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New Sewer Lateral Camera, Software Coming to Public Works

The public works committee recommended moving forward with a $62,000 purchase of a new sewer lateral camera and software

Lansdale Borough wants to televise crap for a reason. What’s your excuse “The Real Housewives …”?

At a recent public works committee meeting, Dan Shinskie, Lansdale Wastewater Treatment Plant director, said that the department would like to add a lateral camera to its TV truck in order to inspect sewer laterals from the main line.

Along with upgraded software, the entire cost to outfit the TV truck would be $62,000. It was an expense earmarked on the capital improvement list. The camera and software would be purchased through a general services contract with the state, thereby not requiring a bid.

“We are doing more and more laterals due to road construction and the current method is cumbersome,” he said. “It’s not always 100 percent we can get through the vents, and sometimes there isn’t anything to give us access to inspect laterals.”

Shinskie said inspiration came from a new TV truck built at Chalfont Borough.

He explained the lateral camera would “shoot off to the side” to televise laterals from the main line and not from the sewer vents.

“It’s a small camera that has a round end on it, so it’s smooth enough to go over obstruction and it’s self-leveling,” he said. “As it twists and turns it keeps it level.”

He said the software would need to be upgraded to current standards.

“In six years, things have changed,” he said.

At present, if a homeowner calls with a problem with the sewer line, and that line is backed up with water, for instance, the department cannot access the line until it’s clean.

“Sometimes you clean it and you clean away the problem,” Shinskie said. “From the main line, you can have an empty pipe up to the obstruction and see what the problem is at.”

The current “cumbersome” method involves using a C-snake and entering the lateral through the vent. Shinskie said it must be pushed through the lateral.

“In some cases, you can’t get through the trap, in some cases, the vent is not available to us and in some cases it is filled with water and we have to clean the line before we televise it,” he said.

Public works committee chairman Mike Riccio said the upgrade will help the borough meet a goal when doing sewer repair in conjunction with roadwork.

“It’s so we can fix everything we need to when we do a street. That’s our goal. When we tear up a street, we don’t miss any part we’ll have to tear up later,” he said.

The public works committee recommended the public works department move forward with the purchase.

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