Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission

Colchester Stormwater System Inspection & Inventory

Colchester, VT

Project Summary

The Town of Colchester, with funding provided through the CCRPC Unified Planning Work Program, completed Vermont’s first integration of Zoom Camera technology for a town-wide stormwater system condition assessment. The purpose of this project was to perform inspection of the Town’s public-owned stormwater system – including zoom camera inspection of the pipes and visual inspection and rating of structures with GPS locating of inverts and rims, compilation of information in GIS format, development of a Capital Budget Program, and data presentation for future integration in the Town’s Asset Management Program. The project completed condition assessment of 114,600 linear feet of stormwater pipe and over 1,300 structures. Conventional crawler camera condition assessment of this project scope was estimated to cost approximately $500,000 excluding pipe cleaning costs. This project scope was developed and completed for $155,000 utilizing new zoom camera technology, resulting in a savings of $345,000. 

As a base point for capital planning, the design team completed a top-down pipe condition analysis based on review of available information on pipe material, typical service life, and estimated installation year. This assessment broadly estimated $5.1 million in stormwater infrastructure capital budget needs. The team then compared this with the results of the pipe segment Zoom Camera condition assessments which indicated that approximately 75% of the $5.1 million identified in the initial top down assessment stormwater infrastructure capital budget had a “pass” rating, meaning the infrastructure was in acceptable condition and has service life remaining. This results in $3.8 million that can be better planned into future years and coordinated with other projects, maximizing the service life of existing infrastructure, and yielding benefits to stormwater utility rate payers, especially for low Mean Household Income users. 

The zoom camera assessments discovered public safety threats such as a live natural gas line that had been previously bored through the center of a pre-existing stormwater pipe, and missing catch basin lids. The engineer immediately notified the Town who notified the natural gas utility owner to remedy the problem and repair infrastructure where appropriate. The Town utilized the project findings to promptly address emergency repairs and prudently plan stormwater infrastructure refurbishment investment in coordination with roadway refurbishment.


  • Inventory Collection 
  • Condition Assessment 
  • Criticality Analysis 
  • Life Cycle Cost Analysis 
  • Financial Analysis/Planning 
  • Training 

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