Yorkshire Water using industry-first manhole survey technology

Yorkshire Water is using cutting edge modelling grade technology to complete surveys of hard-to-reach manholes – a UK water industry first – as part of its smart wastewater network pilot projects in Holbeck and Ilkley.

The project aims to map and examine the condition of the sewer network, with the information and data being used to prevent and identify sewer blockages and tackle them before they become a problem.

Blockages can cause restricted toilet use, sewer escapes into homes and gardens or pollution to local watercourses, so it is vital they are identified and removed quickly.

Subterra’s VScout has been specifically designed to enable surveys of hard-to-reach manholes, pumping stations and shafts without the need for man entry, making it much safer that traditional surveying techniques.

Surveys can take just two minutes to complete and the VScout can provide detailed 3D measurements of manholes and shafts and interactive 360-degree video of the inspection which can viewed remotely and allow experts to understand any faults and complete repairs quickly.

Thomas Ogden, waste networks technical specialist at Yorkshire Water said:

“We’ve pleased to be the first water company in the UK to adopt this technology as part of our innovative smart networks project. The technology is quicker and safer than traditional methods and, most importantly, it provides crystal clear interactive video and measurements which can be shared and analysed remotely so the right fix is carried out first time.

“VScout has been invaluable throughout our surveys in Holbeck and Ilkley and we hope it will be able rolled out to other areas of our business as we continue to use new techniques and technology in the way we manage and maintain our infrastructure.”

An analytics platform enables Yorkshire Water’s team to inspect, tag and report the condition of the sewer networks in one platform using the interactive video, with telemetry providing accurate distance and locations of videos so future work can be carried out efficiently.

Subterra’s Robert Lee said:

“Yorkshire Water fully embraced our innovative technology and was able to deploy with only virtual training and in no time at all. The technology reduced exposure to confined spaces and above ground traffic hazards while collecting quantifiable object data that can be used across multiple stakeholders. Yorkshire Water has been a pivotal client accepting to test and deploy new technology.”



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