Remote-controlled cameras provide eyes for underground pipe repairs
Originally Published 9/1/2017
The majority of Nashville's sewer system lies hidden beneath streets and buried in easements. Since it cannot be readily observed, Metro Water Services (MWS) deploys a variety of technologies to assess the system's condition.
One of those technologies, known as closed circuit television (CCTV) inspection, involves viewing the inside of a pipe via a remotely-operated camera in the sewer. The camera, typically installed on a small wheel-based chassis, records video as it travels down the pipe. The video can be viewed in real time by the operator or saved for future evaluation.
CCTV inspection is a fundamental tool utilized by MWS and the Clean Water Nashville Overflow Abatement Program (CWNOAP) to assess the condition of the sewer system, including:
Confirming pipe material, pipe size, and location of service laterals
Locating obstructions such as roots, grease, or debris that may require cleaning
Identifying evidence of groundwater infiltration or rainfall-derived infiltration and inflow that may need to be sealed to prevent sanitary sewer overflows
Locating structural defects within the pipe that may lead to future pipe failures
Detecting problems via CCTV inspection is only half the job; the next step is to fix them. If an obstruction is identified, MWS can send remotely-operated cleaning equipment into the sewer to remove the potential blockage and restore the capacity of the sewer pipe.
If significant structural defects or leaks are observed, MWS has a high-tech solution for that part, too. As long as a pipe isn't severely damaged, MWS can use a technology called cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) lining to rehabilitate the pipe through the installation of a seamless, tight-fitting, corrosion-resistant liner within the original host pipe.
This new lining improves pipe hydraulics, restores the pipe to a structurally sound condition, and addresses leaks into and out of the sewer.