Metro Vancouver is currently testing new technologies to help it better manage the regional sewer system.
Metro Vancouver is responsible for over 500 km of regional sewers – some as large as three metres in diameter – that collect wastewater from municipal sewers and carry it to regional wastewater treatment plants.
To properly manage this system, Metro Vancouver routinely inspects the inside of sewers using closed circuit televising (CCTV) equipment to assess their condition. While this works well for sewers with lower levels of wastewater, 25% of the system’s sewers are often full.
Rerouting wastewater from these sewers to inspect them while empty is very expensive, so Metro Vancouver is testing several advanced technologies to allow it to inspect sewers when they are full, including:
- an acoustic SmartBall, which listens for leaks as it rolls along the pipe;
- an electromagnetic probe (pictured above), which uses magnetic fields to measure pipe thickness;
- a focused electrode probe, which measures impressed current to detect leaks; and
- infrared leak detection, which measures temperature variations in the water outside of underwater sewers to find leaks.
The results of these pilot projects will be used to create an inspection program for all full Metro Vancouver sewers.
Watch this video to learn more about how our wastewater system works.