PALMDALE – City of Palmdale officials Wednesday morning unveiled a new high-tech camera that is helping to inspect and monitor the City’s 404 miles of sewer lines.
The camera, a ROVVER X 130, is a remote-controlled, twin-motor, 6-wheel drive crawler, equipped with the RCX90 digital camera, a high-resolution video and still camera that can zoom, rotate, tilt, and even measure the width of cracks in sewer pipes.
“Back in July 2009, the City of Palmdale became the proud new owner and maintainer of all our sewer pipes of various sizes, two pump stations, and over 8,500 manholes or access points throughout our 105 square miles of the current City service area,” said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. “As owners of the sewers, we are, just like any homeowner, responsible for the care and maintenance.”
“A big part of our responsibility is to inspect our sewers, a task that is daunting when you consider we have 404 miles of pipes and they’re all underground,” said Utilities Services Manager Gordon Phair.
Internal video inspection of the sewer pipelines became a crucial element of the maintenance process, and in late 2012, the City approved the purchase of the camera for $100,366.21.
The wheels on the crawler are interchangeable, allowing it to fit in pipelines ranging from 6 to 15 inches in internal diameter.
The video inspection device is equipped to perform video inspection on storm drains, as well.
Typically, the camera runs about eight feet deep and searches for defects in the sewer lines, officials said.
“It’s looking for cracks, it’s looking for damaged pipes, it’s looking for vermin, it also looks for the accumulation of fats, oils and grease, which can clog the pipe,” Phair said. “In some places we have calcium build up in the pipes where the ground water is high and infiltrates the pipe. It creates a hard water buildup like on your bathtub.”
The city’s Public Works Department started using the camera about four months ago.
The camera has already found a few defects in the sewer system that happened over time, according to Sewer Maintenance Supervisor Tim Carney.
“That’s what it’s for, to actually get down in there and see the problems before they become big problems,” Carney said. “Then we can get them fixed.”
City officials are also reminding residents of the important role they play in sewer maintenance.
“We like to tell people to keep FOG out of their sinks and toilets,” Phair said. “FOG stands for fats, oils and grease. These three items can cause havoc on our sewer systems, causing overflows that can create great and costly damage to their homes.”
For more information on FOG, call 267-5272 or visit the city’s website at www.cityofpalmdale.org.