A clean sewer pipe causes fewer problems and necessitates fewer callouts. Jetting is the preferred method for cleaning pipes, but when it’s performed unnecessarily or ineffectively, it simply wastes time and money without improving sewer performance. Up to 35% of sewer lines are jetted unnecessarily as part of scheduled cleaning and maintenance, and improperly cleaned pipes can cause costly overflows. Zoom cameras were designed with these challenges in mind, helping jetter operators gather visual information about pipe condition rapidly and affordably so they can work more effectively. Highly portable and easy to use, zoom cameras can be stored on any jetter truck and used to quickly assess the conditions of a pipe before and after cleaning.
Zoom cameras provide valuable visual information about both the cleaning needs of a pipe and the types of debris in the line that may need special attention. F.O.G. (fats, oils and grease) is one of the biggest sources of clogged pipes. Pipes can also be clogged with gravel, roots, mud and rock from a crack or partial collapse, or even a gas line cross bore. When cleaning, knowing what you’re up against is half the battle.
Visual inspections also protect the jetter nozzle. Without a visual inspection, operators risk catching the nozzle on collapses, protruding taps, root balls and other obstructions in the line, or damaging it in some way. With proper anticipation of the risks, however, excavation and other costly salvage operations can be avoided.
With traditional jetting methods, the only indicator of cleaning success is watching effluent in a downstream manhole until it runs clear. While this may seem logical, clear effluent is not a good measure of success because it does not actually indicate that the line is clean, only that no more debris will come out with the jetter nozzle being used. It also provides no indication of the condition of the pipe. With a visual assessment done with a zoom camera, a jetter operator can be confident the line is clear and can pass the footage on to inspection and maintenance crews.
Reducing water consumption is an important part of conservation efforts, particularly for regions with limited water sources or in drought prone areas. With a visual assessment, a jetter operator can make more informed decisions about nozzle choice, number of passes and even whether the line needs cleaning at all.
Ultimately, sewer cleaning is essential to ensuring a well working collection system. How you perform that cleaning impacts how much time, money and resources you expend. To learn more about how zoom assessment can make your sewer jetting program smarter and factors to consider when choosing a zoom camera, download our white paper, “Zoom into Cleaning.”