Capacity Restored to Blocked 60-Inch Stormwater Pipe



U.S. Submergent Technologies (USST) recently performed sand and grit removal services for Miami-Dade’s Department of Transportation and Public Works on a 110-foot section of 60-inch surcharged stormwater pipe which was experiencing reduced capacity due to a buildup of sand.

Aaron Hood, one of USST’s veteran Field Supervisors, lead the USST crew through the Miami-Dade project from start to finish, beginning with a pre-cleaning inspection, the removal of sand, and wrapping up with a post-cleaning inspection to confirm the work performed. 

To prepare for the cleaning, an inspection was performed using USST’s pipe profiling sonar unit on their combined Sonar/CCTV truck with PACP Certified operator to give the crew visibility to conditions inside 60-inch pipe.  USST’s underwater sonar image provides a preview of sediment build up, visibility to sections of pipe that may be in need of maintenance, and better prepares the crew for the project ahead.

“The inspection was performed through an access point in the right of way requiring a Maintenance of Traffic permit, said Aaron.  “One lane of traffic was closed in order to access the upstream manhole.”

USST’s unique Combination Truck with extended boom, downhole pump, and jetter were utilized to travel the 110-foot length of pipe.  The crew accessed the pipe from the outfall in the Miami River and cleaned towards the upstream manhole, removing sand while under surcharged conditions.  Water from inside the pipe was used during the process and no outside water source or drain down was needed to complete the project.

A post-cleaning inspection was also completed by USST to confirm all material had been removed.

“Almost 32-tons of sand were removed from the surcharged stormwater pipe,” said Aaron, “restoring approximately 30% of its capacity and without having to drain it down or resort to confined space entry.” 

The Miami-Dade project was completely quickly, safely, and on schedule. 

Wondering what’s in your pipe or tank?  USST can deliver live inspection feeds providing comprehensive reports and video for both pre- and post- cleaning inspections.  Performing these inspections allow USST to deliver a more tailored solution and generates a quicker outcome due to having a clear understanding of the problem to solve.

Give one of our representatives a call to schedule an inspection to get visibility to an issue your facility may be facing or to learn more about USST’s specialties in hard-to-reach environments both in surcharged or submerged conditions.  Call (844) 765-7866 or email us at

Check out our video to learn more about the Combination Truck and GritGone Process®.

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