The City of Sheridan, Wyoming managed to significantly improve the efficiency and accuracy of its sewer maintenance program thanks to the implementation of new technology which provides a better targeted approach to cleaning the city’s sewer pipes. The city’s sewer system is comprised of more than 120 miles of pipeline with just over 2,500 manholes that also need to go undergo maintenance.
Over fifty percent of Sheridan’s pipes are made of vitrified clay while the rest are PVC. The clay pipes are significantly old and the material hasn’t been used since the 1970s which means greater maintenance is required as they can easily crack. Because of this, roots have remained an issue and because it can take up to three years to clean the pipes, new blockages are prone to developing in pipes that have already been cleaned.
Last year, Sheridan decided to implement the Sewer Line Rapid Assessment Tool (SL-RAT) to better assess the state of its sewer pipes. Using sound waves, the device can tell whether a pipe is blocked and its blockage severity. Since Sheridan began using the SL-RAT, it found that over half of its pipes did not need maintenance, significantly saving time and thousands of dollars in maintenance costs by focusing only on the pipes that need to be cleaned.
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