At Lanes for Drains, we pride ourselves on using the most sophisticated methods available to carry out our essential drain repair work as effectively as possible. That means utilising cutting-edge tools and equipment that can deliver the best results for our customers.
We are often the first to trial the newest products and technologies, working closely with manufacturers, and when we find new equipment or materials that can deliver increased productivity or performance, we are happy to bring them into our operations.
We are proud of our reputation for being innovators and thought leaders in our field, both in terms of our engineering expertise and our commitment to making use of the best equipment on the market. After all, the better equipped we are, the better we are able to serve our customers across the UK!
Read on to find out more about some of the main tools of our trade. If you’d like to speak to us about any of our drain maintenance and repair services, give us a call on 0800 526 488, or use our online enquiry form.
Our history of innovation
As the UK’s leading privately owned specialist drainage and wastewater contractor, Lanes for Drains is always looking for new methods and equipment that can deliver meaningful improvements in the way we approach drain repairs and maintenance.
Notably, Lanes was one of the earliest adopters of no-dig drain relining technology in the UK, when it was still a relatively novel concept. This method has made it easy for us to repair cracked or damaged pipes by bonding a resin coating to the inner surface, essentially creating a new pipe within the old one. This allows us to make essential repairs without having to break ground, and has become the standard repair method for Lanes and across the whole industry.
In more recent years, we were the first UK contractor to invest in sophisticated IBAK Panoramo cameras, which have revolutionised CCTV surveying. These tools allow us to remotely see inside pipes and sewers and take HD images, making it much easier for us to view and diagnose problems before recommending the best solution.
Our investment in new technologies is a deliberate strategy, and something we pursue whatever the economic climate. We are always looking for ways to improve our methods, and this is also reflected in the regular training our staff receive to gain new skills and get the very best performance out of the tools we use.
The tools we use today
Here, we explore some of the impressive and pioneering technologies and equipment we use to support our work every day at Lanes.
Proteus ATEX-rated crawler cameras
The Proteus CCTV survey camera is designed to operate safely in environments where there may be a risk of explosion, such as the public sewer network. It is fully accredited in accordance with ATEX, the name commonly given to the two European Directives for controlling explosive atmospheres.
Wastewater assets are classed as ‘open networks’, because substances may be introduced into the system without the authority of the water and sewerage companies. As a result, there is always a risk of dangerous substances and explosive atmospheres, so any equipment used in them must be intrinsically safe to negate the risk of igniting potentially flammable gasses, mists, vapours or dust via an electrical spark.
Proteus is engineered, built and tested to meet these exacting safety standards, while also offering a full set of features to provide accurate and high-quality survey data.
IBAK Panoramo 3D Optoscanner
Exclusive to Lanes in the UK, the revolutionary Panoramo 3D Optoscanner gives a truly panoramic CCTV drain survey. Whereas conventional pan-and-tilt drain inspection cameras rely on the operator to see and record images, Panoramo sees and records everything in one speedy pass.
Travelling at up to 35cm per second, it scans the entire surface of a drain or sewer and stores the data digitally. That CCTV survey can then be referenced subsequently at any time, such as on a PC back in the office.
Additionally, the Panoramo camera’s specialist viewer software allows us to access the stored data to carry out a complete sewer inspection, as if it were in real time. The recorded data provides a 360º view of the whole pipe, with the functionality of a virtual camera: it allows us to pan and rotate, stop, turn a full circle, zoom or capture images at any time, or even look at an unfolded 2D view of the pipe’s inner surface.
IBAK Panoramo SI
The older IBAK Panoramo CCTV cameras played a key role in helping us reinvent our approach to drain and sewer imaging. Among our very latest investments is another IBAK product: the Panoramo SI, which is designed specifically for the inspection of manholes of 300mm diameter and above.
This version of the 3D Optoscanner uses two high-res digital cameras with distortion-free, wide-angle lenses to scan the whole manhole interior in just a few seconds. Travelling at a super-fast 35cm per second, the Panoramo SI records all the data in a single vertical pass through the chamber.
LISY satellite camera
Lanes was the first company in the UK to make use of the LISY satellite camera system, which was developed especially for CCTV surveys of lateral sewers and drains.
This quick and cost-effective CCTV surveying tool allows us to take lateral scans directly from a mainline sewer or drain without needing to access each individual property. LISY travels along a mainline sewer for up to 100 metres, and when it comes to a blind lateral, the satellite camera is deployed to survey a further 33 metres up the branch connection.
LISY’s proven capabilities have led to the system’s adoption by the UK’s water companies after they took over responsibility for private sewer maintenance in October 2011.
G Rail is an innovative IT system developed by Lanes Rail alongside our IT development partners in Australia, for the specific purpose of maintaining the thousands of metres of drainage assets on the London Underground.
The system allows the Lanes Rail team to plot asset data, plan maintenance work to strict annual timeline requirements, and record and assess information in a way that allows them to allocate the necessary repair works to the right teams, at the right time.
Within the rail industry, strict legislation and guidelines exist to keep the UK’s rail network moving, and G Rail is instrumental in helping to make this happen. Lanes Rail relies heavily on this innovative system, particularly in the capital, where we carry out critical projects for Transport for London.
Profiler by Cleanflow
The Profiler device is designed to fit on to our CCTV survey camera units, collecting very precise data about the shape of a drain or sewer by projecting a laser ring on to the internal surface of the pipe.
Using this data, Profiler records the ‘ovality’ of the pipe (ie, how far the pipe has deviated from its original round shape) as well as its capacity and other metrics such as pipe size, deformation, erosion, encrustation, debris, grease, flows, lateral protrusion and surface damage. It is precise enough to measure all of this to within a 1mm margin of accuracy.
Profiler’s software is then able to build a digital pipe profile, with data that can be used live or recorded to DVD. It offers a range of graph options for reporting and analysis, including a flat graph showing the pipe as if it had been cut lengthways, pulled apart and flattened.
Hachler Climb robot cutters
The Hachler Climb robot cutter has helped Lanes take our drain unblocking and rehabilitation capabilities to another level. The machine uses its pneumatic pads to climb up more steeply inclined pipes and even around sharp bends, something conventional robot cutters cannot do.
We use the Hachler Climb to remove deposits, roots and pipe edges in the most hard-to-reach lateral connections, especially if the only access is via a main sewer. We also use it to prepare pipes for lining and to cut lateral connections after pipe lining has taken place.
Find out more
To learn more about any aspect of the services we offer here at Lanes for Drains, or to speak to us about a drainage problem we may be able to help you with, get in touch with us today.