SewerVUE Performs Reinforced Concrete Pipe Inspection in Dead of Winter


In January 2020, SewerVUE Technology mobilized to Southern Minnesota to perform a twin culvert inspection on 42” Reinforced Concrete Pipes (RCP), each with a length of 523 feet. On the first day at the jobsite, the temperature upon arrival was a chilly -17° Celsius (1° Fahrenheit) - without the windchill! Despite the cold weather, both inspections were completed on-time and effectively; data was collected from an array of sensors on the SewerVUE Surveyor Robot, including CCTV, LiDAR and the proprietary Pipe Penetrating Radar (PPR).

Team surveying the site

Figure 1. The team surveying the site for First Insertion.

SEH Inc., the civil engineering firm tasked with the project, selected SewerVUE to perform the inspection specifically because of their unique capabilities. Paul Pasko, Project Manager at SEH, describes the overall mission as follows:

"The City wants to convert an existing warehouse it bought into a year-round indoor sport court facility for its youngest citizens. But the warehouse was built directly over twin 523-foot-long 42-inch diameter reinforced concrete storm sewer culvert pipes. The pipes control the elevation of the water surface on the City's signature lake. Before it puts its youngest citizens inside this building, the City Council needs to be darn sure that years of flows from the lake thru the pipes did not create voids in the foundation soils surrounding the pipes. If it did, the warehouse could collapse into those voids.”

When asked why they selected SewerVUE to perform the work, he explains “Traditional CCTV inspections could not tell the City Council if voids were present. But SEH knew that SewerVUE's multi- sensor condition inspection [MSCI] tool featuring Pipe Penetrating Radar [PPR] could see thru the pipe walls and find voids that might exist. The City Council agreed with SEH. SewerVUE deployed its MSCI to the site as a subcontractor to SEH during a period of very cold weather in January 2020. The MCSI successfully scanned both pipes in 2 consecutive days."

Nighttime extraction

Figure 2. Nighttime extraction of the Surveyor

Bill Jappy, a seasoned professional with more than 11 years of experience in the pipeline inspection and rehabilitation industry, and SewerVUE’s new Regional Manager, was on site for the duration of the job. Having been on more than 150 inspection and rehabilitation projects all across North America he’s seen great successes and major failures.

“When working in cold weather there are invariably delays due to prolonged set-up, weather issues caused by diminished daylight hours” he says. “But even with these issues the projects were completed on-time with no real delays. The Surveyor performed excellently as did the crew. I cannot recall a smoother inspection, especially in the dead of winter.”

Surveyor completes first run

Figure 3. Surveyor completes it's first run.

SewerVUE's pipe penetrating radar (PPR) is a revolutionary patented technology for underground pipe inspection. The remotely operated Surveyor robot merges CCTV data with PPR measurements to accurately identify pipe wall thickness, composition defects and reinforcement cover conditions. addition, the system can be used to locate cracks, voids and cavities outside underground non-metallic pipes. Click here to view some sample reports from other pipe inspections.

To learn more about the SewerVUE technology for year-round advanced pipeline inspections, please visit our website at or contact us directly via email at or telephone at (604) 421-0600.

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