What could a sewer maintenance crew possibly be doing with a drone, fishing wire, machetes, and 600 feet of rubber tubing?
Add a roll of duct tape and cue the MacGyver theme? You could say so. But the reality is they were clearing a sewer blockage with a little ingenuity.
|Reaching the sewer posed a challenge.|
SSMO Manager Brian Stapleton saw it as a training opportunity. “This was a good non-emergency situation for our new guys to learn how to operate in an emergency.”
Before taking action, the team made a plan, discussed things that could go wrong—and got creative. They built a 600-foot siphon to move the water down the hill without the use of a pump, which would speed up the process considerably. To prevent the pipe from bursting on the rough terrain, they used heavy rubber piping.
The crew used the siphon to fill the manhole with water from the blocked sewer, and then opened a valve to create suction, pulling the water out of the manhole.
“The crew learned an alternate option to pumping water that will solve similar problems quickly,” said Stapleton. “They also now have a reusable pipe. When there’s a similar problem in the future, we can grab it and go.”
—Story and photos by Communications Specialist Yolanda Kelly