Mapping Sewer Laterals in Real-Time

RapidView IBAK North America’s 3-D GeoSense program maps while you inspect.
Mapping Sewer Laterals in Real-Time
Matt Sutton, vice president of sales and marketing for RapidView IBAK North America, explains the operation of the 3-D GeoSense program to a group of attendees on the 2016 WWETT Show floor. The program allows municipalities to map lateral lines quickly and accurately in real time while performing a standard camera inspection. (Photo by Luke LeNoble)

Interested in Manholes?

Get Manholes articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Manholes + Get Alerts

Painting an accurate picture of all your underground assets can be both challenging and time-consuming. But a new technology on display at the Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport Show aims to be a real time-saver for municipalities that need to get a detailed visual of the labyrinth of sewer laterals connecting into their systems.

3-D GeoSense from RapidView IBAK North America allows municipalities to map lateral pipelines quickly and accurately in real time while performing a standard camera inspection.

“A lot of cities will maintain a GIS map of all their mainlines,” says Matt Sutton, vice president of sales and marketing for RapidView IBAK North America. “Now, we can start to add the laterals to this. Because we’ve put a sensor on the front of the camera, we can map the lateral as the pushrod moves through the lateral in three-dimensional space.

“More and more cities are interested in and responsible for the lateral connection from the mainline to the customer’s house, and having an accurate map — what that lateral looks like — does a lot of different things.”

The unit can be used in push or lateral launch applications. A built-in sensor tracks the movement of the camera as it travels through the lateral, capturing distance, position and depth.

The XYZ coordinates can be recorded when the camera is moving both forward and backward. Data is captured and displayed by third-party data logging software, such as WinCan VX.

“It could be part of their normal process,” Sutton says. “So when they look at the lateral visually with a camera, at the same time they are creating a three-dimensional file that can go right over their GIS, and they can have a three-dimensional model of their entire infrastructure.”

As a result, municipalities no longer have to locate laterals with an above-ground locator, making 3-D GeoSense an effective tool for cross-bore analysis.

“It’s very useful for utilities,” Sutton says. “If you have to dig, you know exactly where it is. If it’s a gas boring company that has to drill through that neighborhood, they could know within inches exactly where they need to drill without hitting one of these sewer lines and causing potentially a big problem.”

Configured to work with the new LISY 3.2 or MiniLite pushrod systems, the module can also be installed on the ORION, ORION-L or POLARIS camera systems.

“This is the first time anybody is seeing it live,” Sutton says of the lateral mapping system. “They are amazed. People have wanted this for the last 10 years.”

What took so long to bring this technology to market? “The sophistication of the electronics to get small enough to go inside some of the camera systems,” he says. “Our stuff is typically very complex and compact. But we were able to make a sensor that was small enough to fit in our already small cameras that could go into a 3-inch lateral.

“The show’s been great this year,” Sutton says. “We doubled our booth size this year, and we’ve about doubled our contacts with customers, which is amazing. I didn’t know that was going to be the case.”

Sutton says the WWETT Show is the ideal place to showcase new technology for the sewer and water industry, especially inspection cameras.

“In the United States, this is the show to go to for camera technology,” he says. “There are other wastewater shows, but for our market and our customers, they are at this show, and they are looking for our type of products here. That’s why we come.” 800/656-4225;


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.