Within the next decade, the river Emscher - which has been used as an open wastewater sewer for over a century - will totally change its appearance in the densely populated Rhine-Ruhr area in Germany. The central element of the future drainage of the area is the emscher:sewer - a new interceptor with a length of 55 km, a diameter of up to 2.8 m, and a flow speed of up to 16 m³/s. For simple maintenance during operation, an automatic inspection device has been developed to supersede the costly inspection by sewage system staff. The device has successfully been tested under authentic conditions and allows sewer operators to also inspect free-gradient sewers with large diameters which because of their filling levels are normally inaccessible (e.g. before treatment plants).

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