Camera would give Coquitlam new angle on storm sewers

photo supplied Janice McAndrew

After years of dealing with overflowing sewers, Coquitlam is ready for a close-up.

The municipality recently issued a request for proposals in an attempt to find a contractor who will supply the city with its first sewer inspection camera van.

“With a proper inspection program, defects can be located, identified, and repairs made before the issue progresses into a major problem,” explained Coquitlam’s director of public works Brad Lofgren in an email to the Dispatch.


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Coquitlam is looking to add a Sewer Inspection Camera Van to the city’s fleet, according to a recently released request for proposals.

The van would be equipped with a high-definition joystick-controlled camera that can pan and tilt and could carry out 150-foot inspections.

That van would also be outfitted with an office, allowing an operator to work at an industrial PC with quad core processing.

The van should make better use of city resources and save residents “considerable amounts of money,” Lofgren explained.

The city’s problems with overflowing sewage are mainly caused by old pipes being filled-to-overflowing with stormwater.

Roughly half of Coquitlam’s sewer system is located on private property, according to a previous release from the city. However, the city can use video inspection to analyze laterals that collect sewage from private property and bring it to the sewer main, Lofgren noted.

At the moment, the city has been hiring contractors for sewer video inspections.

“Although they provide a good level of service, the amount of work being generated throughout the region is making their availability more difficult, especially for lateral sewer inspections,” Lofgren explained.

Having the work done in-house can mean more timely inspections during various weather conditions, including wet weather.

Reducing the amount of groundwater that ends up in the sewer system should help the city cut down on sanitary sewer collection and treatment costs and delay: “very expensive upgrades to both the municipal and regional sanitary sewer collection systems and regional treatment systems,” Lofgren wrote.

The camera van can also be used for work such as “pinpointing defects for excavation crews,” which should also save time and money, according to Lofgren.

Bidding for the camera sewer inspection van is set to close July 12. The city previously offered grants of 25 percent off or up to $2,000 to help residents replace sewer connections that are at least 30 years old.


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