Improving Cleaning Efficiency at City of Eagan, Minnesota

Eagan SL-RAT User

The City of Eagan in Minnesota suspected that significant resources were deployed to clean pipes that did not need maintenance through their time-based maintenance program. In 2018, Eagan started using the SL-RAT to screen pipes prior to cleaning. By using a summer crew to inspect their yearly cleaning objectives, they could save more than $150,000 and 3,000 crew hours annually that would have been used to clean pipes with plenty of flow capacity.

The SL-RAT is compact, it’s extremely reliable, it’s robust and it does exactly what it’s supposed to do. We wanted to be more efficient and the technology is viable for what we’re trying to do.Brent Massmann, Utilities Operations Supervisor | City of Eagan

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Clear Lines Provide Good Acoustics

Where did the idea for acoustic inspection technology come from? What makes the SL-RAT a valuable tool for collection systems maintenance? How has the technology developed with time? InfoSense’s CEO, Alex Churchill, answers these questions and many more in an interview with Municipal Sewer and Water.

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Bend, Oregon Incorporates Innovative Technologies to Meet Initiatives

The City of Bend (Oregon) Utility Department oversees 474 miles of pipe for it’s 94,000 residents. The city has experienced rapid population growth, from 34,000 in 1999 to 94,000 in 2019. Despite experiencing rapid population growth and development, the city has adopted new technologies to ensure that SSOs are down and preventative maintenance tasks are on target, without increasing staff headcount. One of the technologies Bend is utilizing is the Sewer Line Rapid Assessment Tool (SL-RAT). By using acoustic inspection technology to rapidly inspect lines, they are eliminating unnecessary cleaning, redundant vehicles and high energy labor practices.

Typically, our system is in good shape in newer areas where it is predominantly PVC and doesn’t need cleaning. This assessment tool helps us focus our line-cleaning and root0cutting efforts where we need it, such as the older parts of town. It is helping us get through our system better, faster and eliminating SSOs.”


– Orrin Libolt, Collection System Supervisor, City of Bend Utility Department

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Little Rock’s Award-winning Sewer Rehab Program Nixes Temporary Fixes

Although Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority experienced enough overflow issues to warrant a lawsuit by the Sierra Club and Administrative Order on Consent just twenty years ago, they now have an award-winning program in place that has significantly reduced SSO events. One of the tools driving LRWRA’s maintenance program is the SL-RAT. “Rather than committing to clean out sewer lines whether it’s needed or not, LRWRA is using acoustic monitoring to identify pipes that need attention.” By focusing efforts on areas that need attention, the Authority has reduced dry-weather overflows while reducing wasted resources.

I think rodding pipes every day for the sake of rodding is the old way of doing things… Not only is acoustic monitoring cost-effective, but it’s environmentally responsible as well. Do we really want an additional 15 trucks out there, spewing smoke and causing congestion?”

– Greg Ramon, CEO, Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority

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Reducing Risk: How Oklahoma’s Primary Municipal Insurer is Helping Utilities Prevent SSOs

Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group (OMAG) is an interlocal co-operative insurance group serving over 500 Oklahoma cities an towns. In 2018, they started an SL-RAT loan program, which allowed member utilities to loan units at no charge. Although the program was only created two years ago, OMAG’s SL-RAT loan program has already helped 83 Oklahoma utilities acoustically inspect over 2 million linear feet. The acoustic inspection results are giving clarity to users on where to prioritize efforts.

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Acoustic Inspections Helps Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Prioritize Cleaning

Rehoboth Beach will utilize a part of a wastewater planning grant to rapidly screen 77,000 linear ft of sewer pipes using acoustic inspection technology. Results of this screening will help focus closed-circuit TV and sewer cleaning work, and is expected to take four weeks to complete.

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InfoSense Approved Vendor through the 791 Purchasing Cooperative

InfoSense, Inc. Press Release

Charlotte, NC, April 7, 2020

InfoSense, Inc., manufacturer of the Sewer Line Rapid Assessment Tool (SL-RAT), is now an approved vendor through the 791 Purchasing Cooperative. The 791 Purchasing Cooperative is a leading national purchasing cooperative, assisting thousands of participating public agency members with saving time and costs associated with completing purchasing processes. Approved vendors are examined by the purchasing cooperative to ensure best value cooperative contracts.

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InfoSense Receives EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework Certification

InfoSense, Inc. Press Release

Charlotte, NC, April 7, 2020

InfoSense, Inc., manufacturer of the Sewer Line Rapid Assessment Tool (SL-RAT), has been certified by the US Department of Commerce and European Union under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. Companies self-certified through the Privacy Shield framework are committing to GDPR data transfer requirements, ensuring data protection obligations for European Union customers. The framework is administered by the International Trade Administration and U.S. Department of Commerce.

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Optimizing Root Control with Acoustic Inspections- Western Virginia Water Authority

Western Virginia Water Authority is a mid-sized utility in Southwest Virginia that provides water and sewer service to ~250,000 people. In 2016, they started looking for ways to optimize the process for identifying pipes for chemical root control. To effectively manage an abundance of CCTV work orders, Western Virginia Water Authority utilized acoustic technology to screen their system for potential blockages. Over 4,500 acoustic inspections were conducted, resulting in identifying 557 with Blocked or POOR/low FAIR blockage assessments – scores of 0 to 4. Resources could be allocated to the 12% of pipes with identified need.

“The use of the SL-RAT greatly reduced the amount of time that needed to be spent televising and allowed for quick screening of the system.”

To read the full American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Paper, click here.

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MSW Spotlight: SL-DOG Helps Manage Data

The Sewer Line Data OrGanizer, or SL-DOG is a software specifically designed by InfoSense to help utilities manage their acoustic inspection data collected with the SL-RAT. The MSW Product Spotlight describes how the SL-DOG can facilitate data collection, management and visualization, ultimately helping to organize and understand the vast amount of data gathered while using the SL-RAT. Click button to read full product spotlight.

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