Inuktun Sighting #21: Don't Chute the Messenger

Priscilla Johnson

Content Marketing Lead


Eight billion litres of sewage. Montreal’s southeast interceptor has recently gained a lot of attention with discussions of the plan to take the sewer’s intake and dump it in the St. Lawrence River. This resulted in public controversy, but the city of Montreal and Quebec’s environmental department stand behind this decision as the best option.

In 2010, an inspection performed by RedZone Robotics using their remotely operated vehicle equipped with a Spectrum 90™ pan-tilt-zoom camera revealed that structures left in the interceptor for future snow chute construction had begun to deteriorate. The city explored many options but ultimately decided on shutting down the sewer in order to perform repairs and upgrades, and replace the existing snow chute. Because the interceptor needed to be dry, the flow had to be diverted; and the St. Lawrence River was the most suitable host. Time was of the essence as the work had to be completed prior to the first snowfall.

Critics claimed that the city had years to come up with a better solution, citing concerns over pollutants entering the river – particularly chemicals from industry. But tests performed before and after showed no difference in water quality.

For more than 15 years, the Spectrum 90™ camera has been spotted inspecting and evaluating storm drains and sewer lines around the world. Although the camera can be used in pipe as small as 6 inches (150mm), this particular interceptor is more like a tunnel than a pipe.

Montreal unexpectedly discovered this maintenance requirement and no matter which way you lean on the issue, discovering a problem before it becomes critical is the first step in effective infrastructure management. Being informed is always the preferred path. When preventative maintenance and human intervention is being considered, remote visual inspection by a robotic crawler or camera system is often the safest and most cost effective option for your industry application. Learn more about how Inuktun Multi-Mission Modular technology can assist with sewer inspection and your specific job demands. Contact us today.