The Strangest Place I've Deployed My Sewer Inspection Crawler

ROVVER X’s durability, plus its compact, portable design, means it can be deployed in a range of off-road — and off-label — sites

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The Strangest Place I've Deployed My Sewer Inspection Crawler

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Most of the work tackled by Envirosight’s ROVVER X sewer inspection crawler is routine sewer inspection work: driving up mainlines, capturing CCTV footage for mandatory, scheduled assessments. But this nimble, powerful crawler is designed to withstand even the most punishing underground environments. That durability, plus its compact, portable design, means that over the years it has been deployed in a range of off-road — and off-label — sites.

Through a swamp into a manure line

The majority of Green Bay Pipe customers are municipalities in Wisconsin and upper Michigan in need of standard cleaning, televising and point repair lining. But occasionally its crews venture off the beaten path.

“Last summer we were called to a local mega farm where they were putting in a new manure line through a swamp,” says Green Bay Pipe & TV co-owner Steve De Keyser. “It was directionally bored and they had a leak. They were able to dig down to the pipe about 100 feet from the swamp and cut out a section of it to gain access. They wanted to know exactly where that leak was, but in HDPE when they fuse fittings and joints together, it leaves huge butt joints and it was a 10-inch pipe. We had to navigate past several wye connections and through a valve to reach the damaged area.”

Fortunately, the ROVVER X was up to the challenge. “We were able to steer around all of that stuff in there and find it,” De Keyser says. “It was a challenge just because of the conditions we were in, but we found it, got a liner in there and got it sealed, thanks to the equipment.”

Under a grain silo

Carl Fielder, the video inspection coordinator for Luckinbill, Inc., in Oklahoma, has used his crawler in a range of unique locations. One trip brought his crew to a grain silo, where the owners needed assistance finding a leak in the wall of a holding area. “We go in and back our van into the space for tractors and grain trucks,” Fielder says. “Then we put the ROVVER in these chutes, slid him down carefully. From there he’s in a huge 50x50 holding area, driving on top of wheat seeds looking for a crack in the wall. I could see the wet spot, marked it and then drove the ROVVER out. That’s the fun part about this job; you never know where you’ll be.”

On another occasion, Luckinbill’s pros found themselves inspecting from inside a mall, in the middle of the holiday rush. And yet another call brought them to a surgical center to search for a pipe break. The team donned paper coats, booties and goggles, and the ROVVER X inspection crawler received a deep clean and was covered in plastic wrap before entering the clinic.

"In the middle of the woods"

Ground Penetrating Radar Systems (GPRS) has become a national name in utility locating, and the ROVVER X’s ability to travel helps its teams go above and beyond to get the job done. “I’m out on a job right now in the middle of the woods in Texas that our competitors couldn’t do because they’ve got big trucks and can’t get their equipment out here,” explains Kyle Humphreys, GPRS’s VPI manager for the western U.S. “We rented a Jeep, put our equipment in the back and are trekking through mud to get to these manholes. Currently we are inspecting about 17,000 linear feet for this part of the project. We did about 10,000 prior to this for the same customer and we got called back because no one else can do this. We did it in a timely manner and the customer was really pleased with the deliverable.”

Similarly, another crew went off-road to inspect the sanitary lines on Fire Island in New York. “We put our inspection equipment on a golf cart with a generator and took the ferry across to the island to inspect the island’s lines, which needless to say were not in good shape being underwater.”

With six-wheel drive, intuitive controls, and compact, portable design, ROVVER X can handle even the most challenging sewers — or silos, or woods, or manure lines, or… wherever the job takes you.

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