The San Francisco Water Dept. was out in Glen Park today with a totally cool 6-wheeled gizmo about the size of a small dog that slowly made its way down the inside of the main sewer line down Chenery and sent photos back up to the truck above ground.
One worker stood near the manhole making sure its electronic tether was feeding in smoothly, while another inside sat at a console and used a joystick to drive the wheeled unit down the pipe.
Equipped with its own lights and cameras, the device sent a video image of sewer pipe back to the surface. The Water Dept. staffer used it to inspect the main pipe and each feeder pipe coming in from the houses down the block. He looked for cracks, leaks and tree root, documenting each possible problem by noting it on the video and on mapping software that contained the street’s sewer hookups.
The main sewer pipe that runs under Chenery is from 1911, by their records, but the cast iron seemed to be holding up well, they said.
The workers guessed that because they were being asked to check the line, Chenery was in line to get repaved. “They want to make sure there aren’t any major leaks” that could cause washouts before they start, one worker said.
For the first photo the Water Dept. staffer stopped the gizmo at the intersection of Chenery and Thor and had it look up, towards the manhole cover above it. The second two are of the sewer itself just before that intersection.