What it involves

Manhole surveys consist of finding the GIS location along with the condition of the manhole.  They are typically required when drainage system records are poor or missing. Other times it may be operational issues such as excess water infiltration or clots containing manhole materials.

Our Services

What is needed for Manhole surveys changes with each customer. We start by collecting as much data as possible in addition to photo/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.
  • Set up access to private sites in advance.
  • Ensure teams 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 info we collect is used to identify problems with sewer and drainage systems. We also provide new records where info is out-of-date, low quality or absent.

The survey info typically includes chamber and shaft sizes; construction materials; cover and invert levels; pipes entering & exiting the chambers and their invert levels and diameters.  We can also do an overall condition assessment and apply a structural and service grade or scoring objective measures.

To ensure customers have all relevant information available, photos/video records are usually taken.  Coordinates and levels can be shown using existing maps or via GPS equipment as defined by the client requirements. All manhole info is collected in a digital format allowing us to output how the client wants.  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 info 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. We will find a format that best suits your purpose, and a method that provides the lowest cost/best value in relation what you want to achieve.

Our 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 huge experience across a range of sectors.