Sunday, June 23, 2024


Without a doubt, a fully equipped inspection van with clearly structured operator’s and equipment sections is the best base from which to perform a wide variety of inspection jobs with equal comfort and efficiency. But how can users do a successful professional inspection if the sewer reaches are located at operating sites that are inaccessible to an inspection vehicle?

This was the task facing the Steinauer Kanalservice AG in May 2022. The family owned company that was established in 1932 and which is based in Einsiedeln in the Swiss canton of Schwyz was commissioned by the municipality of Illgau for the cleaning and CCTV inspection of its mainline sanitary sewer.

A Hiking Path Down into the Valley

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What at first sight seems to be a commonplace job turned out to be a challenge when taking a closer look at the surroundings of the idyllic village with a population of 790. Illgau is situated in the Alpine foothills in central Switzerland between the Muotathal and the Ibergeregg with a pass elevation of 1,406 m above sea level. From the lowest point in the municipality in the village area to the highest point in the municipality, the Huusmätteli on the Hessisbohlerfirst, there is a difference in altitude of almost exactly 1,000 m. The plastic mainline sanitary sewer with pipe diameters of DN 200 to DN 250 runs from the village at the top of the hill down the mountain slope into the valley. The sewer with a total length of 1 km was laid 40 years ago in the softer subsoil under the steep woods in order to avoid a considerably longer distance in the hard rocky stone around the slope. The last inspection took place 10 years before so its condition was to be documented again according to the normal schedule.

In order not to overload the retention tank, the inspection was performed in beautiful weather during a dry period. The sewer section was cleaned beforehand. For this purpose, the sewer cleaning truck was driven to the village which is accessible by road and a tunnel.
The start section was then cleaned, beginning from the highest point of the sewer.

Similarly, the other end was cleaned, beginning from the lowest point in the valley. The section between the beginning and end points could only be flushed because it was inaccessible to a vehicle.

Inspection with a Mobile Solution

The CCTV inspection began at the top of the hill. For this, the compact sewer tractor system MainLite fit was transported to the starting point in the village. From there, the sewer sections were accessed via the manholes located along the extremely steep hiking
path down into the valley. IBAK Helmut Hunger GmbH & Co. KG is the manufacturer of the versatile inspection system for mainline sewers. This is available both for vehicle installation and as a mobile solution. The latter is operated with the BP 100 control console
which features a touchscreen and a fully-fledged PC. Two joysticks are used to operate the camera and the tractor. Just like with an inspection vehicle, all jobs in mainline sewers from simple video recordings through to comprehensive data transfer to euro norm standards
with all measuring functions can be performed with the MainLite fit.

In Illgau, the T66 camera tractor and the ORION 2.9 pan and rotate camera were operated with the Mainlite fit. The motor-driven winch with 200 m of camera cable and an integrated length counter is located under the comfortable seat. The mobile system was powered by
the LPS portable power supply unit.

Results Right on Target

Four employees from the Steinauer Kanalservice AG were on site to clean and inspect the mainline sanitary sewer. The work on the hillside in Illgau took a total of 2 days. The condition of the sewer sections was fully documented. Even though they were 40 years old, only very few isolated minor defects that did not require immediate repair were detected.

Because of the topographically complex landscape with a high percentage of forest, the Swiss company is quite often faced with operations in hard-to-access sewer reaches. Nevertheless, the inspection job in Illgau was a particular challenge which was successfully mastered with the MainLite fit. If the team of the Steinauer Kanalservice AG should encounter pipes with bigger dimensions during future mobile operations, they can operate the T 76 tractor and the Orpheus pan and rotate camera with the versatile camera tractor system. If a greater amount of information is required to check the condition and proper functioning of a pipe, the run of the sewer section can be recorded with this during the camera inspection and a profile dimension measurement can be performed over the
entire length of the reach.

An Orpheus HD pan and rotate camera is also included in the new full HD inspection van that will enhance the company’s fleet of vehicles. A Mercedes Sprinter is being equipped by IBAK. Steinauer Kanalservice AG is technically advised and supported with competent service by the company H & P Technik AG, located in Switzerland.

Multifunctional System

The MicroGator Air is a main line cutter system, working in diameters from DN200 (relined) up to DN800, which is completely embedded in the IBAK MainLite concept. The modular design components can be flexibly adapted, combined with each other and extended with other functions at any time so that they can be used for both rehabilitation and inspection work.

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