A baseline inspection is a key part of our prescribed methods at RedZone Robotics. These inspections allow us to help our customers perform the correct preventative maintenances instead of emergency repairs. A seemingly healthy system could produce a dangerous sewer overflow or become a deadly sinkhole in an instant, costing cities and their residents millions of dollars in repairs. Preventative maintenance, guided by a baseline and subsequent inspections can protect your city or municipality from expensive and deadly hazards caused by catastrophic failure.
Not convinced? We’ve gathered a short list of the top 5 reasons for a baseline inspection and how it can impact your long term preventative Operations and Maintenance (O&M) budget.
1. A baseline sewer inspection determines which pipes are suffering from corrosion.
Its important to determine where corrosion is occurring within your system, as well as quantify how much corrosion is present. A baseline inspection provides a snapshot of each pipes’ health at a point in time. It allows you to record the level and type of corrosion occurring to compare against later inspections. This can be especially helpful in the rehab decision-making process. Eventually, baseline data allows for a comparison of all assets in the system. This comparison can clearly show which assets are deteriorating at the fastest rate over time.
2. Allows for prioritization of areas for sewer cleaning and determines the extent of cleaning required.
Sewer systems can stretch for hundreds of miles and it can be difficult to determine where a blockage has occurred or is forming. Cleaning? Jetting? Or maybe you don’t need either – you just need the right robot for the job.
Performing a baseline inspection with the right tools may allow you to decrease the amount of time and money spent in the inspection phase.
Many of RedZone Robotics’ inspection tools are Many of RedZone Robotics’ inspection tools are able to navigate and inspect pipes that might be impassable for other tools on the market. Inspecting prior to cleaning may show that cleaning, jetting, and other maintenances really aren’t necessary to complete an initial inspection.
This can put thousands of dollars back into your budget.
3. Allows decision-markers to judge the effectiveness of a sewer cleaning project.
Sewer inspection allows you to determine how much sediment or blockage was removed after performing maintenance. This is a valuable resource in deciding whether a secondary cleaning deployment is necessary to prevent a blockage. This step also allows decision-makers to update the baseline “grade” for the pipe and improves forecasting over time. There is not doubt that a launching a sewer cleaning program ahead of baseline inspections will be more costly. Cleaning contractors have to make assumptions as to how “dirty” a system is if they don’t have baseline information about how much debris is in the system. These assumptions add risk and cost. Without baseline knowledge of overall system health, it’s impossible to know the effectiveness of your cleaning program.
4. A baseline inspection creates a starting point for comparison over time.
Baseline sewer inspection information allows analysis and visualization of changes within a pipe over time. Compare your baseline inspection to a personal health program. Most folks will record body measurements, like weight or BMI, when starting a personal health program. This starting point allows them to see the amount of progress or failure over a period of time. It also allows them to adjust their health plan based on their results.
Pipes and municipalities can also benefit from similar record-keeping and analysis. Over time, this data allows them to pinpoint locations with the biggest issues. It also informs forecasting of locations with the greatest potential for failures. A pipe that suddenly shows signs of corrosion, out of alignment with previous inspections, is a red flag for immediate attention.
5. Ensures that rehabilitation is occurring where it should
The question on most city managers’ minds, “Am I replacing or rehabilitating the right pipes? Am I spending my budget where I should be?” RedZone can answers those questions with a simple baseline inspection and ensure that funds are not being “wasted” on pipes that are considered healthy. Giving the right pipes attention keeps your system at its healthiest and allows you to make the best use of the funds available.
6. A baseline inspection can help with both short and long term budgeting and financial planning.
Yes, the title of the post is 5 Reasons to Perform a Baseline Inspection, but we’ve added number six, anyways. This is the variable that often has the most say in infrastructure decisions.
Many of the cities and municipalities we work with must carefully budget and fund their projects. We truly understand the value of a dollar in these situations. All five of the reasons discussed above can lead to more informed maintenance plans, better financial forecasting and planning, and ultimately allow decision-makers to hone their decision making with the best and most informative data available.
The bottom line – better data, gathered through a baseline inspection and preventative maintenance, leads to better decisions that affect your bottom line and increase ROI.