MANKATO — Some new high-tech cameras are giving city workers a better view of damage to underground storm and sanitary sewer lines.
"They're awesome. The clarity and color are better and you can see everything a lot better," Tony Talamantez, infrastructure supervisor for the Mankato Public Works Department, said of the two cameras that replaced old versions used for the past decades.
The unit is lowered into manholes by a cable and then tires on the camera pull it through the pipes, showing views forward and aft from two cameras. Inside a truck, workers watch a video feed from the cameras on a monitor, looking for cracks, cave-ins or tree roots.
Talamantez said that when crews go to a neighborhood to inspect lines residents often come out to watch the monitor. "They just like seeing what things look like underground."
The city uses the cameras almost constantly as crews clean and inspect lines, some of which date back to the late 1800s.
Talamantez said they try to clean and inspect all segments of storm and sewer lines on a four-year rotating basis.
The cameras, monitor and related gear cost $206,000.