Save Time & Money with an MACP Manhole Inspection Using 3D Technology

September 8, 2022

3d manhole scanning.

Any smooth operation is only as good as its underground infrastructure. When everything appears to be working well on the surface, it’s easy to forget wear and tear can happen below, causing potentially lasting problems to sanitary and storm sewer systems and industrial pipelines. That’s why it’s critical to conduct routine manhole inspections and stormwater assessments to detect damage before it’s too late.

Effectively protecting this integral infrastructure requires proactive evaluations to spot issues and stop inflow, infiltration and deterioration in their tracks. Advanced 3D manhole inspection camera technology is the fastest, most cost-effective way to get a full picture of the manhole. More importantly, this innovative approach showcases affordable solutions to restore full function to the manhole and surrounding systems before a shutdown is inevitably required.

What is a Manhole Inspection?

Manhole inspection services rely on CCTV technology to determine the condition of the infrastructure in real-time. A trained technician operating the camera can get a quick visual of the manhole’s interior surface and record problems detected to include in their manhole inspection report. Sources of inflow and infiltration are common issues technicians are on the lookout for. If left unchecked, inflow and infiltration can strain capacity within wastewater collection systems and cause costly backups and flooding.

While technology plays an important role in manhole inspections, experienced technicians trained to identify even the most minuscule deficiencies make all the difference in accurate reporting and outlining potential next steps for manhole rehabilitation. For the best in the business, look for a National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO) Manhole Assessment Certification Program (MACP) certified technician. NASSCO MACP manhole inspections are led by certified inspectors specially trained to utilize appropriate software to analyze data and make informed decisions about manhole restoration options.

NASSCO manhole inspections can be elevated even further through cutting edge 3D manhole inspection technology for increased efficiency.

What is a 3D Manhole Inspection?

To put it simply, 3D manhole inspections are like regular manhole inspections—but better! NASSCO MACP certified contractors conduct thorough sweeps of manhole infrastructure using advanced video technology that renders the image in 3D. With a more complete picture, technicians are able to calculate measurements with greater accuracy and analyze the full extent of deterioration.

Recent technology developments in the industry have taken off with much reported success from industry professionals. One notable example is SewerAI software which utilizes artificial intelligence for what the industry refers to as “automated defect recognition.” With this high-tech tool, manhole rehabilitation contractors can combine their extensive knowledge with the program’s capabilities to better specify problems within the manhole structure.

In a basic CCTV manhole inspection, collection of real-time data must be painstakingly paused every time a deficiency is detected because it must be recorded for later reference. With artificial intelligence and 3D technology like SewerAI, features like interactive video playback mean inspections can be completed twice as fast with full access to inspection data upon conclusion. Everything is backed up and stored for comprehensive evaluation. These enhanced efficiencies result in time and money saved.

Costs are cut further with increased precision detecting deficiencies as small as 1mm in size. Staying ahead of early risk factors allows for cost-effective manhole rehabilitation solutions to save the day before a full-on, expensive restoration is the only option. That’s a shutdown municipalities and industrial facilities don’t have time for in their fast-paced operations. Relying on 3D technology effectively streamlines the manhole inspection process.

3D Manhole Inspection Process

The first step for manhole inspection services involves inserting the camera attached to a flexible cable into a pre-existing access point. There, it’s expertly maneuvered by a NASSCO MACP certified contractor, twisting and turning as needed throughout the structure to fully capture problem areas.

Technology integrated with artificial intelligence and 3D capabilities, such as SewerAI, is trained to recognize issues frame by frame and televise footage in real-time to the technician on site. Otherwise undetectable defects like broken pipes, cracks, offset joints, root intrusions, calcium buildup and more are clearly displayed on screen and saved to the system for further analysis if needed.

The next step in an MACP manhole inspection relies on the expertise of the certified technician controlling the camera. Using their broad background and experience in the industry, the technician considers each individual complication detected as it relates to the full manhole and decides which factors are relevant for the report which will concisely relay suggested next steps to the customer.

So how long does it take to perform a 3D manhole inspection and receive the report? Turnaround times are minimal due to enhanced efficiency of the 3D technology and autocoding capabilities of SewerAI, which allows technicians to quickly outline a clear plan for the most affordable and long-lasting rehabilitation solution.

Manhole Inspection Reports: What You Get From a 3D MACP Manhole Inspection

A 3D inspection isn’t complete without a detailed manhole inspection report. At HK Solutions Group, reliable reports are guaranteed to our industrial and municipal customers who have relied on us for proactive approaches to maintain and improve their essential infrastructure. Using innovative software like Pioneer by SewerAI, contractors can evaluate the manhole structure in segments to easily visualize impacted areas and formulate solutions for the structure as a whole.

Manhole inspection reports should clearly outline identified manhole deficiencies and determine severity based on MACP certification standards. The best reports will include photos, location details and repair recommendations so the customer has a complete understanding of what should come next. HK goes above and beyond by spelling out a full cost estimate for the recommended repairs with a discount available if you choose our team to remedy issues. We make the decision easy because only the most cost-effective, logical solutions are presented to our customers.

Actionable Takeaways (and Cost Savings Opportunities) from a 3D Manhole Inspection

Contractors who’ve taken the time to develop a better understanding of a manhole’s condition should be ready to work with their customers to immediately address major concerns. Some of the key issues most commonly identified include:

  • Inflow & infiltration
  • Structural issues
  • Cracks & leaks at joints
  • Small repairs
  • Areas to watch

There aren’t always action items, but routine manhole inspections allow for regular reconsideration and monitoring of potential problem areas so there are never any surprises down the line. Once customers are aware of the present issues, we work together to determine next steps. Whatever HK finds during an inspection, we always factor our customers in. Our findings are for customer consideration and with their best interests top of mind. That means we will only proceed with the best solution collectively identified by the team and customer.

For maximum savings and longevity, potential fixes include:

Structural Manhole Rehabilitation

HK is a huge proponent and provider of trenchless manhole rehabilitation solutions which allow fully structural liners to strengthen the manhole from within with no digging required and minimal disruption to ongoing operations. These applications are best for crumbling structures that need substantial work to be restored to full function. HK’s Monoform PLUS™ manhole rehabilitation solution can provide longevity equivalent to a full replacement but with a much quicker turnaround and lower associated costs.

Joint Grouting

If a leaky joint is looking to cause trouble, pressure-injected chemical grouts can permanently seal against inflow and infiltration. For budget-conscious customers, this is a quick fix for a potentially serious issue if left unaddressed.

Manhole Repairs

Sometimes there’s only a few problem points within a manhole that don’t call for more extensive rehabilitation. This is often the case for conducting bench and invert repairs. In these instances, it’s most effective to perform strategic repairs rather than fully restoring the manhole. HK relies on our unique long-lasting fiberglass lining to reinforce flow within the sewer system.

Ongoing 3D Manhole Inspections

For those tricky “areas to watch,” often the best course of action is paying attention. That means undergoing routine 3D MACP manhole inspections to prevent further escalation and receive professional support as needed. Being proactive protects internal processes that are central to municipal and industrial infrastructure.

Proactive Planning

Perhaps the best outcome to result from regular manhole inspection services is the ability to proactively plan ahead. Immediate issues should always be addressed quickly. However, it’s equally important to keep in mind the full scope of the infrastructure and outline future opportunities to make improvements to ultimately increase the manhole’s lifespan.

How 3D Manhole Inspections Actually Save You Money

With all this said, a key component to any operation is their bottom line that allows business to boom. It’s not always easy to think ahead, and sometimes the unexpected comes knocking at the worst time. 3D manhole inspection camera technology and NASSCO MACP certified technicians can proactively address problems for one of the most important aspects of municipal and industrial operations. Protecting infrastructure through routine inspections prevents severe sewer damage, inopportune shut-downs and costly bills.

Plus, 3D technology enhanced by artificial intelligence improves accuracy and speed. It’s even more cost-effective in the moment to get the job done quickly, resulting in a high quality report clearly outlining next steps. The less time a technician has to spend on an inspection, the more money customers save, and the quicker lasting solutions can be put in place!

As an added benefit, all inspection data can be saved and revisited at a later date so customers can wait for a better time to proceed with potential rehabilitation without having to pay for another inspection. Infrastructure improvements can be scheduled over time once the full scale of the potential problems are understood and prioritized as needed. Small repairs can be made in the meantime if rehabilitation isn’t a feasible option. If rehabilitation is the best solution, it’s always a much better option than an expensive and time-consuming replacement.

Contact HK for a 3D Manhole Inspection

As of 2022, HK has completed 1 million linear feet of pipeline inspections and stormwater assessments in conjunction with SewerAI, making our partnership the first in the world to have achieved this milestone. Our highly trained team members are equipped to operate the most advanced technology in the industry, translating to time and money saved, every time. To get started with HK’s state-of-the-art manhole inspection services, fill out our contact form today.