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VIDEO SEWER INSPECTIONS:
SHEDDING SOME LIGHT ON THE UNDERGROUND WORLD OF SANITARY SEWERS

If Jim McGregor had his way, schools would teach “Utilities 101” right along with algebra and world history.

Learn the tools needed to effectively record and analyze sewer line conditions by top rated Instructor, Jim McGregor.

“Most people have no idea where wastewater goes after you flush a toilet,” says McGregor. “And many sewer problems are caused because of this.”

McGregor teaches Video Inspections of Sanitary Sewers, a course offered through Rutgers University’s Office of Continuing Professional Education. The course focuses on giving municipal workers and sewer contractors the tools to effectively record and analyze sewer line conditions using video camera technology.

Historic Legislation and A New Career Path

McGregor was studying to design wastewater treatment plants and working as a surveyor for an engineering firm when his career trajectory was changed by the passing of the 1972 Clean Water Act.

The Clean Water Act, which sprang from the environmental movement following the infamous 1969 Cuyahoga River fire, put into place much of the framework for today’s wastewater treatment facilities and infrastructure. Along with the mandate that all sewer systems tie into government wastewater treatment facilities was the stipulation that municipal sewers be regularly inspected for leaks; hence the need for video inspections of sanitary sewers.

Among Other Mandates, the 1972 Clean Water Act Required:

  • Local sewer systems to be tied into government wastewater treatment facilities
  • Municipal sewers to be regularly inspected for leaks

Jim McGregor’s employer called upon him to take on the new task of sanitary sewer inspections. Disappointed by the lack of guidance available, McGregor began developing his own manual for evaluating the condition of sewers, and began teaching on the topic at Rutgers in 1994.

Topics Covered in Video Inspection Class

The course topics include types of video inspections, the history of 8 pipe materials and typical defects per material, rating sewer conditions, video inspection records and equipment, inspection procedures for municipal sewers and mini-camera inspection of building service connection pipes. The building service connection piping is particularly important, McGregor says, because it includes 50% or more of the sewer system in most municipalities.

He stresses the importance of industry standard inspection procedures and consistently coding in a reliable manner. Rating consistency can be achieved by using the rating system developed by the British Water Research Centre (WRC) which was modified by the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO) for use in North America.

HEC-RAS Map

Video inspections are an important tool for checking the infrastructure of sanitary sewers.

The Importance of Networking

As a member of the New Jersey Water Environment Association (NJWEA) and Water Environment Federation
(WEF), McGregor has participated in wastewater and collection systems conferences across the country, and traded tips and tricks with other industry professionals. That’s why he encourages his students to talk with each other to discuss and solve problems they’ve encountered in the field.

McGregor has also honed his course to make it relevant for municipal workers or contractors conducting video inspections of sewers anywhere in the United States; and for those in the New Jersey tri-state area, the class also offers a variety of continuing education credits.

Some of the Topics Covered in the Video Inspections of Sanitary Sewers Class:

  • How to deploy mini cameras in small (4”) pipes
  • How to use pan-and-tilt cameras in large (8”+) municipal sewer pipes
  • Proper processes & procedures for maintaining records
  • Using the NASSCO sewer rating system

To learn more about our Video Sewer Inspections course or to register, visit:
http://www.cpe.rutgers.edu/courses/current/eo0304ca.html

With our aging infrastructure, now more than ever, this course is an essential opportunity to gain expertise from
the “go to” guy for sewer inspections.


For more information, contact Program Coordinator,
Carol Broccoli at 848-932-7207 or by email at
broccoli@njaes.rutgers.edu