Regular culvert inspection and cleaning are essential to maintain the integrity of culverts and large pipes. A routine examination is conducted to ensure surface water keeps flowing to reduce the risks of flooding. It is easy for culverts to become blocked by debris, mud, sand, rubbish, branches, weeds, and leaves, and if this build-up lowers drainage by more than twenty percent, serious drainage problems can occur.
Culverts are typically found under motorways, pathways, railways, and road embankments. They are also found in commercial settings and are in use in hundreds of rural properties across the UK. Thankfully, there is a process for inspecting and cleaning culverts of any diameter and construction.
The process of culvert inspection begins post-construction and should be conducted at regular intervals afterwards. Examination of the drainage system may also be required following heavy rain and under a complaint-related or emergency basis.
A build-up of sediment often causes blockages, but joint separations and erosion sags can also cause problems. The examination process can be undertaken with manned-entry and walk-throughs, but alternative methods are used to access the most challenging locations.
High-tech reviews digitally record the condition of the culvert using CCTV, HIVE, and JPEG mosaic testing. Further testing methods utilise inspection sonar, hammer sound testing, laser ring profiling, core sampling, inclinometer, pole camera, and camera mounted flotation devices.
Culvert cleaning must be conducted to proper standards to ensure issues are successfully resolved. Culvert and large pipe cleaning are carried out using high-powered water jetting, a technology that is capable of removing large volumes of silt, fat, and grease. The jetting system breaks up accumulating materials, and a vacuum collects the broken up waste for disposal.
The cleaning of culverts may also include root cutting, the removal of rubbish, and trimming back any overgrowth of weeds and bushes. The entire process can be considered preventative maintenance that keeps costs down by avoiding expensive repairs resulting from neglect.
The process of culvert rehabilitation takes place to repair damage in decaying culverts. In many cases, it is possible to use relining technology to repair sewers, drains, and vertical pipes. Even in the case of structural deficiency, it might be possible to restore the culvert back to an acceptable level of integrity and structural adequacy.
Rehabilitation is often far less expensive than replacing the damaged system, and disruption to traffic and commercial activities can be avoided or lowered to an acceptable level. Overall, repair and relining will free up resources and budgets for other worthwhile projects.