Drainage Inspection: a 2021 view

Understanding how the world of drainage inspection looks and works is not an answer set in stone; it is frequently evolving.  Not so much because of the pipework being inspected, but because the requirements, or expectations of those involved have heightened.  We are after all, talking about trenchless technology, a method that was developed to in order to limit disruption and promote efficient repairs where needed.  So what does the current drainage inspection landscape look like?  Who are the key stakeholders and what are their requirements in 2021?  And importantly, what has changed thus far…


The Property Owner

Also defined as the customer, this stakeholder doesn’t necessarily want a drainage inspection service.  The chances are however, they have a drainage situation that they need resolved; bad smells, blockages or flooding for example.  So they need the results of the drainage inspection survey to be used by professionals to undertake any corrective work.  On the surface that seems simple and straight forward, but the problem however is that the majority of drainage infrastructure is well beneath the surface, out of plain sight.  Couple this with the understanding that there is a great chance that property owners are not aware of the intricacies of the pipework beneath their feet, and you have grounds for lack of understanding and well, trust.  Especially if the proposed work is likely to set them back a lot of money.

You can liken the situation to owning a car, purchased simply to get from A to B. You know that it needs fuel, you should wash it regularly and so on, but it is just a mode of transport to you.  As far as you are concerned, whilst the car is running fine, the MOT is an annual thing you need to do. So when the results of this test (or survey) come back, telling you that “XYZ needs replacing”, “PQR is wearing thin but it’s cheaper to get everything done at the same time” you might question the mechanic’s methods.  But at the same time, you haven’t the skills or abilities to check for yourself, so you know you should trust them.  It’s a catch twenty-two.

You cannot expect the end customer to understand the finer details of the drainage inspection industry.  No-one purchases a property on the strength of the drainage system in the foundations.  But you can help them to understand, by showing them the results in a clear and concise manner, and providing them with confidence in the service you have provided to that point.  Being able to clearly show them evidence that a problem exists, or that it doesn’t, will set their mind at ease, benefit the engineer’s reputation at the same time.  Take a look at mina Survey, built-in to all Scanprobe drainage inspection systems, it creates detailed reports for you in minutes, without the need for additional software or subscriptions.


The Drainage Inspection Engineer

For a drainage engineer, a drainage inspection, well, that’s their bread and butter. They could be asked to perform one as the result of a known issue, or perhaps it is required in order to sign-off a newly installed pipeline infrastructure. Another, increasingly common requirement is for new homeowners to have drainage inspection surveys carried out whilst in the process of purchasing a new home.  Either way, it is the role of the drainage engineer to perform the survey, and in all walks of life, time is important.  It could be the difference between grabbing lunch or missing out, reading your children a bedtime story or missing out, getting to the pub in time for the football or missing the first half.   Helping them to engage with the end-customer and convey the situation clearly is a great start.  Equally, if they need to deliver their findings back to head office to be processed or evaluated, this takes time too.

Drainage inspection engineers at a manhole

Let’s be honest, some days run smoother than other; some drainage inspection jobs are more straight-forward than others, and some days just take longer.  But being equipped to avoid delays where possible can make all the difference. Built-in survey reporting software has been designed and developed over the years to enable the drainage inspection engineer to carry out his/her work in the most efficient manner, whilst also collecting the data for future use. A mina report is a perfect leave-behind for the customer to look over, and also makes for a great reference for you when discussing details of your drainage inspection survey.  All of the Scanprobe range of drain camera systems come with at least two methods of recording your survey findings, so you can work how you work best – click here to take a look at our product page for more information.


The Drainage Inspection Company

What’s the famous old saying – time is money. And there are only 24 hours in a day. And people do need to sleep.  So ultimately getting as much done as possible in the time you have is vital.  You want to feel confident that your team are able to go to site, perform the survey and get the results back to the office or to the customer as efficiently as possible.  Part of your service might be providing a written report, and depending upon your set up, this could mean accounting for one of the following:

  • employing someone to interpret the drainage inspection findings & format the survey data into a physical report
  • cutting back on time on-site to complete paperwork
  • allowing a day off-site in order to complete paperwork for the week
  • allowing for over-time

Drainage inspection reporting software

All of these options have cost implications, and some also have time implications.  The latter can impact on whether or not you land the job to carry out any repair works, because, what’s to stop another company coming in and providing results quicker than you can?  Often the company owner can also be the aforementioned drainage engineer, which means you need to take the drainage engineer’s situation into account as well.

Another thing to consider in 2021 are the minor things called formalities.  Whilst residential customers may not necessarily be expecting a formal report of your findings, at least not immediately, the chances are your commercial companies will. Local authorities, councils and businesses are likely to need a report in order to sign off any additional work that may be required, or to sign off payment for jobs deemed complete.  Drainage inspection surveys are growing increasingly common in the new-build sector, for builders to obtain job sign-off, so it would help if producing a report like this could be done on site via a few button presses…

Click here to talk to a member of our team to find out how mina Survey on our Maxprobe & TrapJumper drainage inspection systems can help you to:

  • speed up your service
  • speed up your surveys
  • free up your resources, and
  • help you to provide a complete drainage inspection service to your clients, with minimal additional effort


For an insight into how mina Survey works, click here to check out this blog post and video.

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