Sewer inspection became mandatory under the European Directive 91/271/CEE issued by the Council of the European Union. It is governed by European Union Regulation UNE-EN 13508-2:2003 + A1:2012, which standardize how inspections have to be reported, making the sewer owner (public or private) responsible for the sewer maintenance.
Inloc Robotics offers several sewerage solutions when it comes to finding defects, with the SEWDEF services where we automatically detect the defects found in the sewerage and SEWCAM, where the user has the necessary tools to detect defects manually.
Robotic sewerage solutions
Nowadays, maintenance of sewers is done performing inspections of the system, using teleoperated robots (sections below 800mm) or sending the operator itself if the section is big enough. Doing so, faults can be detected and repaired. Moreover, maintenance follows a time-based and emergency schedule where the lifetime of the infrastructure is modeled with significant margin.
Importance of sewer maintenance
According recent studies, the main source of unanticipated problems in sewer systems are caused by cracks, eroded surfaces or joints, root intrusion and pipe collapses.
A malfunction caused by one of these defects may lead to severe environmental, social and public health problems.
The resulting water overflows may cause local floods, undermine pavement and homes, or pollute groundwater and other water sources.
For this reason, a proper maintenance needs to be done to avoid any of those catastrophic faults.
Maintenance of sewers drawbacks
There are three factors that impact deeply in the maintenance performance.
- One is the frequency of inspections, increasing it will enable more accurate maintenance scheduling (improved predictive maintenance) and result in fewer catastrophic failures.
- Considering that a video feed is the only tool that inspectors have available to make judgements, these estimates are highly inaccurate and subjective.
- Normally, the visualization of the inspection video is done two times. First, in place, while the inspection is being done an another one after in the offices.
Automation of sewer maintenance
According to market studies of sewer inspections made by INLOC Robotics SL, the cost per linear meter is around EUR 1.5–3 in Spain. Extrapolating this cost and considering that Europe’s total sewer length is estimated to be around 3 Mkm, the total European cost of inspection is between EUR 4500 M and EUR 9000 M for a complete inspection cycle of sewer systems. This makes any improvement in sewer maintenance cycle process highly impactful in terms of time and cost.
An automated system that is able to detect and quantify sewer defects would not only reduce the time spent by operators and their subjectivity but also allow for more frequent inspection of sewers and thus detect critical defects early. This may lead to a paradigm shift in how sewers are maintained.
INLOC Robotics SL SEWDEF system has the solution
INLOC Robotics SL already offers a novel solution for automating sewer inspections and by extension its maintenance.
SEWDEF automates the report using the video recorder during a sewer inspection. This innovative system can overcome the drawbacks mentioned before.
Frequency of inspections can be increased since an operator does not spent time on realizing the report. Subjectivity is assured by an automatic system improving the quality of the reports. And lifetime-based models of sewer system can be improved highly.
If you want to know more about our SEWDEF system, do not hesitate to contact us.