A remote view
Published 1:14 am Saturday, January 24, 2015
City uses Prism’s lens to inspect water, sewer lines at St. Regis site
Franklin Public Works commissioned a pipeline inspection service to locate and inspect all storm drains and sewers at the site of the former St. Regis Paper Company on Armory Drive.
Dennis Mitchell and Michael Krewinghaus of Prism Contractors and Engineers Inc., which is based in Yorktown, spent much of Friday conducting what Mitchell said were lateral launches. Going from manhole to manhole, a camera is attached to a tractor on wheels and lowered by cable into the drains.
There was 800 feet of cable available to explore the pipe works that day, he said, adding that normally there’s 1,000 feet, but he had to do some line cutting earlier.
From a control panel inside the truck, Mitchell can signal for the tractor to move around. He stops the vehicle at each of the joints and rotates the camera lens to inspect the seams for fractures, cracks or other anomalies.
For example, about 60 feet in, the camera showed a fracture. That was not, Mitchell said, “a major problem.”
All this is recorded and can be downloaded on a computer and burned to a disc, a copy of which will go to the City department for review. If deemed necessary, the company can follow up.
“Prism has someone to re-concrete,” Mitchell said, explaining that a person can go down into the drain and apply cement where needed.
Before starting that underground work, though, he pointed to a place above ground where a couple of holes had developed around a pipe.
“Infiltration is the cause. Heavy rains falling into the pipe and pulling dirt into it,” Mitchell added.
Jeffery Noia, the leader operator for the City department’s water division, said that Prism’s work is “part of the demolition of the site.”
Last April, property owner David DiPaolo of Norfolk announced that the building would be torn down. A series of burglaries and vandalism the previous few months prompted the decision. He wants to lease or sell the site. Razing began soon after the announcement.
The Tidewater News reported in mid-October that during that process — sometime in May — a pipe that contained a valve which was holding the water flow back from the water main was ruptured. Apparently, water mains going to the building had not been capped. Water began trickling out — ultimately about 1 million gallons worth — before the City stepped in and found a way to shut off the leak.