Actions cameras used in innovative way
Published: 08 Nov 2019

Various Environment Agency (EA) staff have been making good use of waterproof action cameras, as they inspect the hard-to-reach culverts and flood gates throughout East Anglia. 

When carrying out their site visits and assessments of structures across the river network and the flood defences, teams sometimes have to hire specialist dive crews or CCTV experts - by investing themselves in the hi-tech gadgets they have managed to make significant savings. Flood risk advisor, Chris Finbow has said the durable cameras had already saved the Environment Agency near to tens of thousands of pounds - as well as many office hours.  Through viewing the footage captured by the miniature HD camera (filmed either when attached to an extendable carbon fibre pole or an improvised floating device) the inspection teams can then ascertain whether further work is needed. 

Finbow added that, "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 set up all the time, further confirming it as an essential piece of our kit." 

The Environment Agency (EA) owns and maintains hundreds of areas that need inspecting on an annual basis, in order to ensure that they are in perfect working order, such as:

  • culverts;
  • flood gates;
  • sluices and weirs.

Officers may be looking for signs that either fixed or moving parts have perhaps deteriorated over time, or have been damaged by floating objects in the water. While many assets are more recent constructions, some are in fact decades old and were inherited by the EA, when it was established back in 1995. Often the older structures (in some cases, can date back further than a century) incorporate narrow access points or have instead been adapted over time with more modern weed screens that are difficult to remove in order for a full inspection to take place. 

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