Man-entry culvert inspections

Why culvert integrity is important

Regular inspection of culverts is critical to ensure that surface water is able to flow away freely, so reducing the risk of flooding. Culverts that channel water under railway lines or highways are there to preserve the surrounding environment by directing water away from the ground. That stops erosion, which could cause structural damage to the rail or road, resulting in inconvenience — or danger — to the travelling public, and a strain on already-stretched budgets.

 Asset inspections and mapping of culverts is fundamental and forms a core part of maintenance plans and budgets. Naturally, those organisations with responsibility for culverts look to specialists like The Drain Hunter to provide detailed information and solutions to maintenance issues.

Inspecting culverts

Culverts may be constructed from brick, reinforced concrete, metal or plastic pipe. Diameters vary and dictate the inspection method required. Lanes is able to carry out any type of culvert survey: from using standard CCTV camera equipment and pole-cam technology, to man-entry walk-throughs and float-through surveys in a boat (or via equipment mounted on a flotation device) where necessary. The Drain Hunter is also known for its ability to access even the most difficult to reach locations.

Whichever method of culvert inspection The Drain Hunter uses, the service includes:
- a written report to coding classification OS19X
- DVD recording and photos where appropriate
- a drain survey report
- details of all manhole depths and locations
- GPS mapping of the drainage system
- recommendations with costs for any remedial work
- cloud-based storage via a secure link

Culvert rehabilitation

The Drain Hunter does more than just culvert inspection and cleaning. Where repair is necessary, The Drain Hunter  offers a full range of rehabilitation methods. And, as an industry leader in no dig technology, ie relining drains and sewers, The Drain Hunter has adapted the techniques for remedial work on decaying or damaged culvert structure.

Culverts are often larger than standard drains or sewers, but Lanes’ team of expert engineers has shown that reline rehabilitation is possible. A 1350mm-diameter culvert, for example, was relined during construction of a new section of M74 motorway near Glasgow. A contractor had tried and failed to line the 25-metre culvert, so Lanes’ troubleshooters were enlisted to find a solution. Innovative use of patch liners, with the largest reline packers ever manufactured for use in the UK, allowed the work to be completed in stages to manage the complexity and depth of the drainage system, and the water flow risks caused by sudden weather changes.

Safety first

For clients, health and safety is a major concern around man-entry culvert inspections. As a company with an award-winning safety system, Lanes follows the very strictest protocols. Culverts are classed as confined spaces so regulations require work to be carried out without entry, if it is reasonably practicable. However, where man-entry inspection is necessary, all relevant safety equipment is supplied and a rescue plan devised beforehand.

Health and safety (HSE) and culvert inspections

- Operation must be properly planned
- Risk assessments/method statements prepared
- Employees are suitably and sufficiently informed, instructed and trained
- Welfare set up for cleaning and changing facilities
- Personnel equipped with:
 * Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and if relevant Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE)
 * Rescue harnesses
 * Rescue winch
 * Rescue personnel
 * Communication system
 * Gas monitoring equipment
 * Emergency first aid equipment
 * Details of nearest hospital / emergency response 

- If boats are involved, lifesaving buoyancy equipment is deployed for each person and additional rescue plan, equipment and trained personnel provided
- For man-entry inspections, the added risk of fire and explosion, toxic gas, disease, health risks (weils disease, hepatitis, gastroenteritis etc), means this is also covered in planning, risk assessments/method statements, information, instruction and training.


For more information about one-off culvert inspections, rolling maintenance programmes, culvert rehabilitation or culvert relining (CIPP), call The Drain Hunter on 02 4915 7348.