SIM Unveils New Video Pipe Inspection Specification

The Mission of SIM

SIM or Subsurface Investigation Methodology aims to raise the quality of private subsurface investigation results by creating industry specifications. These specifications combine the requirements of experienced-based training, tested technologies, and proven application methods. The combination results in an industry standard for non-destructive investigation of underground utilities, scanning concrete, and now VPI. SIM as a standard will ensure safety, limit damage to underground and structural assets, and increase locator contractor accountability on site.

SIM focuses on three primary aspects of subsurface methodology: training, equipment expertise, and best methodology practices.

While SIM has provided specifications for concrete scanning and ground penetrating radar since its inception, SIM is expanding into CCTV video pipe inspection (VPI).

What is Video Pipe Inspection?

It can be challenging to encounter a sewer or pipe problem without knowing where to dig. Video pipe inspection is a reliable way to locate utilities and detect leaks, cracks, and blocks.

A video camera is used to inspect inside a sewer line rather than digging up the entire length of a pipe to fix the problem. The cameras are beneficial for locating underground utilities since they can identify damage or obstructions even within the cement or underneath the foundation. Video pipe inspection can extend hundreds of feet through sewer mains and lateral lines.

Video pipe inspection is used to serve two primary purposes: location and analysis. Video pipe inspection is an investigation method that uses specially designed cameras to provide location and analysis of subsurface pipes. Due to inaccurate or outdated data, pipe location can be important for safe excavation. Additionally, infrastructure analysis is vital to diagnose pipe complications and provide accurate location data for underlying faults that need repairing.

Video pipe inspection (CCTV) is a sewer inspection service using industry-leading video cameras to prevent problems by inspecting underground water, sewer lines, and lateral pipelines. VPI technicians can locate clogs, investigate cross bores, find structural faults and damages, and conduct lateral sewer line inspections.
Video pipe inspection is a valuable diagnostic tool used to locate underground pipes. VPI can effectively identify holes, leaks, and obstructions as well as: 

  • Laterals, vaults, misalignment, and termination
  • Non-detectable sanitary and storm laterals
  • Potential weak points in pipe infrastructure
  • Grease accumulations and clogs
  • Breaks, corrosion, and punctures
  • The layout, grade, and depth of utility and sewage lines

Following cleaning or repairs, a video pipe inspection can also be used to verify that the work was completed correctly.

The Tools of the Trade

Video pipe inspection requires the use of multiple CCTV camera technologies. These different video cameras have different capabilities and are used in various pipe situations. The most common VPI cameras and camera systems are:

Push Cameras

Over time, pipes can become defective, and leaks can cause many issues such as contamination, voids under a slab, and sewer blockages. Sewer lateral investigations are routine for pipes 2″-6” in diameter. These cameras have the capability of:

  • Using high-resolution video cameras for inspections of interior sewer laterals and drains under buildings.
  • Extending range of the camera up to 300 feet.

Robotic CCTV Crawlers

VPI robotic CCTV crawlers are excellent for inspecting pipes (typically sewer and drain) 6” – 96” in diameter. A CCTV pipe inspection can give information about what is happening in the utility line and is used to detect cracks, infractions, and other imperfections in the line. These crawlers are also excellent at line location as well. With its 360˚ pan & tilt and zero-degree turning ability, the CCTV camera offers the maximum visibility and adaptability necessary for this line of work. The cameras on these crawlers have the capability to:

  • Travel 1,000LF from its insertion point
  • Track pipe grade
  • Relay real-time video back to a remote screen operated by our NASSCO certified project manager
  • Measure defects and ovality within the pipe

Lateral Launch Cameras

The lateral launch is a sewer inspection system that allows you to inspect laterals from the mainline. This service is commonly used for cross bore inspection or cross bore mitigation. These lateral launch systems utilize many features to inspect mainline and lateral sewer pipes. Some of the system’s features include:

  • The capability of crawling 1000’ down pipes of at least 6” diameter, and 150’ into laterals of 2” or greater
  • The auto-leveling camera can pan 360 degrees and tilt 90 degrees, allowing for a complete view of the pipeline.
  • Multi-frequency sondes are used for our technicians to locate the pipe from the surface.
  • Steerable 6-wheel drive and a rear-view camera facilitate navigation through the pipe.

SIM requires that VPI technicians are proficient with all these advanced technologies and more.

The Video Pipe Inspection SIM Specification

SIM VPI is a robust specification made to provide engineers, municipalities, contractors, and other clients a suggested framework for detailing the minimum requirements for a non-destructive location and inspection of pipes pre and post-excavation/ground disturbance. SIM also works in conjunction with NASSCO standards as well. SIM-certified Project Managers deliver a comprehensive NASSCO report upon project completion. Additionally, all NASSCO reports are MACP, LACP, and PACP compliant.

But what does that mean? It means that SIM VPI is a consistent, repeatable, and comprehensive methodology. Having a specification like SIM means that your VPI projects can be completed with a consistent and high level of quality.

How can you know that SIM VPI technicians are well trained for every scenario? Here are just a few of the prerequisite qualifications for SIM VPI technicians.

  • Field mentoring, three weeks of application training from a SIM certified mentor.
  • 40 hours of classroom curriculum investigative software training, SIM training.
  • Post classroom training mentoring, two weeks of the practical application of VPI equipment and investigative methods.
  • Simulated on-site training within a dedicated training facility that prepares CCTV Video Pipe Inspection Contractors for real-world projects.
  • Field Contractors shall maintain a(n)
    • Minimum OSHA 10 safety training certificate
    • OSHA Confined Space certificate
    • OSHA Hazwoper certificate
    • NASSCO: PACP, MACP, LACP certificates

Learn More and Schedule a Project with Us Today

Want to learn more about SIM or see the complete list of specifications for yourself? Visit our website to find more information about our concrete scanning, utility locating, and video pipe inspection specifications.

Join GPRS in the pursuit of 100% subsurface damage prevention. Please don’t wait; click to schedule a project with GPRS and allow our highly trained Project Managers to keep your projects on time, on budget, and safe.