How an Inspection Chamber Works

A manhole is also a called an inspection chamber which serves as an entry point to a drainage system. With a sewer manhole, the underground pipes can be inspected, surveyed, cleaned or maintained. As drainage engineers work on pipe systems, they may block a pipe and make use of a manhole in the same way when storing waste water before allowing it to flow upon completion of the drainage job.

What are Manholes For

Manhole covers protect the manhole chambers. These chambers are designed for various purposes including:

  • Preventing people from falling down the manhole.
  • Preventing debris and objects from getting into the drainage system.
  • Preventing surface water from getting into the drainage system.

Manhole covers are made from various materials that include concrete, steel and recycled plastic.  Also, they can be available in different shapes that include triangular, round, rectangular and square.

Risks to Health

When it comes to inspecting, cleaning and repairing drains, the right approach is to do it without having to enter. The reason is that manhole chambers can be risky to humans. Workers may trip, slip and fall, which can lead to serious injuries and even death. Also, they may run out of oxygen supply and toxic gas buildup may also happen. Those who enter a manhole chamber can become unconscious and lose their life because of poisoning or a lack of oxygen. This is the reason remote access equipment is used when working on a drainage system through a manhole chamber. But, a confined space entry must be done. Such option includes the use of careful procedure and safety equipment and clothing. The job must be carried out by a team of specially-trained drainage professionals who know how to enter the manhole chamber safely.  To learn more, check out the article Manholes: The Ultimate Resource.

What Could Go Wrong

Manhole chambers can come across some issues including the following:

  • The chambers may become buried or built over. When needed, the manhole may have to be excavated to get access to a certain point in the drain. In this case, it might be important to make a new manhole for gaining access to the pipe.
  • They may become unstable because of material deterioration. This situation requires repairing or replacing the manhole.
  • Covers may become broken or loose. When this happens, a safety hazard may occur, allowing the entry of excess water and debris into the chamber.

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