Fulton sewer camera inspection halted by gravel obstruction

City now seeks solution for inches of gravel partially obstructing pipes

The city of Fulton’s efforts to find sources of excess water entering the sanitary sewer system have been obstructed.

City Engineer Greg Hayes told the council Tuesday that inspections of the main line along Stinson Creek for breaches were brought to a halt about halfway through the line when contractors using a camera device to look inside the pipes found 6 to 10 inches of gravel accumulated in the bottom of a 36-inch pipe.

Hayes said the contractors, VSI&C of Boliver, started inspecting the pipes around the Seventh Street bridge, but by the time they neared the Fulton roundabout, they did not have enough room to maneuver the camera.

“At first in the sewer line there was some grease and a little sand,” Hayes said. “The contract said we were going to pay X amount per linear foot to camera the line, but if it required cleaning (so the camera could continue) it would be a little more. When they came to where Second Street intersects Westminster, they ran into gravel. Pretty well from that point on so far, that’s everything they’ve encountered from there.”

The camera, a controlled device on wheels that rolled along the bottom of the line, could not overcome the obstruction by the time it reached the roundabout. Hayes said that was about halfway through the section of piping they had planned to inspect.

Hayes said it wasn’t unheard of to find debris of that type in the mains. Oftentimes it will enter when mortar along manholes becomes compromised, and crew have found debris as big as whole bricks in the system before. He said the amount of gravel was likely a matter of accumulation.

“We don’t know the last time the main line was inspected or maintained,” Hayes said. “You’re talking 30, 40 years ago, so over that amount of time that can happen.”

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