Locating illegal and unmapped sewer connections - SewerScout™

Updated: Jan 24

One of the cool applications that our SewerScout™ can be used for is to identify illegal or unmapped connections into the larger diameter sewer system that contribute to unwanted inflow.


Figure 1: SewerScout™ mapping out Illegal connections that contribute to I&I


We find many wastewater utilities do not have the capacity to routinely inspect their larger diameter sewers. Interceptors can go decades and even a century before they are inspected. In that time I&I can be costing you $$$. We regularly come across utilities that have never inspected their large diameter interceptor sewers. The reasons for not inspecting include:


- No access for CCTV truck

- Manholes are too far apart

- Inspection options are too expensive ($3 - $10/LF)

- We tried in the past and the results were terrible and not worth the cost


Most of our SewerScout™ work is to inspect interceptors that have never been inspected and this is what makes our work so exciting. Going where no one has gone before!


Just recently we completed a +3 mile (17,000LF) inspection of a 50 year old interceptor sewer that had never been inspected. It was exciting to know that no one had seen what we were about to find. The sewer was in relatively good condition being 50 years old but what we discovered were 4 large connections that weren't on the GIS records. And to make it more interesting is that they were located out in the woods. So where and what are they connected too?

Figure 2: Geolocated SewerScout™ locating an unmapped connection via Terralytics™


The SewerScout™ is an untethered inspection platform to rapidly inspect large diameter pipes with gravity fed flow. It can be remotely deployed from hard to access manholes and captures High Definition 360° video and other sensor data. The SewerScout™ is capable of capturing 5,280LF in 30 minutes and for a fraction of the cost of traditional CCTV.

Once retrieved from the pipe the data is uploaded to our Terralytics™ cloud platform where it undergoes transformation and analysis. We utilise our 3D Mapping Engine to work out where the Scout had traversed and sync it with a geolocation - essentially underground GPS.



Figure 3: The SewerScout™


From there we can inspect the pipe for any illegal or unmapped connections. Terralytics™ has an inbuilt inspection tool allowing inspectors to virtually pan and tilt the camera to tag defects. These defects get geolocated, scored and reported upon using our system. By doing this we are able to work out if the connections are meant to be there or not. If not then further investigation is needed to ascertain if they were illegally connected or were just not captured in the GIS records.


Figure 4: Confirming incoming connections via Terralytics™ GIS


If you are interested in learning more about our innovative inspection systems please reach out to the Subterra AI team - info@subterra.ai