When build up accumulates in sewer pipes, there’s little room for water to efficiently move around the build up of obstructions—a sewage system can only work to the top of its ability if it’s clear, clean, and just like new. So how do you clean and restore pipes to operate at their best? Jetting.

Jetting is the most efficient way to clean municipal sewers and storm drains and get them running right. It’s an important job to be done. 

When a contractor begins jetting a sewer, he deploys the tip of the jetter (the nozzle) down into the sewer pipes using a hose. As the jetter is positioned in the correct place, the cleaning process can begin. 

The jetting nozzle shoots water at a high pressure of around 4000 psi to clean away debris, remove any sediment and blockages, and allow clean water to flow down the pipes to clear build-up and get the sewer system running properly.

Although jetting is so efficient for large diameter pipe cleaning, far too often contractors are forced to jet blindly without a visual understanding of what’s going on beneath the ground. Because they’re unaware of the exact location and reason that a problem is occurring, contractors have to take a gamble on the most efficient places to jet and the best equipment to use to get a system clean.

Not only is jetting blindly frustrating and inefficient, due to the lack of visual information a jetter operator has, unnecessary jetting is far too common. In 2015, 35% of routine jetting done in the U.S. was completely unnecessary. Talk about a waste of time, money, and resources for municipalities and contractors.

In addition, without an understanding of what’s happening inside a pipe, incorrect nozzles or crawlers are used, costing sewer equipment companies and storm drain cleaning contractors money that didn’t need to be spent.

The Cost Of Jetting Blind

It typically requires thousands of gallons of water to clean a single pipe of a sewage system. Now imagine using thousands of gallons of water jetting a pipe that didn’t need it in the first place.

The cost of inefficient and unneeded jetting can certainly be pricey. To put it into perspective, on average, 300 feet of pipe will take a cleaning crew up to 40 minutes of jetting to get it clean. A jetter working at high pressure uses about 60 gallons of water per minute. It can take quite a bit of time and water before a crew realizes that the jetting isn’t needed, meaning hundreds to thousands of gallons of wasted water and resources. 

Jetting blindly can also be inefficient because of the unknown condition of the pipe that needs cleaning. Without a visual understanding of the circumstances, the wrong nozzle could be used or a CCTV could be dropped down to inspect too early, both of which are costly mistakes. 

The solution to jetting blindly? A quick and simple way to view and understand the circumstances of a sewer piper: a zoom camera.

Zoom Camera Assessment

The days of jetting with little information are in the past. Zoom assessments have changed the way jetter operators do their jobs, avoiding many challenges.

Sewer zoom cameras have made understanding a sewer’s circumstances easy and quick, so the cleaning can be done right. A contractor uses a zoom camera to view sewer lines from an adjoining manhole, allowing the image to be seen from an angle other than the sanitary or storm sewer pipe angle that a crawler would give.

Zoom camera sewer inspection equipment (or pole cameras) allow storm drain cleaning contractors to quickly see and understand what’s going on inside. That way a better decision can be made when it comes to allocating CCTV and cleaning efforts during jobs. 

A zoom camera sewer inspection:

  • Helps avoid confined-space entries for equipment
  • Inspects hard-to-reach corners of sewer systems
  • Helps to prioritize maintenance needs
  • Gives a quick view of what pipes need to be cleaned
  • Creates a better overall system for efficient sewer cleaning
  • Saves money and time

The Capabilities Of Zoom Camera Sewer Inspection Equipment

When you’re ready to use a zoom camera to inspect sewer lines, the camera can be put right to work. Sewer lines don’t have to be cleaned out prior to use, and a camera can be easily operated by a single person, so you can get right to work with a camera the moment a job is ready to get underway. 

And because they’re small, portable, and require little equipment, zoom cameras can be taken and stored just about anywhere. 

As soon as a zoom camera is put to use, it can help contractors find answers to the following:

Understand Hazards

With a pipe full of debris that can’t be seen my equipment operators, it becomes a gamble when introducing sewer cleaning equipment into lines. In order to protect equipment from what resides in sewer pipes, it’s crucial to be aware of the conditions you’re about to come in contact with. A zoom camera can help give you some insight into what’s below so jetting nozzles and other equipment don’t become stuck or trapped.

 Record Found Debris

Sewer backups, damage, and spills are generally caused by clogged pipes filled with fats, oils, and grease. When these problems occur, floods, sanitary sewer overflows, or environmental problems could be close behind. It’s important to know what you’re up against when inspecting the first signs of a problem, and a zoom camera can do just that.

Choose The Right Nozzles and Equipment

Choosing the wrong nozzle to use on your jetter can end up costing unnecessary money, time, and resources. In order to make an informed decision about the type of nozzle to use, operators have to know what’s going on inside sewer pipes. Clogged with mud, filled with grease, or backed up due to roots? Having the ability to capture visuals of the problem and zoom in and out of hard-to-reach areas can help an operator make the right choice for the job.

Track Findings

Jetter hires have to be able to assess their work. Unfortunately, if operators have to jet blindly, the only way to determine whether or not a pipe is clean is by continuing to run water through until it’s clear—this is a huge waste of water. Zoom cameras can help operators assess the cleanliness of a sewer pipe after each flush and track the completion of their work.

Envirosight’s Quickview airHD Zoom Camera Sewer Inspector

One of the top drain cleaning equipment manufacturers, Envirosight, knows that jetting blind is a costly obstacle for contractors, so they’ve come out with a top-of-the-line zoom camera: the Quickview airHD.

Quickview is one of Envirosight’s most essential products for a sewer inspection team to have on hand, and is one of the top confined space inspection cameras on the market. This device allows for an instant HD view of any sewer, all done wirelessly. 

It gives contractors rapid insight to help them understand the condition of the sewer they’re inspecting so they can diagnose problems and get to solutions quickly. 

Quickview’s HD video is optimized for productivity, and it’s cable-free design allows it be taken to any job sight.

Because of its convenient capabilities, incorporating Quickview into your sewer inspection routine is simple and easy, making every step of the process efficient and accurate.

Using Quickview In Your Sewer Inspection And Cleaning Routine

Phase 1: Assess Before You Clean

To assess whether or not a pipe does in fact need cleaning, use Quickview to observe the area for debris. Lower the zoom camera pole into the manhole and zoom the length of the pipe. With the zoomed view, you’re able to assess the condition and determine if cleaning is necessary.

Phase 2: Develop A Cleaning Strategy

If cleaning the pipe is the route you’re taking, Quickview can be used to gather information and create a plan that best suits the situation. Based on what was found in the pipe, you’re able to determine the correct nozzle, water pressure, and speed in which to clean using a jetter. After the first round of cleaning is complete, reassess the condition of the pipe using Quickview and check to see if another cleaning cycle needs to be performed.

Phase 3: Post-Cleaning Wrap Up

When the pipe is nice and clean, document the work that was done for later reference. Using Quickview, reassess the condition of the sewer pipe. Is all of the debris cleared and is the pipe clean? Document the post-cleaning condition and determine whether or not further action needs to be taken.

Get Quickview On Your Team

Getting your hands on a drain inspection camera rental near you is easy. U-Rock carries the Quickview airHD zoom camera for contractors and municipalities to rent for their jobs, or they’re available for purchase too if you’re going to be putting a zoom camera to use often.

Contact U-Rock to learn more about the benefits of using a zoom camera for sewer inspection and to get yours.