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Mar 23, 2011 7:37 PM by David Ortiviz

City uses sewer camera to locate problems

It's a world where no man has gone before or wants to. Under the street with a rat's eye view of the inside of a sewer line. The City of Pueblo recently used a water proof video camera to find a hole so large the street could have collapsed.

The sewer camera can travel through the sewer lines. It spins and moves side to side; it goes forward or backward; and it's remotely operated by a worker above ground.

Wastewater crews use the camera to look for anything that could clog the sewer lines. "The biggest problem we have is grease."
and potentially cause a backup," said Gene Michael, Pueblo Wastewater Director.

"It can back up into somebody's basement and cause a big mess," said Michael.

Some of the city's pipes are more than a century old. They're cracked or broken and need immediate repair. The city recently found a hole inside of a sewer line on Court St. Between 2nd and 3rd Streets. "We were concerned that if that void continued to grow, we could actually have a collapse of the street," said Michael.

City crews are now using video inspections to check all 470 miles of sewer lines in Pueblo. "If you don't have a means of seeing what's happening underground then you're just shooting in the dark, you don't know if you have a minor problem or a major problem," said Michael.

Along the way, they've made some interesting finds. "They've come across cell phones, pagers, and they've actually come across rings," said a wastewater worker.

So far, the city has inspected about 40% of the sewer lines in Pueblo.

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