Town of Midland’s new high-tech toy can perform sewer inspections twenty times faster than manual method

Time was, workers would have to go into sewers with CCTV equipment

The Town of Midland has introduced a new high-tech sounding toy into its arsenal of infrastructure tools. A device that uses acoustics to determine if pipes are blocked.

What was once a time-consuming task can be done twenty times faster with the town’s new Sewer Line Rapid Assessment Tool, or SL-RAT. It also prevents risk to health as it allows town employees to remain above ground instead of heading into sewers to perform inspections.

The SL-RAT is an acoustic pipe inspector that uses sound to determine if there is clear flow through each section of sewer pipe, or if there are obstructions that need to be dealt with.

“This technology is allowing our team to inspect our sewer infrastructure so much more efficiently than in previous years. Assessments for each section of sewer pipe (maintenance hole to maintenance hole) can be made in three minutes or less. In past years this would be costly work, requiring specialized cleaning and camera (CCTV) equipment to determine potential problems within the pipe,” said André Pepin, Acting Manager of Water & Wastewater Services. “Not only is this innovative technology helping to save an immense amount of time, but it’s also saving a considerable amount of resources, allowing us to shift those to other projects.”

The Town of Midland has over 90km of pipes.