Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hey Mike Rowe from the Dirty Jobs show on the Discovery channel!

20 years ago I worked for steel building/agricultural building company formerly known as Lester's located in Lester Prairie, MN.

So we would sell and build swine finishing buildings that incorporated slatted floors with an 8' to 10' collection pool below. If you're wondering what was collected in the pool...you guessed it, anything and everything that came out of the pigs.

Eventually the pool would be drained via a chain and bowling ball stopper at the bottom of the pool with an 8" diameter pipe that drained to large holding tank that ideally was at a lower elevation than the pool bottom. This product was either usable or sellable as fertilizer.

Here's where the dirty job comes in. When we started building these, we used a standard iron chain (fairly heavy gauge) and an old bowling ball. With all the acid from the swine urine, eventually (and unfortunately rather often), either the chain or the hook that was screwed into one of the bowling ball holes would rust and break. This left our farmer customers in a pickle as to how to loosen and unplug the rather full pool. As you can imagine, there would be a literal ton of pressure and suction.

So our masonry foreman came up with a viable solution. Luckily he was also willing to perform this dirty job.

He would rent a scuba diving outfit complete with oxygen tanks and surely a wet suit. You nguessed it, he dove in, wrestled the bowling ball off the drain hole and held on til the pool had drained. I believe we outfitted the system with all stainless steel parts from that point forward.

Well Mike Rowe on discovery channel....is the a dirty job you're willing to do?

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