November 13, 2023
Have you heard about the Starkville Utilities crew that watches TV on the job?
In this case, they’re actually improving utility services by using advanced data-collection technology and closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) to inspect underground systems. Starkville Utilities recently replaced its CCTV van with a newer and more advanced model.
“CCTV data is very beneficial for planning capital improvement projects and helps us stay proactive by using the latest technology,” said Bailey Wofford, Starkville Utilities system engineer. “The CCTV van allows us to accurately locate and observe underground issues, which not only saves time, money and resources but also eliminates the need to need to perform more intrusive excavation in most cases.”
Starkville Utilities’ CCTV crew consists of four employees who clean and inspect the entire sewer system on three-year cycles, including sanitary and storm sewers, to identify failing structures and deficient segments that require upgrades or replacements. In tandem with the CCTV van, the crew uses another vehicle with jetting and vacuum systems to clean in front of camera inspections.
The utility also uses the CCTV van to inspect recently completed infrastructure systems in new developments to verify compliance with standards and specifications. New systems must pass inspection before being transferred to the city for perpetual maintenance.
Data collection in the new van is GIS-compatible, which allows Starkville Utilities to map data for planning purposes and store information for future reference. Other amenities include better and faster software and improved cameras and video quality.
The city allocated $300,000 in Starkville’s long-range capital plan to purchase the updated CCTV van and keep infrastructure inspections on schedule.
“Providing employees with the tools and technologies they need supports our strategy to be proactive and resolve issues before they cause problems,” said Edward Kemp, general manager of Starkville Utilities. “This is about more than the purchase of a new asset—it’s an investment that will help us maintain Starkville’s utility systems and guide future capital infrastructure funds for years to come.”
Starkville Utilities is a municipally owned and operated electric and water utility, serving more than 14,000 residences, businesses and industries in Starkville as well as the state’s largest institution of higher learning, Mississippi State University.