6 Essential Manhole Inspection Tools

Posted by Jordan Fues on Sep 27, 2022

Manholes are underground assets that allow for easy access to sewer components for cleaning, maintenance and inspection. They are subject to the extreme conditions that all wastewater facilities handle, in addition to weather and traffic stress from the surface. As such, inspecting these necessary access points to ensure their integrity is an important part of collection system maintenance. 

During a manhole inspection, wastewater workers look out for different defects such as cracks, corrosion, missing mortar or bricks, or sources of I&I. Inspectors also take note of characteristics including manhole depth, diameter and material(s). To complete a thorough manhole assessment, you have to have the right equipment, manhole inspection tools, and resources on hand. Below are the essentials every inspection professional needs.

MACP Certification

Manhole Inspection Tool

NASSCO’s Manhole Assessment Certification Program (MACP) is a valuable tool for sewer workers across North America. According to NASSCO’s website, this program aims “to provide the student a thorough understanding of the procedures required to perform an appropriate inspection of manholes and other Access Points.” 

MACP coding allows for consistency in defect and rating documentation and a standard, repeatable process for evaluation. As such, it is essential that workers have up-to-date MACP certifications when completing a manhole inspection.

Manhole Hook/Lifting Tool

Removing the manhole lid is the first step to assessing the manhole itself. Manhole hooks and other lifting devices do just that, and ensure that lids are removed safely and securely.

Gas Monitor

Sewer gas, a mix of toxic and non-toxic gasses commonly found in sewers, can be extremely dangerous. Sewer gas is created as a byproduct when human waste breaks down. Its most harmful ingredients are hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, both of which can prove fatal to humans in certain amounts. Gas monitors are a crucial manhole inspection tool to detect gas levels underground to ensure worker safety during a job.

CleverScan Manhole ScannerPortable Inspection Camera

Inspection cameras are our eyes underground. They are essential for providing insight into potential defects and issues found in manholes. Many system operators and contractors prefer a camera system that can be deployed by a single operator, such as a pole camera or a portable manhole-specific 3D scanning camera. Systems with ample lighting, 3D scanning, and high-quality cameras are your best bet for ensuring you get the most out of your assessments.

Inspection Software

In this day and age, powerful, cloud-based sewer inspection software is a must for sewer professionals. Purpose-built manhole inspection software can be used to collect, analyze and manage your data, then easily share your results with team members, rehab crews and clients. Whether you use MACP or a different pipe condition assessment standard as a manhole inspection tool, advanced software will keep your data organized and compliant.

Safety EquipmentSewer Inspection Vehicle and Tools

Safety equipment is another manhole inspection essential. Traffic control devices like flags, signs and cones keep workers protected from oncoming cars. Hard hats and other PPE ensure worksite safety as do other necessities such as hand sanitizer and first aid kits. 


When equipped with the right manhole inspection tools for the job, wastewater workers can perform fruitful inspections. The CleverScan manhole scanner system simplifies the assessment process by performing automated manhole inspections in minutes. CleverScan’s compact design lends itself to single operator use and requires just a small footprint in your preferred inspection vehicle. Request a free CleverScan demo to learn more today.

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Topics: All Topics Manhole Inspection CleverScan