home or business unless you have defective plumbing or dry drain traps. Please follow the directions above so that water is in all drain traps within your home. Running water now will block smoke from entering your home through these access points.
- You can expect to see smoke escape through vent stacks on the roof of your building - this is a sign that the building's plumbing is properly installed.
- The smoke is white to gray in color, nearly odorless, non-toxic and non-staining. The smoke will not leave residue or create a fire hazard.
Typical charted smoke locations include private property sewer service lines, storm drains, yard drains, open sewer clean-outs, broken plumbing lines, gutters, manholes, main line leaks and abandoned sewer lines.