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Gunnison learns new tech may help

reduce sewer cleaning costs

 

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

8-13-2020

 

GUNNISON—City officials found out why they should consider a cutting-edge tool to help manage the city’s sewer system at a recent city council meeting.

The presentation was given on Wednesday, July 5 by Jonathan Borden of RH Borden, a company that specializes in sewer system assessment. Borden told the council that the traditional method of sewer line management has required sewer cleaning crews to simply clean every line, even if some lines were clean, because they had no effective way to determine which lines needed cleaning except for time-consuming and expensive close-circuit television cameras lowered down manholes.

“This has just been the nature of the beast with the technology we have had up until now,” Borden said.

But the company’s new sewer line assessment technology gets rid of that problem, Borden said. The system uses sound waves sent through a transmitter and picked up on a mic, which detects any blockage. Detected blockages can even be measured in severity, Borden said, and the data is then uploaded to a cloud server and used as reference to selectively clean sewer lines, instead of cleaning them all.

“We will have to get with our cleaners to see if they can work with this kind of data,” Gunnison Mayor Lori Nay said.

Gunnison City uses Twin D Inc. to clean the city sewer lines, and each year they clean out a different sector of the city sewer, rotating until they start back over again. The annual cost for the cleaning through Twin D is approximately $15,000, Nay said.

“This is a neat thing, because you can target your problem areas instead of cleaning the whole town,” Councilman Robert Anderson said. “This really pinpoints it, and if Twin D can work with us, it will be a win-win situation.”

The council told Borden they will look into the assessment tool to see if it fits their needs.