Coming from my background working for a local community newspaper group, I always enjoy a good two-page spread of photos used to tell a story. As they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and that is truer today in an age where more and more people are getting their news from social media* and other digital sources.
How does this connect with Pipe Cleaning PRO and our readers? It’s quite simple, we’re looking to you to interact with us — and our readers — by submitting your photos to be included in our PROs on the Road section. But not just any photos, we’re interested in seeing your “sewer finds.” That’s right, we want you to share with us some of things that you’ve encounter while PROfessionally cleaning sewers and drains.
I know from first-hand discussions with contractors like Jeff Longspaugh, of ClearWater Plumbers — cover story in the July/August issue — that especially since this pandemic began, drain cleaners have seen increased calls due to clogged drains. The main culprit is people flushing these (non)flushable wipes and other non-flushable paper products in lieu of hard-to- find standard issue toilet papers.
Check out this story from Deadline Detroit about Macomb County growing tired of clearing flushable wipes and filing a lawsuit against nine manufacturers. The flushable wipes issue also prompted the City of North Olmsted, Ohio to purchase a new maintenance truck. Read more from cleveland.com. And, due to the pandemic, Vancouver, British Columbia issued a warning not to flush surgical masks. CTV has the story here.
Assuming these products make it past the residential side of the system and into the public sewage system, the offending materials will mix with fats, oils and grease, as well as other sewage debris. There, it will create a congealed mass commonly referred to as a fatberg. This is a headache then for the utility owner because the fatbergs can gum up the works at their facilities. Based on that, we know public utilities also have great photos of what they find.
The plan is to create a compendium of “sewer finds” at pipecleaningpro.com. It doesn’t have to be fatbergs, it could be giant root balls, old tires, Mardi Gras beads and other materials, removed from sewers and drains across North America. Send photos and description of your “sewer finds” to email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
Join Our Online Community
Just like you add a new tool to your toolbox to improve your cleaning and inspection offerings, we’ve added a new tool to ours. In our quest to further connect with our readers, we’ve joined LinkedIn at linkedin.com/showcase/pipe-cleaning-pro-magazine. If you are on LinkedIn, make sure to follow our page for the latest sewer and drain inspection, cleaning and repair news, stories and conversations.
Share Your Story
We want to incorporate more stories that focus on industry-related issues. These stories could include workforce development, safety, insurance, equipment funding, marketing/public relations, etc. If you, or someone you know, could speak to these or any other topics, drop me a note and I’ll add the contact info to my list.
Whether you are a contractor, utility owner, distributor or manufacturer, my door (well in this case e-mail inbox) is always open. Feel free to reach out to me with news and story ideas or other ways in which we can improve the magazine to better suit your needs.
While I am not sure what the future holds in terms of travel to shows for the remainder of 2020, I hope to be able to connect with you before the end of the year. If an in-person meeting is not in the cards, let’s connect virtually whether it be Skype, Zoom or any of the other video conferencing applications. I am always available to chat about this growing and ever-changing industry.
Just a heads up. If this is the first time you’ve read this magazine, and you like what you see, visit pipecleaningpro.com/subscribe to sign up for your free digital or print subscription.