Sonora, CA — Cameras are helping Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) determine the state of the sewer pipes. The District has started a five year capital improvement program for its sewer collection system. In October, the Board approved a $250,000 contract with Mountain Pipeline of Truckee to inspect about 55% of the District’s sewer system by the end of 2015. TUD Associate Engineer Erik Johnson says the first phase of the program involves cleaning and inspecting over 60 miles of sewer main using a closed circuit television camera system to inspect the sewer lines.
Johnson says, “We anticipate we will find all sorts of things. We’ll find good pipe, pipes with cracks in it, pipes with roots in it, pipes that sag and don’t flow or carry their full capacity. Then we will determine which sections are the worst or need the most immediate attention.”
Some of the pipes are more than a hundred years old and are made out of cast iron. Johnson says fixing the pipes could cost millions of dollars. He adds the District will look at grants and other funding sources to pay for the repairs. Crews started working in the Sonora Vista area this week and then they will head to the Willow Springs area.
TUD General Manager Tom Scesa says “Our Board has placed a priority on replacing water and sewer infrastructure and this project is right on line with their objectives.”
The District has around 647,000 feet of sewer pipe that will be inspected during the project.