GPRS Inspects & Maps 90-year-old Sewer Lateral

GPRS Inspects & Maps 90-year-old Sewer Lateral

It’s not every day that you unearth something that was put in the ground when the Great Depression was an ongoing news event and John Dillinger was still making a name for himself.

But that’s just what happened recently in Medina, Washington, where a contractor unearthed a concrete sewer lateral believed to be over 90 years old.

GPRS Project Manager Robert Rasmussen was asked to conduct a sewer scope inspection on the elderly wastewater system. The contractor wanted to know the depth of the line throughout their project site, and the location where it connects to the main sewer line. They also wanted to know the condition of the site’s entire waste and stormwater sewer systems.

A push-fed sewer inspection camera is inserted into a concrete sewer lateral.
GPRS Project Manager Robert Rasmussen inspected and mapped the sewer lateral shown poking out of the side of the hole in this photo. The lateral is over 90 years old.

GPRS offers a comprehensive suite of video pipe inspection services utilizing both remote-controlled rovers and push-fed cameras. We outfit this equipment with sondes: transmitters that allow us to map buried wastewater lines from the surface at the same time we’re assessing their condition.

To inspect the 90-year-old sewer lateral, Rasmussen used a push-fed sewer inspection camera, which he was able to detect from the surface using his electromagnetic (EM) locator.

“I was able to access the exposed sewer lateral pipeline that the client had unearthed onsite with my push camera and was able to successfully see all the defects in the pipeline,” Rasmussen said. “I was able to locate the depths of the pipeline from the access point, where the pipeline turned and exited.”

Through his CCTV sewer inspection, Rasmussen discovered that the lateral was suffering from significant corrosion, with sediment accumulation, obstructions, and fluctuating water levels throughout.

Interior of a concrete sewer lateral.
This concrete sewer lateral is suffering from several defects, including corrosion, sediment accumulation, and obstructions.

GPRS Project Managers are trained to provide NASSCO-compliant reporting, which means geolocating all defects found, providing photo and video evidence of those problems, and ranking them by severity. We tailor our services to meet your needs, taking a collaborative approach by working with you to solve your infrastructure problems.

“To be able to create a bond with a client and provide them with the information needed, it makes me satisfied at the end of the day, knowing they got what they needed,” Rasmussen said.

What is NASSCO?

NASSCO is the National Association of Sewer Service Companies, a nonprofit organization that sets industry standards for assessing, maintaining, and rehabilitating underground wastewater infrastructure.

All GPRS Project Managers are NASSCO trained and certified and provide NASSCO reports for our pipe inspections. The report and inspection data can be viewed with WinCan, a cloud-based sewer inspection software. The software provides accurate data to clients to help plan maintenance, improve performance, and achieve compliance.

GPRS Project Managers participate in three separate national training programs that focus on different assessments: the Pipeline Assessment and Certification Program (PACP), Lateral Assessment and Certification Program (LACP), and Manhole Assessment and Certification Program (MACP).

Additionally, our PMs are also certified in the Subsurface Investigation Methodology, the industry-leading training program for utility locators, concrete scanning technicians, and sewer inspection professionals.

All GPRS Project Managers are required to become SIM certified, which means completing a minimum of 320 hours of field training and 80 hours of classroom training. During this process, the PMs encounter real-world scenarios designed to prepare them for whatever they may encounter in the field.

GPRS is the only company that requires its field team to receive both NASSCO and SIM certification. Because of this training, Rasmussen was able to tackle the challenge of evaluating and mapping the nearly century-old sewer lateral.

Extending the Life of Wastewater Infrastructure

While it was noteworthy to discover a 90-year-old sewer line, it’s not uncommon for GPRS Project Managers to evaluate wastewater infrastructure that’s past its prime.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the average buried wastewater pipe in the U.S. is 45 years old, but some systems have components that are more than a century old. The typical lifespan expected for wastewater pipes is 50 to 100 years, which means that the line Rasmussen inspected is nearing the end of its expected lifespan. Many systems in the country have components that are past that point.

The older the sewer line, the more likely it is that the wastewater system will experience backups, inflow/infiltration, or other issues.

The ASCE recognizes that America’s wastewater system is need of some serious TLC. The organization gave the U.S.’s wastewater infrastructure a D+ in its most recent Infrastructure Report Card.

“Though large-scale capital improvements have been made to systems experiencing sanitary sewer overflows, efforts have slowed in recent years,” the ASCE wrote in their report. “As many treatment plants and collection networks approach the end of their lifespans, the financial responsibilities for operation and maintenance will become more costly.”

Ultimately, the out-of-date components in our wastewater infrastructure will need to be replaced to truly solve the problems noted by the ASCE. In the meantime, routine sewer inspections are the best way to ensure your system is functioning properly, and to catch issues like I/I, cross bores, and other defects before they can cause major problems.

From skyscrapers to sewer lines, GPRS Intelligently Visualizes The Built World® to keep your projects on time, your budget intact, and your people safe.

What can we help you visualize? Click the links below to schedule a service or request a quote today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Video Pipe Inspection (VPI)?

Video pipe inspection, or VPI, is a sewer inspection service using CCTV video cameras to mitigate or prevent infrastructure damage by inspecting underground sewer and lateral pipelines. GPRS’ NASSCO-certified Project Managers can locate clogs, investigate cross bores, find structural faults and damages, and conduct lateral sewer line inspections.

What size pipes can GPRS inspect?

We have the capabilities to inspect pipes from 2” in diameter and up.

Can you locate pipes in addition to evaluating their integrity?

Yes! Our SIM and NASSCO-certified Project Managers use VPI technology equipped with sondes, which are instrument probes that allow them to ascertain the location of the underground utilities from an inaccessible location. This allows them to use electromagnetic (EM) locators to map sewer systems at the same time they’re evaluating them for defects.

What do I get when GPRS conducts a VPI?

GPRS is proud to offer WinCan reporting to our Video Pipe Inspection clients. Maintaining sewer systems starts with understanding their condition, and WinCan allows GPRS Project Managers to collect detailed, NASSCO-compliant inspection data. GPRS Project Managers not only inspect the interior condition of sewer pipes, laterals, and manholes – they can also provide a map of their location. The GPRS Mapping & Modeling Department can provide detailed GPS overlays and CAD files.

Finally, you receive a complimentary SiteMap® Personal account with every job GPRS complets for you. SiteMap® (patent pending), powered by GPRS, is our cloud-based infrastructure mapping software where you can review, store, and securely share all the data collected by our Project Managers.

You can learn more about SiteMap® here.