How Our Wastewater System Handled Population Growth

Posted by Allison Symonds on Sep 17, 2021

Communities are constantly changing, and the demands on infrastructure evolve with them. Recent census results revealed that the U.S. population grew by 7.4% over the last decade. And movement within the country means that many states grew even faster.

When facing demographic shifts, municipalities that respond proactively by supporting and funding wastewater systems can ensure reliable service and healthy expansion. But efficiency and planning are crucial. Check out these three Envirosight customers who have successfully managed rapid population growth.

Hillsboro Sewer AssessmentReliable Solutions Protect Old and New Assets

The population of Hillsboro, Oregon has grown quickly over the last two decades, but the City has much older roots. Its wastewater system relies on a robust preventative maintenance program, and equipment purchases must be versatile enough to perform pre-acceptance inspections in new developments, and nimble enough to navigate 100-year-old pipes. “We’ve been at the forefront of a population boom and know that our infrastructure maintenance program requires reliability—from our operators, and from the equipment we use,” says Justin Jensen, Hillsboro’s Sanitary & Storm Water Utilities Manager.

“As our infrastructure grows, so do our requirements for equipment,” echoes Dave Eck, Hillsboro’s Sanitary Utilities Coordinator. The Division uses a hybrid truck that includes a standard Envirosight ROVVER X crawler and a lateral launch crawler, both running on the same reel and controls, so it has the versatility to locate infiltration sources, inspect capital improvement projects before the City takes possession of newly built sewer lines, and troubleshoot service connections.

“Many other municipalities face the very challenges we’ve experienced,” says Jensen. “But don’t let the challenges deter you from thinking it isn’t possible. Having the right technology, a seasoned staff and a solid preventative maintenance program has been our saving grace.”

Infrastructure and Growing PopulationIncreasing Inspection Productivity

Over the years, the Ironhouse Sanitary District in the San Francisco Bay Area has watched small communities turn into incorporated cities, added nearby communities to its own service area, and seen substantial change across the region. “It’s growing immensely,” Ian Robertson, the District’s CCTV operator, says. “Currently, we are performing about 25 new construction lateral inspections a month, but some months that number can be as high as 40.” Faced with these challenges, “we decided to start looking into more efficient sewer inspection equipment to keep up with the growing demand.”

The District found a solution with Envirosight, and invested in a Ford E-450 chassis equipped with the ROVVER X crawler system, the ROVVER X SAT lateral launch crawler, and the RX95 small-diameter crawler. “We have definitely been able to work more productively with the Envirosight setup,” Robertson says. “It takes 30 seconds to change wheels, it takes a minute to put the elevator system on, the camera is so much cleaner, the lens doesn’t get as foggy, and the video is clearer. Everything is just 100% better with this truck.”

Population Growth and UtilitiesReducing Equipment Downtime

The City of Tigard, Oregon has grown over 15% in the last decade. And the growth has taken its toll on the area. “We are stressed for equipment and manpower, as a lot of growing cities are,” says Rob Block, the City’s wastewater and stormwater operations supervisor. “We are trying to add to our fleet.”

When systems are growing, equipment downtime can quickly lead to delays and compliance issues. The City’s old crawler system required specialty parts from overseas every time it needed repairs. When the inspection camera broke, it was down for weeks.

ROVVER X’s compact and durable design was a game changer. It’s ideal for traversing aging lines and steering around protruding taps and debris. The system needs less maintenance, and repairs have never been easier thanks to local support from True North Environmental Equipment. “It’s increased our productivity by about 20 to 25 percent,” Block says—enabling the City to keep up with demand and keep regulators happy.

These communities’ wastewater systems have kept apace of rapid growth by prioritizing efficiency, implementing preventative maintenance strategies, and investing in versatile equipment. With a modular design, the industry’s largest service network, and the power to push past the toughest obstacles, ROVVER X keeps downtime to a minimum so you can get more done, faster. Schedule a free demo and see it in action for yourself.

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