Wastewater detectives hit the streets

Published: 30 May 2024

Wastewater detectives will be using a special mobile camera to assess the internal condition and structures of our sewer pipes in parts of Ashburton and Methven during June and July.

A crew from Citycare Water will be working over a six-week period and advising residents by letter drop when they are in their vicinity.

Group Manager Infrastructure and Open Spaces Neil McCann said the work was part of Council’s regular monitoring of wastewater pipes.


“The operators use closed-circuit television, with a rover camera connected to a fibreoptic cable, which sends video and images to a laptop. They are looking for irregularities in the pipelines such as cracks, water infiltration, breakages, tree roots and collapsed areas and their report helps tell us which pipes need to be renewed.”

The CCTV surveillance is less invasive than digging up a pipe to inspect it. Some of the pipes being inspected will be glazed earthenware installed in the 1920’s.

When the crew is on your street, people will see a Citycare Water van and combi truck parked near a manhole. The mobile camera can inspect up to 120 metres at a time, and the 150mm camera broadcasts a signal so the operator can pinpoint exactly the potential problems.

Mr McCann said the crew were specialists and qualified to undertake the routine monitoring.

“It makes good sense to use technology to help us determine when and where we need to do renewals and it lets us view the health of the pipe without digging it up and causing major inconvenience.”

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