Pipeline Infiltration & Inspection Studies

Infiltration and inspection studies are conducted all over North America to determine the sewer infrastructure condition. During inspection of sanitary sewers there are several indicators that we look for, for example: cracks, breaks, displaced joints, ponding, dimples, and incoming water to name a few. As explained in our Sanitary Sewer section, infiltration occurs when ground water penetrates into sealed sanitary systems. This can happen through small holes in the pipeline, through defective joints and many other defects. Infiltration of outside water into the sanitary sewer system is a huge cost to the tax payer by way of excess volumes of effluent having to be treated through sewer treatment plants.

Pipe Eye Video’s camera vans are busy working for municipalities all over Vancouver Island on a regular basis to locate these leaks and other problems. As the crews are looking for leaks they are also mapping & recording any & all deficiencies in the pipe lines. Our video inspection crews have an inside look at the main line pipe systems as well as have a close up 360 degree view of all the services that are connected to the mainline. Not only do we record any deficiencies we come across, but we have the capability to take still capture photos of any major problems.

Once all the inspection information is recorded, we compile the information into databases, and written records and hand that information over to the customer for use in planning and budgeting the required repair and maintenance activities. This information is also valuable in defining the costs of treating effluent in our sewage plants by knowing where and how much ground-water is infiltrating our sanitary systems.

There are other problems that inspections studies can help resolve such as unknown service connections. Sometimes, with older existing infrastructure (especially privately owned properties) important overall information like the scope of the system may be unknown to the owner. For example, where main lines run from and where they run to, and whether there are any other active services connected the mainline may be unknown. To help determine this kind of information as well as if there are any cross connections, Pipe Eye Video Inspections utilizes two techniques, Smoke Testing and Dye Testing.

  • Smoke Testing:  Smoke testing involves forcing smoke-filled air through a sewer line. The smoke under pressure will fill the main line plus any connection lines or leaks. Only enough force to overcome atmospheric pressure is required, thus forcing the smoke through any connecting lines, and will come out at any opening.

    Smoke testing can be used for locating illegal connections, cross connections or major breaks in the pipelines.  Breaks can be found by simply filling the pipeline with smoke, for enough time and under enough pressure, that the smoke saturates the ground and comes to the surface. If there is a cross-connection, smoke will be forced to come out of building rain gutters or vent stacks. As long as openings exist for the smoke to follow, smoke tests are effective, regardless of surface type, soil type and depth of the pipes lines.

    Pipe-Eye Video uses safe environmentally-friendly smoke in conjunction with a state-of-the-art HERCO “smoke blower” to conduct these tests. This smoke does not require flame or heat, and is non-toxic.
  • Dye Testing: Dye testing is used to locate active service connections in main lines and/or trace existing lines.

    These tests are performed by putting non-toxic dye into a sanitary or storm system, usually through a sink or toilet, and then activating the system. By    removing a manhole cover or even viewing with our crawler inside the pipeline, we can now identify which service is connected to the residence in question. This process can also help us determine active and inactive service connections.

    Dye testing is an environmentally friendly, easy, and inexpensive solution to your “service confusion” problems!