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5 Most Important Manhole Inspection Items

Posted by Brad Robertson on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 @ 08:30 AM

Often times, I’m asked “When is it important to complete manhole inspections?” Manhole inspections should be performed during wet weather, or when the groundwater level is at its peak.  Ideally, November to May is the best time to perform manhole inspections to detect inflow & infiltration (I/I). With the snow/ice melt in February and March compounded with heavy rains, Cities and Towns will notice flows spike at lift stations and wastewater treatment facilities. The five (5) most important items to take note of during manhole inspections that will help reduce (I/I) and eliminate potential backups are:

1. The Manhole Chimney During Heavy Rain

One of the most important manhole components to observe during a manhole inspection is the manhole chimney. As you can see below, this manhole was constructed of precast concrete, with the exception of the manhole chimney which was constructed of brick. During dry weather the chimney may appear to be in good shape; but when the groundwater rises or heavy rains occur, you may see a different story entirely. It is often hard to believe you are looking at the same manhole, under slightly different conditions. For reference, the inflow that was observed to the right was entering at a rate of approximately seven gallons per minute.

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Tags: sewer inspections

Best Practices for Avoiding a Costly Sanitary Sewer Connection Ban

Posted by Ryan Brauen on Thursday, December 18, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

As cities grow and expand, the flow to wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), also known as publicly owned treatment works (POTWs), increases. Many times, if preventative measures aren’t taken, the WWTPs can reach and exceed their capacity. What happens then?



When a treatment plant reaches or approaches 90% of it’s hydraulic or organic design capacity, Rule 327 IAC 4-1-3 states that IDEM will notify the operator that a Sewer Connection Ban may be necessary. The Town of Greentown, Indiana experienced these issues during the past decade. Town officials engaged with Wessler to make major improvements to their collection and waste treatment systems.

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Tags: sewer inspections, WWTP, sanitary sewer system, sewer line

Employee Spotlight: Engineer, Adam Sitka

Posted by Marty Wessler on Monday, November 24, 2014 @ 01:15 PM


Adam Sitka has been an Engineer at Wessler Engineering for approximately two and a half years and was October's Employee of the Month. He does a little bit of everything in the office and in the field, see what he had to say about why he loves to crawl under homes to identify illicit sump pump connections. 
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Tags: sewer inspections, wastewater treatment plant, stormwater, consulting engineer, Field Services,, Employee Spotlight,

6 Steps to Performing a Smoke Test

Posted by Brad Robertson on Thursday, October 09, 2014 @ 11:30 AM

In this video Wessler Engineering is on site smoke testing a sanitary sewer system to locate and identify defects that are contributing to inflow infiltration. The theory behind smoke testing is: where smoke's getting out, water is getting in.

6 Steps to Performing a Smoke Test

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Tags: sewer inspections, smoke testing, sanitary sewer system

Performing Quick and Economical Sewer Inspections

Posted by Brad Robertson on Thursday, May 08, 2014 @ 08:09 AM

“We were looking for inflow and infiltration sources (specifically ground water infiltration) and to schedule a CCTV crew to be here when conditions are right is extremely difficult, if not impossible. The pole camera showed certain areas to be in good working order so we could move them to the bottom of the list for repairs. Currently we are in a sanitary sewer evaluation study and may use CCTV to investigate some problem areas in the future.” -- Scott Hunsucker, plant superintendent, Town of Brownstown.
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Tags: pole camera, CCTV, sewer inspections, sewer line

11 Steps to a Healthier Sanitary Sewer System

Posted by Brad Robertson on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 @ 08:36 AM

As Benjamin Franklin is famous for saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The health of your sanitary sewer system is similar to our personal health. We take measures to stay healthy by getting a flu shot, going to the doctor for an annual checkup, eating well-balanced meals, and exercising 30 minutes daily. We hope by being proactive with our health maintenance, we will prevent illness. The same is true for your sewer system. If you maintain your sewers, you can minimize costly repairs.

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Tags: sewer inspections, sewer, sanitary sewer system, smoke testing sewer lines

Quick, Easy, and Cost-Effective Way to Inspect Your Sewers

Posted by Brad Robertson on Monday, November 19, 2012 @ 11:00 AM

Do you have 10 minutes to spare?

In the time it would take you to get a coffee at Starbucks, you could have a clear photo of your community’s storm or sanitary sewer main.

With the introduction of the new haloptic quick view camera, you can quickly and cost-effectively inspect your sanitary and storm sewers to identify structural and maintenance issues and identify sewers that should receive closed-circuit televising (CCTV) and cleaning.

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Tags: pole camera, CCTV, sewer inspections

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