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.
Since fall of 2018, OMAG (Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group) has provided three SL-RATs for member utilities to update and develop their sanitary sewer maintenance programs. Jay Neal from the City of Durant and Matt Duke from City of Muldrow give feedback on their SL-RAT integration process.
When asked, “Did the SL-RAT meet your expectations as to its usefuleness?”:
It exceeded our expectations. As with all newer technologies, it’s easy to be reluctant to accept its usefulness. However, the SL-RAT proved up to the challenge. Once we figured out its limitations and the best time of day to put it to use, it gave us an accurate picture of our sewer infrastructure and provided the data necessary to analyze it.
New Castle County (DE) was featured in the Delaware Public Media for reducing sanitary sewer overflows by 67% since 2005. Officials attribute their success to utilizing acoustic inspection to identify problematic areas and cleaning them before overflows happen. “The cost of doing proactive cleaning is much less than the cost of cleaning up an overflow.”- Rob Roff, Operations Service Manager
Cleaner Magazine included the Sewer Line Rapid Assessment Tool (SL-RAT) on their list of “The Best Money-Makers of 2017” – citing this acoustic inspection technology as one of the top tools that contractors relied on to keep their companies profitable.
“The SL-RAT provides a rapid assessment of pipe flow. Think of it as a pre-screening tool you can use before doing a conventional sewer cleaning and CCTV inspection. It can help prioritize the need to do expensive camera inspections.”
The Spring Edition of CityWorks’ InPrint publication highlights Augusta GA’s ability to streamline work processes through pairing two technologies. By integrating SL-RAT acoustic data with CityWorks software, they have established an automated system that allows for easy understanding and transparency of workflow. Creating such a process has allowed for improved response time to potential causes of SSOs.
“The response time was the biggest benefit for us. We had SL-RAT crews out in the field, and when they found blockages, they routed their inspection work order directly to their cleaning crews.”
– Jerry Philpot, IT & Technical Support Manager for Augusta, GA
New Castle County, Delaware launched an SL-RAT program and is working with regulators like the EPA to validate acoustic technology. They are now capable of using the SL-RAT to meet their 500-mile mandated annual inspection requirements. Since the SL-RAT is much faster and affordable than cleaning or CCTVing a pipe segment, acoustic inspection can help stretch resources and focus cleaning efforts.
We’ve overcome a big hurdle with the EPA and our state regulator. They now view the SL-RAT analysis as contributing to our 500-miles-per-year cleaning requirement. We’ve proven to them that the pipe is free-flowing.
Santa Barbara’s collection system relies on a cleaning cycle ranging from one month to 60 months. While they have been successful at reducing SSOs through increased cleaning efforts, they looked to further enhance efforts. Santa Barbara discovered that the majority of SSO events occurred from 6-in pipes on a 60-month cleaning cycle. Based on cost, speed and simplicity, they chose the SL-RAT to acoustically screen these lines to get a quick understanding of pipe conditions and deploy resources appropriately.
“We wanted to clean or inspect more. Prior CCTV work has helped us find structural defects and generate a rehabilitation backlog. The SL-RAT allows us to inspect much more pipe now and find blockage conditions before they create an SSO.”
Augusta, Georgia has been under a consent order from the Georgia Department of Environmental Protection to do a system wide evaluation. With the mission of mapping and evaluating their entire system, the SL-RAT has been a pivotal instrument for quickly screening small-diameter pipes for blockages. Their one SL-RAT crew is averaging 7,000 ft of pipes assessed per day, which in combination with root and grease control programs has reduced overflows by 25%.
“We’re taking baby steps, but the SL-RAT is one of those things that’s turning the baby steps more into a full stride. I honestly can’t say enough good things about it.”
– Jody Crabtree Asset Manager for Augusta Utilities Department
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The City of Charlotte, NC maintains more than 229,000 connections through 4,100 miles of sewer collection pipe. To address the challenge of maintaining this complex collection infrastructure, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Division (CMUD) partnered with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2005 to develop technologies for pipe inspection. The developed acoustic inspection technology, called SL-RAT, has inspected over 1 million feet of sewer pipe, demonstrating that the SL-RAT can quickly provide operators with valuable information on pipe conditions.
“We’re saving money and saving our time with the us of acoustics. You can see immediately what needs to be cleaned, so it takes the guesswork out and focuses your efforts.”
– Jon Beam, Environmental Program Inspector for CMUD
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