What it involves?

The identification, GIS location, structural and service condition surveying of manholes.  They are typically required when drainage system records are poor or missing, or operational issues such as excess water infiltration or blockages containing manhole materials are discovered.

 Our Service

There are many variants depending on customer requirements and objectives. Having taken the time to identify the chamber, lift the cover in the preparatory phase, we recommend collecting as much data as possible in addition to photographic and or video records.

On large-scale surveys a naming convention that can be applied on site and incorporated in databases makes future processing much easier for customers.

We can provide data in various formats including WINCAN, XML files, InfoNet among other formats.

Our Process

  • Obtain all available records on locations and land ownership
  • Arrange access to private sites in advance
  • Ensure team are equipped with all potential manhole keys and appropriate lifting equipment.
  • Agree naming convention and file formats in advance with client
  • Set-up safe access area with appropriate signage and barriers
  • Take image before lifting cover
  • Lift cover using appropriate tools, and monitor for gas emissions
  • Complete survey using agreed techniques
  • Replace cover and ensure that it is correctly sited in frame
  • Take image after completion.


  • Access permission from relevant land and property users & owners
  • Safe chamber access
  • Naming convention
  • Required accuracy levels and tolerances

What will you obtain from a Manhole Survey?

The information collected is typically used to identify a specific problem within a sewer or drainage system, or to provide new records where information is out-of-date, of low quality or absent.

The survey information typically includes chamber and shaft sizes; construction materials; cover and invert levels; pipes entering & exiting the chambers and their invert levels and diameters.  We are often asked to make an overall condition assessment and apply a structural and service grade or scoring objective measures.

To ensure customers have all relevant information available, photographs and/or video records are usually taken.  Coordinates and levels can be established using existing maps or via GPS equipment as defined by the client requirements. All manhole information is collected in a digital format allowing us to output it into the client’s preferred format.  Our recommended format for clients when building a GIS Sewer Network database is InfoNet.

InfoNet is a purpose-built Infrastructure Management System (IMS) for water distribution, wastewater collection and storm water networks. It provides informed, swift and cost-effective information for decision-making aimed at day-to-day operational management or for longer-term network planning. Designed for operations managers, engineers, planners and contractors in the water/wastewater industry, InfoNet enables users to manage, integrate, validate, analyse and report on their network data. This in turn will generate accurate, auditable, up-to-date information and reporting on network infrastructure and performance, presented in easy to use formats.

Why choose us for Manhole Surveys?


What you want from the survey is what matters to us.  Consequently we will find out what you want and present it in the format or formats that best suit your purpose, and propose a working methodology that provides you with the lowest out turn cost/best value in relation what you want to achieve


Our experienced site teams are experienced surveyors, and Confined Spaces qualified to various City and Guilds & industry standards


The McAllister Group surveys hundreds of chambers per year, so we have and continue to develop enormous experience across a range of sectors.