Trenchless Technology Center
Louisiana Tech University

Water Environment Research Foundation

Sewer laterals are being inspected to identify :
  • Existence of leaks, e.g. cracks, joints, etc. that are either actively leaking at the time of inspection or with stains that indicate leaking at other times, and sometimes to determine severity of these leaks (i.e. to quantify them for certain rainfall or groundwater conditions)
  • Various connections to the pipe such as area drains, etc. that are likely sources of inflow
  • Structural defects such as cracks or holes in pipes that have led or could lead to the collapse of pipes
  • Any defects at connections in the pipes that are often a weak link
  • Existence of roots in pipes and the extent of their growth in them
  • Corrosion and mineral buildup that have reduced the hydraulic capacity of pipes in time
  • Bends in the pipe (location and degree)
  • Any existing sags or misaligned joints that can promote buildup of material in the pipes
  • Any change in pipe material along the length of lateral as well as change in pipe diameter
The lateral inspection methods shown below are included in our database. Click on the link to see details.
Smoke Testing
Dyed Water Testing
Lateral CCTV Inspection
  Push-Type Lateral CCTV
  Self-Propelled Lateral CCTV
Mainline CCTV
Pressure Testing
  Air Pressure Test
  Water Exfiltration Test
Electro Scanning
Water Exfiltration Test

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The water exfiltration test can be performed in one step (testing the whole lateral) or in two steps (usually testing the upper lateral first and the lower lateral next). A cleanout is required at the downstream end of each portion of lateral that would be tested. A plug is inserted into the lateral pipe just downstream of the cleanout and a short PVC pipe is mounted as an extension of the cleanout to the required height. Thus isolated section of the lateral is then filled with dyed tinted water under pre-determined hydrostatic pressure and the water level in the stack is monitored measuring the drop in water level over a period of time (e.g., 30 min).

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