Creating a Clean Water Legacy

Roanoke, Virginia, takes a proactive approach to stormwater management with the help of ROVVER X inspection cameras.

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Creating a Clean Water Legacy
The Roanoke Stormwater Utility bought two new ROVVER X sewer inspection camera crawlers to aid them in their mission to create a “Clean Water Legacy.”

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Nicknamed the Star City of the South, Roanoke, Virginia, has a population of just under 100,000 and 43 square miles of land. The Roanoke River flows through the city and serves as one of its main water sources. Some stretches meander through parks and natural settings, while others flow through industrial areas. In 2014, the Roanoke Stormwater Utility was formed to help protect the River’s water quality by controlling and eliminating stormwater pollution from municipal storm sewer systems, construction sites and industrial activities.

The Roanoke Stormwater Utility bought two new ROVVER X sewer inspection camera crawlers and a Quickview Haloptic zoom camera to aid them in their mission to create a “Clean Water Legacy.”

“Our ROVVER X sewer inspection cameras have been imperative in identifying and inspecting the city’s storm drains and pipelines, as well as investigating illicit discharges,” says Ryan Apple, the utility’s maintenance crew leader. “In the last five months, we have televised over 100,000 feet of pipe with our ROVVER X systems; with their predecessor we only inspected about 17,000 feet of pipe in a year.

“We take a proactive approach to stormwater management. Knowing the condition of our stormwater infrastructure and being able to locate assets helps us better manage the quality of our water source and prevent flooding,” he adds. The information the stormwater crew collects is used by engineers to address flooding concerns and to benchmark assets. “There have been situations where we’ve located sources of pollutants, such as a gasoline leak or substantial water ingress, with the help of the technology we have.”

The utility is also involved in a GIS study to map the city’s storm-drain system, and is concurrently assessing the state of the city’s graywater infrastructure. The utility’s inspection crew uses their ROVVER X sewer cameras and Quickview zoom camera to readily identify storm drain features including pipe orientation, termination points and outfalls. “Before conducting the GIS study we only knew of 219 miles of stormwater pipelines. Now we’ve discovered we have more than 400 miles and we’ve only inspected one-third of the City's stormwater infrastructure,” Apple says.

For more about the ROVVER X and its applications, visit


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