On the Clock: City Installs Smart Manhole Covers to Prevent Overflows
By Traci Peterson, Arlington Water Utilities
Posted on March 06, 2020, March 06, 2020

In the latest episode of On the Clock, Arlington City Manager Trey Yelverton joined an Arlington Water Utilities crew to install smart manhole covers. 

Sanitary sewer system overflows caused by blockages or structural problems can create property damage, dangerous environmental hazards for residents, and harm wildlife. Preventing the overflows is a goal for all wastewater service providers, and it’s an area where the City of Arlington is using the latest technology.

Arlington Water Utilities is currently installing 50 SmartCover Systems that were approved by the Arlington City Council in 2019. The SmartCover technology is added to sanitary sewer manholes and features sensors that constantly monitor sanitary sewer level, or depth of flow, at the location. Data is then transmitted wirelessly to a web-based database that alerts City engineers and field operations staff by text or email when levels in the manholes rise quickly. Quickly changing levels could indicate a backup in the sanitary sewer system or excessive inflow of rainwater from a crack in the sanitary sewer main

Before the SmartCover Systems were installed, Arlington Water Utilities field operations crews prepared the site by installing newly available, hinged cast iron manhole covers. These hinged covers ensure the sensors are easier to access and improves safety for workers when needing to open the manholes for regular maintenance.

Arlington has more than 19,000 manholes citywide. The locations for the 50 SmartCover Systems were determined based on history of sanitary sewer main blockages and prior system overflows. The SmartCover hardware installed on the manhole cover can be moved if needed in another location. The SmartCover program also tracks trends in the flow level over time to help the City identify areas where flow may be affected by root intrusions, grease buildup or other damage to the main.

The City's Office of Communication develops programming for MyArlingtonTV. Viewers can find MyArlingtonTV programs on the following cable systems: Spectrum Channel 16 and AT&T U-Verse channel 99, and streaming capabilities at www.arlington-tx.gov.

All episodes are also available on the City's YouTube channel, Facebook page and Twitter account.

MyArlingtonTV Links:

City Manager Trey Yelverton

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