The drains which leave domestic and commercial properties and the public sewers which carry the waste to sewage treatment works across the city of London do not always work without problems. In fact, because most of London’s drainage system was built over one hundred years ago the drainage experts across the capital find themselves battling every day with drain blockages of different types. From simple blockages caused by the build-up of silt and other natural occurring substances, to blockages caused by the disposal of liquid fat, it’s clear to see that drainage engineers have their work cut out to keep the city’s drains and sewers working properly.

The different types of CCTV survey equipment

One of the biggest advances in drainage technology over the past few years has been the introduction of CCTV survey equipment. Instead of blindly digging up a section of sewer to find the cause of a blockage it is now possible to insert a small camera into a drain or a sewer to visually inspect the problem before suggestions on a possible fix can be made.

There are a few different types of CCTV survey equipment. These include:

• Small micro cameras fitted to the end of a length of tubing which can be inserted into small diameter pipes and voids. LED lighting is fitted to the camera so clear images of the inside of the pipe can be relayed to a computer screen.
• Adjustable CCTV cameras – to enable a full visual inspection of the pipework some types of CCTV survey equipment is fitted with rotating cameras which can pan and tilt whilst inside the pipe. These can survey joints or defects in the pipe quickly and easily.
• Electrically driven tractor units – for larger pipes it might be necessary to insert an electrically driven tractor unit or crawler unit into the pipe. These are essentially small robots which can be controlled from the surface and driven through the drain or sewer system.

The latest CCTV cameras offer full-colour images and use a range of recording systems that store the data and then we upload it to Dropbox so that you can watch the video at your convenience. And with laser drain profiling, a system which determines the exact profile of the internal drain structure, now also becoming popular, the technology on offer can really help diagnose a drainage fault.

CCTV drain surveys for home buyers

With the vast array of technology on offer it would be easy to think that a CCTV survey would be expensive. This is however a common misconception and does put some people off choosing a CCTV drain survey when they have a problem with their drains.

Cheap CCTV drain surveys are a great way for potential home buyers to take a look at the drainage under their prospective property. New home buyers may have a comprehensive structural survey done before they put pen to paper, but this rarely looks at the condition of the drains. Properties built decades ago can suffer from drainage problems as the age of the pipes can affect their structural integrity. However with a comprehensive CCTV survey report a home buyer can assess what work, if any, will need to be done on the drainage and adjust the purchase price accordingly.

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