Check for Surcharging in Flow Manholes

For a wide variety of water management operations, but particularly for sanitary systems, one of the most important tools that you can use are flow manholes. Flow manholes give your operators an easy access point to monitor and manage the flow of your systems, maintain your operation’s day to day functioning and increasing the likelihood of long-term success.

However, like any water management tool, flow manholes have their drawbacks, the biggest of which is the risk of surcharging. Because several factors can cause surcharging, it’s vital that you understand the warning signs of this phenomena so you’ll be able to preserve your system. Here are a few tips for detecting surcharging in your flow manholes and advice for purchasing the water management tools your operation needs.


Check the Area Around the Manhole

The easiest way to detect surcharge, other than having sewage spill from your manhole, is to examine the area directly surrounding the manhole. Depending on the time of the year, the soil surrounding your manhole should let you know whether surcharge is occurring.

For example, if your flow manhole is located in a cold weather climate, then you would expect to see frost or snow around your manhole. However, if no snow or frost is present where there should be, then it may mean surcharging is heating up the ground and preventing accumulation. To check for signs of surcharge during warmer months, you can check the ground directly around your manhole for increased moisture and compare the moisture levels to that of the surrounding areas.


Corrosion and Scum

Another way to detect the presence of surcharge is to closely examine the integrity of your flow manholes, both on the exterior and in the barrel. Surcharging, if left unchecked, will leave behind physical signs that will allow you to know that it is occurring and needs to be addressed.

To begin with, you should check the exterior of your manhole for signs of corrosion. If the lower half is much more corroded than the upper half, then it is a good indicator that your system is experiencing surcharge. You should also check the barrel of your manhole for scum. A scum line that is higher than you would expect from your normal flow rate almost always means that surcharging is happening.


Take a Look Inside Your Manhole

Although it takes a little more effort than the previous suggestions, possibly the best way to detect surcharging in your flow manholes is to climb inside and take a very close look at the state of the interior.

First, look for excessive debris attached to the ladder in your manhole and on the walls. While there should be some debris, too much might mean surcharging. Secondly, check the manhole bench for slime, which is usually a sign of standing water. Finally, if there is standing water at the bottom of your manhole, surcharging is taking place.


Equip Your System with Great Flow Manholes

Guarding against the possibility of surcharging is one of the most important things that you can do to preserve the health of your sanitary water management system. However, equally as important is having the right tools. Find the flow manholes that you’re looking for by working with the water management professionals at Tracom, FRP.

Tracom is focused on producing and providing top-quality water management tools for systems across the country, and we can help you. Contact us today.