When a client needs access chambers to be assessed, why not get the experts to provide a condition assessment report?
Determining the condition of a pipeline is a relatively difficult task that has developed significantly and is now able to be performed in a consistent way by skilled operators that follow techniques and guidelines set out by industry standards. The tool of choice in all cases is CCTV footage that is subsequently interpreted by a skilled operator.
An access chamber has one significant benefit over a pipeline in that it is accessible. As such we are not limited to assessing the condition by using images. We can actually take core samples directly from the access chamber. This is particularly helpful in circumstances where the access chamber was cast in-situ, because it tells us exactly how thick the structure is, not just how much concrete has been lost.
There are significant benefits in taking core samples from manholes. Appearances can be very deceiving. The following sequence of images highlights this. Shown below are photographs of three access chambers from the same suburb, taken at the same time. If we were to only look at the images, the condition of each appears equivalent, i.e. one would probably conclude that the chamber is structurally sound and requires only a protective coating. However after taking a core sample, as shown in the image, a very different conclusion was drawn.
Given the costs of each solution are potentially very different, and that the risk profile of each is very different, the consequences of using only a visual assessment to determine the condition of the access chamber can be quite serious.