Two of the most important utilities buried beneath the surface include water and sewer. Water utilities are supplied to a population from a public water system and include both potable (drinking water) as well as water for washing, cooking and waste disposal. Sewer utilities refer to utilities such as water drainage (storm water) and waste (sanitary) drainage. Damage to any of these types of utilities could mean a widespread area without clean water, or water that has been contaminated due to waste. Over 286 million Americans get their tap water from a community water system. It is crucial to recognize that water utility pipes are the only underground utility carrying a product people put into their bodies!
Some states mandate water & sewer utilities belong to the One-Call system, which ensures they will get locate requests. However, unlike the gas & oil industry, which must comply with PHMSA regulations, water & sewer pipelines do not have a national regulatory agency mandating permanent marking systems and public awareness initiatives. About 65% of all utilities are privately owned, not public, so they won’t be documented by services like 811 locating.
As an industry, significant effort has not been placed on involvement in the national damage prevention effort. This may be due to many water & sewer utilities having very small service areas compared to gas & oil, electric, and communications companies, which naturally creates a more local focus within the companies
The EPA estimates that a $744 billion investment in clean water and drinking water infrastructure is needed to meet and maintain existing public health and environmental standards over the next 20 years. The most recent Common Ground Alliance (CGA) DIRT report, which tracks damages to all buried facilities nationally, shows that installing water & sewer lines accounts for 36.7% of all damages. This makes the installation of sewer & water lines the #1 known cause of damage to the nation’s buried infrastructure. There is also a significant number of old water & sewer pipelines in the ground that are not locatable with conventional EM locators. GPR can be an alternative to locating the pipeline in many cases, but not in every case.
GPRS is capable of providing further options when locating and inspecting these critical underground utilities; Video Sewer Inspection and Video Pipe Inspection. These services have produced exceptional results in helping our customers determine if a pipe needs to be repaired or completely replaced. Our Video Pipe Inspection Services are capable of inspecting water and sewer pipes by applying several different techniques. The most efficient means of locating and inspecting these pipes occurs with using our Robotic Video Crawler Cameras (CCTV), Push Cameras, and Lateral Launch. These devices are able to inspect hard to reach and smaller pipes, previously hidden sewer lateral lines, map complete pipe and sewer systems, and provide detailed NASSCO reports regarding the interior condition of pipes. Cross bore mitigation and discovery is also a key benefit to using GPRS VPI Services.
Nationwide, our GPRS VPI team is fully equipped with the video pipe inspection equipment mentioned and ready to service/inspect your water and sewer utility project. When the GPRS Video Pipe Inspection Team is paired with our industry-leading utility locating services, you will receive the most comprehensive solution available.