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Flood defence inspection cameras saving Environment Agency thousands

PUBLISHED: 09:55 08 November 2019 | UPDATED: 10:12 08 November 2019

This confined access point in Bromeswell, east of Woodbridge, is an ideal place for the agency to use a camera rather than to send someone to inspect it in person Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

This confined access point in Bromeswell, east of Woodbridge, is an ideal place for the agency to use a camera rather than to send someone to inspect it in person Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

Brand new cameras are saving thousands of pounds and hours of work for Suffolk's Environment Agency flood defence teams.

The video feed from the camera's is fed back to the team on land. this camera was being lowered into Martlesham Sluice Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCYThe video feed from the camera's is fed back to the team on land. this camera was being lowered into Martlesham Sluice Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

Staff from the agency regularly inspect flood gates, sluices and river networks across the county, often involving descending into waterways more than 100 years old, to ensure they are clear of debris.

The job can require CCTV specialists and diving crews to get to the trickiest spots - but now new action cameras are being used to investigate the hundreds of structures the agency owns.

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Staff have been making good use of waterproof cameras, filming when attached to telescopic carbon fibre poles or floating devices, to check if their pipes and buildings are in perfect working order.

The agency's new cameras can be fitted to floatation devices or telescopic poles to let them reach the trickiest spots in Suffolk's waterways Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCYThe agency's new cameras can be fitted to floatation devices or telescopic poles to let them reach the trickiest spots in Suffolk's waterways Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

Flood risk advisor Chris Finbow said: "Investing in this kit has delivered a huge cost saving for us and helped us carry out our inspections much more quickly and easily.

"We are finding new uses for this setup all the time, further confirming it as an essential piece of our kit."

The Environment Agency owns and maintains hundreds of culverts, flood gates, sluices and weirs, which need inspecting on an annual basis.

By using cameras to get a close-up view of these assets, senior advisors in the teams can be satisfied by the footage that the structures are intact, in good health, and can be signed off until their next scheduled inspection.

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