Two drainage engineers carrying out a CCTV drain survey at a Fire Station.


CCTV drain surveys have become an essential tool for homeowners, property managers, and drainage professionals alike. As urbanization increases and underground infrastructure ages, the need for accurate and reliable information on the condition of our drains and sewer systems has never been more important.
This article will explore the world of CCTV drain surveys and explain how to choose the right one for your specific needs. By understanding the factors that should be considered when selecting a CCTV drain survey, you can ensure that you get the most out of this valuable technology.

What Is a CCTV Drain Survey?

A CCTV drain survey is a process that involves inserting a high-resolution camera into a drainage or sewer system to capture video footage of the internal condition of these underground structures.
This inspection method is non-invasive and provides accurate, real-time data about the state of the drains, allowing for swift identification of issues such as blockages, pipe damage, or structural defects.
The images captured by the camera can be recorded for further analysis, and the results of the survey can be used to develop targeted solutions to fix any issues that are identified.

Benefits of a Closed-Circuit TV Survey

There are several advantages of using a CCTV drain survey, some of which include:

  1. Fast and efficient identification of issues: By utilizing advanced camera technology, a CCTV drain survey can quickly identify drain blockages, cracks, or other problems without the need for excavation or other disruptive methods.

  2. Accurate diagnosis: The high-resolution images captured during a CCTV drain survey provide a clear picture of the condition of the drains, allowing for precise and targeted solutions to be developed.

  3. Cost-effective: As a non-invasive method, CCTV drain surveys offer significant cost savings compared to traditional excavation methods. In addition, proactive identification of issues through regular surveys can help prevent costly repairs in the long run.

  4. Minimal disruption: The entire process can be completed with minimal disruption to the property or the drainage system itself, making it an ideal choice for both residential and commercial properties.


The Different Types of Drain Pipe Inspections

There are several different types of CCTV drain surveys available, each designed to address specific needs or challenges. A few of the typically used survey types include:
Push Rod Surveys
This type of survey involves inserting a flexible push rod with a camera on the tip into the drainage system. The rod can be navigated through bends and obstacles, making it suitable for small diameter pipes and complex systems.
Crawler Surveys
Crawler CCTV systems are mounted on a remote-controlled, motorized platform that can traverse the interior of the drainage system. These systems are ideal for larger diameter pipes and can cover significant distances quickly and efficiently.
Panoramic Surveys
Panoramic survey cameras capture a 360-degree view of the interior of the pipe, providing a comprehensive understanding of the pipe’s condition. This type of survey is often used for large diameter pipes, tunnels, and culverts.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a CCTV Drain Survey

When selecting a CCTV drain survey, several factors should be considered to ensure that you get the most accurate and useful results.
These factors include the size and complexity of the drainage system, the type of issues you are trying to identify, and the budget available for the survey. It is also essential to consider the capabilities of the CCTV equipment, as different systems have different features and limitations.
Ultimately, the decision should be based on a thorough assessment of your specific needs, and it may be helpful to consult with a drainage professional for expert advice.

Check the Credentials of the Company

When choosing a company to perform a CCTV drain survey, it is important to verify their qualifications and experience. Some factors to consider include:
  1. Industry certifications: Companies that hold industry certifications, demonstrate a commitment to professionalism and quality.

  2. Experience: Companies with a proven track record in conducting CCTV drain surveys will have the knowledge and expertise to handle any challenges that may arise during the inspection process.

  3. Customer reviews: Reading through customer reviews can provide valuable insight into the level of service provided by the company, as well as their experience in handling similar projects.


Consider the Cost

The cost of a CCTV drain survey can vary depending on several factors, including the size and complexity of the drainage system, the type of equipment used, and the level of detail required in the report.
Be sure to obtain multiple quotes from different companies and compare their services, equipment, and expertise before making a decision. Remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best choice, so it is essential to consider factors beyond price when selecting a CCTV drain survey.

Are Results Provided Quickly?

The speed at which the results of the CCTV drain survey are provided can be an important factor to consider. In some cases, property owners or managers may need the information as soon as possible to address pressing drainage issues or to meet contractual obligations.
Be sure to inquire about the turnaround time for the survey and whether the company can provide expedited services if required.

Is Access to the Results Easy?

Another factor to consider is the ease of access to the results of the CCTV drain survey. Many companies now provide digital reports, which can be easily shared with relevant parties and accessed remotely via secure online portals.
This can be particularly useful when working with multiple stakeholders or when requiring quick access to the information for decision-making purposes.

Do I get a Drainage Plan?

Typically, a CCTV drain survey only provides the visual inspection of the inside of the drainage system using a camera unit. This means that the surveyor can identify any issues or damages within the system but may not always provide a drainage plan.
However, some companies may offer drainage plans as part of their service, which will provide a detailed layout of the drainage system, including its position, depth, and connections. The inclusion of a drainage plan will depend on the service provider, and it is best to check with them beforehand if a drainage plan is required.


In conclusion, choosing the right CCTV drain survey for your needs requires careful consideration of various factors, including the type of survey, the credentials of the company, the cost and speed of service, and the ease of access to the results.
By taking the time to evaluate these factors and consulting with a drainage professional if needed, you can ensure that you receive accurate and reliable information to help you maintain the health of your drainage system and protect your property from potential damage.

Do You Need A CCTV Drain Survey?

Our experienced drainage engineers provide cost-effective, reliable, and fast drain inspections for domestic and commercial properts. Get in touch today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Drain Survey

A drain inspection is a visual inspection of a plumbing system’s drainage pipes to identify any potential issues or damage. This inspection can be done using a camera or other equipment to identify blockages, leaks, or other issues.
Drain inspections should be done regularly, depending on the age and condition of the plumbing system. For older homes or commercial buildings, it’s recommended that inspections be done every 1-2 years. Newer properties may not require inspections as frequently.
There are several signs that indicate a drain inspection is needed, such as slow drains, foul odours, gurgling sounds, or water backups. If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to schedule a drain inspection.
The length of time for a drain inspection depends on the size and complexity of the plumbing system. Typically, drain inspections can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours.
A drain inspection can help identify potential issues before they become major problems, which can save homeowners and businesses money on costly repairs. Additionally, regular inspections can help extend the life of the plumbing system and ensure it’s functioning properly.