Learn why

Why do we need a CCTV survey

July 10, 20243 min read

The Necessity of CCTV Surveys in Drainage Design


Effective drainage design is a crucial component in urban planning, civil engineering, and property management. To ensure systems function optimally, a comprehensive understanding of existing drainage infrastructure is essential. One of the most effective methods for achieving this understanding is through Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) surveys. This article explores why CCTV surveys are indispensable in drainage design and outlines the process involved.

Why CCTV Surveys are Essential

  1. Accurate Assessment of Existing Conditions: Before any new drainage design can be implemented, it is vital to have a clear picture of the current state of the drainage system. CCTV surveys provide high-resolution video footage that allows engineers to visually inspect the inside of drainage pipes and sewers. This helps in identifying any structural issues, blockages, or obstructions that may affect the new design.

  2. Identifying Structural Defects: Over time, drainage systems can develop cracks, fractures, or even collapse due to various factors such as ground movement, tree root intrusion, or general wear and tear. CCTV surveys can detect these defects early, enabling timely repairs that can prevent more serious problems in the future.

  3. Ensuring Compliance with Standards: Drainage systems must comply with local and national standards and regulations. CCTV surveys provide the detailed information needed to ensure that both existing systems and new designs meet these stringent requirements, thus avoiding potential legal and regulatory issues.

  4. Cost Efficiency: By identifying problems early, CCTV surveys can save significant costs in the long run. Repairs and maintenance can be conducted more efficiently, reducing the need for extensive and costly excavation work. Moreover, a well-designed drainage system based on accurate data can prevent costly flooding and water damage.

  5. Environmental Considerations: Proper drainage is essential for environmental protection. Poorly maintained or designed drainage systems can lead to pollution of waterways and soil contamination. CCTV surveys help in designing systems that manage wastewater effectively, thereby protecting the environment.

The CCTV Survey Process

  1. Planning and Preparation: The first step in a CCTV survey is to plan the survey scope. This includes identifying the sections of the drainage system to be inspected, obtaining necessary permissions, and ensuring safety protocols are in place. Preparations might also involve cleaning the pipes to remove debris that could obscure the camera’s view.

  2. Conducting the Survey: A specialist CCTV survey team uses advanced camera equipment designed to navigate through the drainage system. The cameras are usually mounted on robotic crawlers or pushed through the pipes, capturing real-time video footage. These cameras can operate in various pipe sizes and conditions, providing clear and detailed images.

  3. Data Analysis: The video footage obtained is reviewed by engineers and drainage specialists. They look for signs of damage, blockages, or other issues. Modern CCTV survey equipment often includes software that can automatically detect and highlight potential problems, making the analysis more efficient.

  4. Reporting and Recommendations: After the analysis, a detailed report is compiled. This report includes still images and video clips of any identified issues, along with their locations and descriptions. Based on these findings, recommendations are made for repairs, maintenance, or redesign of the drainage system. The report provides the necessary data to inform the design of a new system or the upgrade of an existing one.

  5. Implementation: Finally, the recommendations are put into practice. This might involve repairing damaged sections, removing blockages, or designing a new drainage system that takes into account the insights gained from the CCTV survey. The goal is to ensure the drainage system is efficient, compliant with regulations, and sustainable in the long term.


CCTV surveys are an invaluable tool in the field of drainage design. They provide a precise and detailed view of the internal state of drainage systems, allowing for accurate assessments, early detection of issues, and informed decision-making. By ensuring that drainage systems are properly designed and maintained, CCTV surveys help protect property, reduce costs, and safeguard the environment. For any drainage design project, a CCTV survey is not just recommended—it is essential.

Back to Blog

From the Discovery Call to the Outfall Connection, with everything in between

Office: 90 Coronation Street, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, SR1 2HE

Call 01256 807116

Email: martin.young@thedrainagedesigners.co.uk

Site: thedrainagedesigners.co.uk

Copyright 2023 All rights reserved