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The Joy of Toilets in Coogee

Exactly 12 months ago today the Mayor of Randwick Noel D’Souza, broke ground on the new Coogee Beach toilet block.
I am happy to report that these new facilities were un-officially opened 360 days later on Friday September 1st 2017. The first day of spring.
And it was worth the wait!
The discomfort to beach regulars and the interruption of the foot traffic flow along the upper and lower promenade right in the middle of Coogee beach is a distant memory.
I’ve been watching the evolution of the site and my almost daily hop, skip and jump along the lower prom and the detour around the street level construction zone sensed that this simple toilet block would be another jewel in the Coogee crown.
I was right.
The spring weather on Fathers Day saw people out in droves.
They were happy to use the new facilities.
I had to try ’em for myself.
The plumbing is state of the art.
The hand wash facilities at the front of the change room with electronic sensor taps that spit water into the free form basins when they detect your hands in range, compliment the soap dispensers.
The showers in this open public area are all push button.
I tried one and had my shirt sleeve soaked by the instant arrival of fresh H2O from the water saving shower head.
Mums and Dads will be able to rinse off and have their kids do the same without having to go into the change rooms and toilets dedicated to both sexes.
I didn’t venture into the ladies but the mens change room is great.
5 low maintenance stainless steel WCs with concealed water saving cisterns and an easy to maintain urinal about 5 metres long with 5 additional showers and plenty of clothes hooks and seating to get changed before and after swimming are features.
The entire area can be easily washed down and the beautiful polished concrete floor and the brightly tiled walls will help keep the facility sparkling.
During my roaming the freshly laid turf in the park above, I had wondered about the new concrete seating and the glass panels set into the ground there.

I’m pleased to say they are skylights for the change rooms below.
Brilliant!

Well done Randwick City Council.

Poo News

Our readers are still the best source of fun, information, insights and images from the wonderful world of plumbing
I’ve heard plenty of explanations of the word Poo.
I hadn’t heard this one.

Shower outdoors more often

With our hottest summer on record, many of us have been showering outdoors.
It’s a perfect opportunity to water the garden and the lawn, stay cool ourselves and save water.
Some clients have us set up a permanent outdoor shower in the garden or near the swimming pool just to rinse off.
I reckon simple is best. Good old corrugated and canvas
Our correspondent enjoying the Three Capes Track in beautiful Tasmania, also reports it was 13 deg.C

Home Buyers Beware

Home buyers beware.

For us, the heat in the real estate market is reflected in the lack of due diligence by potential home buyers prior to purchasing properties in our suburban real estate grab.

Yesterday we helped a young couple who just bought their first home in the Ryde district.
house sold
They had bought a house that had the bathroom toilet illegally connected to the surcharge gully which was outside the bathroom and near their front door. The gully had a deck built over the top of it to make the front of the house more appealing.

Every time the toilet was flushed the discharge spilled into the gully underneath the deck. Yuk!

After living in the house for only three weeks they started to question the blocked drain symptoms displayed by the toilet. There was also some doubt about the sewerage smell at the front door.

Apparently the young owners had undertaken a pre-purchase building inspection. Somehow the building inspector did not pick up this illegal plumbing connection.
Blocked WC
The only advice I can give you is that if you have a friend that’s a plumber don’t get him to look at the property before purchase.

Instead, get a plumber who has plenty of experience in looking at domestic homes, who has an eye for the unusual and is prepared to look a little harder than just scratching the surface.

Any rectification work to the problem we have just uncovered will be expensive. In the $3000-$5000 range.

That is not what these new eager homeowners were expecting.

See it for yourself – Drainoscopy

Today our post is simple.

A new client from Bronte called because since Christmas they’d had 3 blocked drains causing the downstairs toilet to overflow throughout their basement. YUK!

The plumber they had been using didn’t have a drain camera and it was suggested that the pipes were broken.

We were able to clear the blockage quickly, then, give the pipes a Drainoscopy. That’s Lone Drainer speak for “put a specialised drain camera in the pipes and see what is really going on”.

The pipe was full of tree roots. That’s all! We cut out the roots and had another look. A simple Vaporooter treatment will keep the roots away. With a Guarantee!

Yes, the pipes are old clay pipes. You can see where the roots have been cut out. But, they work and will for some time to come.

The best way to find out is to see it for yourself.

A plumbers view – Super Bowl 2016

Sunday, February 7th was Super Bowl 50 Sunday in San Francisco. By now you may know The Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 at Levi’s Stadium.

What’s that got to do with plumbing, I hear you ask. Well plenty, according to the Scott Tissue company; the toilet is flushed more during halftime than at any other point during the year. That’s 90 million flushes, using 350 million gallons or 1,323,000,000 litres of water, which is the same amount of water that flows over Niagara Falls in seven minutes.

Now, that is…..a Super Bowl!

I’d like to know how many blocked drains happened on Super Bowl Sunday.
Superbowl 2016

Wipes can be expensive

As you know, up to 85% of blocked drains are caused by tree roots and can be easily managed.

But, there is a growing number of blockages that are caused by “hygienic wipes”. Hygienic wipes block up house drains and sewer mains that cost homeowners and Sydney Water a fortune to maintain. So be careful what you flush!

Simply, hygienic wipes don’t break down like toilet paper and as many household pipe lines have imperfections, the wipes can get caught and start a blockage.

If you are polishing your bottom….. and flushing more wipes, you could be in trouble.

This Choice magazine Youtube video shows how wipes don’t break down for up to 21 hours.

Don’t flush facial tissues

85% of blocked drains are caused by tree roots. However, what you flush down your loo can contribute to that blockage.

Rain causes Bronte wall collapse

Sydney’s sustained rainfall has almost washed out the third cricket test between Australia and the West Indies at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The rain may have helped the Windies at the SCG but nearby Bronte residents awoke yesterday to find their Macpherson Street neighbours wall had collapsed into the street.

My initial drive past the site to survey the damage was met by a pile of sand, outdoor table and chairs, a picket fence and kids cubby house that had slipped onto the road.
Bronte collapsed wall
It was interesting to see old earthenware pipes amongst the rubble. Maybe their stormwater pipes were blocked or leaking into the sand, probably washing out the pipe line, and the continuous rain caused the collapse.

I do not believe anyone has been injured. Here’s hoping this family can get back into their home soon.

Get your pipes checked…. I did!

November is Mens Health Month and my reminder came in the mail. “Its time to get your pipes checked again” said the friendly letter from my Colorectal surgeon. It spelt out the process, the fasting, the preparation, the costs, the procedure on the day, what to expect afterwards, the discomfort but most of all…….. the benefit!

So on Sunday I began the preparation for a colonoscopy on Monday. After a healthy and hearty breakfast on Sunday morning it was a time of fasting. No food! Then, from early afternoon into the evening I had to take not 1, not 2, but 3 doses of fairly unpleasant medicine that would clean my internal pipes so the surgeon could put his camera through them.

Now all this makes sense to a 54 year old male and father of 3 healthy and happy sons whose father, after being diagnosed with Prostate cancer passed away a few years ago.

So, I hear you ask, why is your plumber telling you this? If your body is a temple as mine is, and your home is your castle, then it’s appropriate to get your pipes checked, especially if your castle has a history of problems or blockages in your sewer pipes. There are many parallels between a Colonoscopy and a Drainoscopy.

To get a Drainoscopy is easy!

We clear your pipes and then put a specialized drain camera through the pipes to find out what is actually going on in there. Then we take the vision and put it on our YouTube channel with a description of what is going on in the pipes. You can see it, you can share it, you can get a second opinion, you can evaluate the information and understand exactly what is going on underground or in your pipes.

Yes, it is a little uncomfortable. But now I know that after Dr “L” has treated 2 areas of interest and checked my prostate, my pipes are in good condition. I’ve seen the pictures. And at the appropriate time, he will send me a reminder for my next Drainoscopy er Colonoscopy.

So to end on a high note watch this fun YouTube clip.

Welcome to Movember. Mens Health Month

Mens health is something very close to my heart. Having lost my dad in 2009 to prostate cancer at 73 is something that changed the way I look at my own health and health checks.

Over this month Movember I plan to share the personal stories of plumbing colleagues, clients and work mates. They’re all just normal men who felt a slight change in their bodies and had the courage and the good sense or friendly push to go and get their things checked out.

I’ve got some simple health tips that work for me and if they work for me, then, they’ll work for you too!
I’ve got some great summer recipes.

So, I can hear you asking…. What the hell has mens health got to do with plumbing? Well it has everything to do with plumbing. Our bodies are temples, our home is our castle and our pipes within our temple and our castles need to function properly or we are “up shit creek”!

I’ve got some youTube clips to share some funny, some educational, some frightening!

Get your pipes checked…. I did!

November is Mens Health Month and my reminder came in the mail:

“Its time to get your pipes checked again” said the friendly letter from my Colorectal surgeon.
It spelt out the process, the fasting, the preparation, the costs, the procedure on the day, what to expect afterwards, the discomfort but most of all…….. the benefit!

So on Sunday I began the preparation for a colonoscopy on Monday. After a healthy and hearty breakfast on Sunday morning it was a time of fasting. No food! Then, from early afternoon into the evening I had to take not 1, not 2, but 3 doses of fairly unpleasant medicine that would clean my internal pipes so the surgeon could put his camera through them.

Now all this makes sense to a 54 year old male and father of 3 healthy and happy sons, whose father after being diagnosed with Prostate cancer passed away a few years ago.

So, I hear you ask, why is your plumber telling you this? If your body is a temple and mine is, and your home is your castle then it’s appropriate to get your pipes checked, especially if your castle has a history of problems or blockages in your sewer pipes.

There are many parallels between a Colonoscopy and a Drainoscopy.

To get a Drainoscopy is easy!

We clear your pipes and then put a specialized drain camera through the pipes to find out what is actually going on in there. Then we take the vision and put it on our YouTube channel with a description of what is going on in the pipes. You can see it, you can share it, you can get a second opinion, you can evaluate the information and understand exactly what is going on underground or in your pipes.

Yes, it is a little uncomfortable. But now I know that after Dr “L” has treated 2 areas of interest and checked my prostate, my pipes are in good condition. I’ve seen the pictures. And at the appropriate time, he will send me a reminder for my next Drainoscopy er… Colonoscopy.

So to end on a high note watch this fun YouTube clip.

Flush with Facts #3 Thomas Crapper

Thomas Crapper was a plumber in the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries who founded his own company in Chelsea, London in 1861.

Contrary to popular belief, Crapper did not invent the flushing toilet; that is said to have been invented by Sir John Harrington. Crapper however did make several patents relating to drain improvements, water closets and manhole covers. His plumbing business was quite successful, and supplied plumbing to members of the royal family, a feat for which many incorrectly believed he was knighted.

Although he did not invent the flushing toilet, Thomas Crapper & Co did successfully market and mass produce them.  As soldiers passed throughout England during WWI it is believed that the slang term “crapper” was created due to the frequency of Crapper & Co’s logo being present.

 

http://www.thelonedrainerandpronto.com.au/index.php

A plumbing emergency and ducks we’ve rescued

We were called out to this plumbing emergency that brought an unexpected surprise.

Our client had a blocked drain and when we had just about completed that repair, cutting tree roots from her sewer pipes, she called out because she needed a hand in her back yard.

A mother duck that had been nesting in her dense rear garden had chosen today to take her babies for their first swimming lesson. The ducklings took to the water like ….. well, ducks to water. The only problem was that the water level in the pool was a little low, they couldn’t get out of the pool and they were getting very tired.

Our attempts to rescue them by hand and with the pool scoop, brought a tirade of squawking and flapping of wings from the mother duck. She didn’t want us anywhere near her babies! We found a plank in the back shed which we put in the pool and then draped an old towel along the length of the plank, then stood back.

When mother duck settled down she could see we were trying to help, she led the baby ducklings up the plank and after checking they were all out, she herded them back to the nest in the dense undergrowth.
She gave us another flurry of feathers when we tried to check on the babies.

Every day brings another adventure!

mrs-rogan-ducks-aug034

 

My car is powered by sewage

Methane powered beetle

Methane powered beetle

This post was brought to my attention by the ever vigilant Richard Piper. When you ring our office for help you may speak to him. Tell him you enjoyed this post; I did!

Sewage powered VW Beetle hits the road in Bristol! A Volkswagen Beetle powered by gas from sewage has taken to the road for the first time in Britain.

This converted Beetle car runs on methane gas. The Bio-Bug was launched on Thursday by Wessex Water, which is generating methane from human waste at a sewage treatment works near Bristol.

The company claims the prototype is able to cover 10,000 miles annually on the waste from 70 households.

If the trial proves successful, Volkswagen will consider converting some of its fleet of vehicles to run on biogas.

Mohammed Saddiq, of GENeco, a Wessex Water subsidiary which runs the biogas plant at Avonmouth, said: “Our site has been producing biogas for many years, which we use to generate electricity to power the site and export to the National Grid. With the surplus gas we had available we wanted to put it to good use in a sustainable and efficient way. We decided to power a vehicle on the gas, offering a sustainable alternative to using fossil fuels which we so heavily rely on in the UK.

“If you were to drive the car you wouldn’t know it was powered by biogas as it performs just like any conventional car. It is probably the most sustainable car around.”

The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association said the launch of the Bio-Bug proved that biomethane from sewage sludge could be used as an alternative fuel for vehicles.

Lord Rupert Redesdale, the association’s chairman, said: “This is a very exciting and forward-thinking project demonstrating the myriad benefits of anaerobic digestion (releasing energy from waste). Biomethane cars could be just as important as electric cars.”

Last month Volkswagen announced plans to conquer the green market with a new generation of hybrid and electric cars.

Antonio Gaudi water conservationist

Barcelona 2010

To visit Park Guell and see the home and creative brilliance of Antonio Gaudi is a special treat.
Gaudi created Park Guell for the citizens of Barcelona. It has gardens and homes with a view of the city and the Plaza.

The Plaza is a meeting place for the people of the city and the brightly coloured mosaic seating around the man made plaza had a secondary purpose. The dry Mediterranean weather usually meant excess water used on something as soothing as a fountain for the citizens and visitors to the city was a waste of water. That didn’t phase Gaudi.

The water catchment created by the Plaza was a brilliant idea to collect any rainwater that fell, and through an underground filter and the storage system, the rainwater was then piped to the mouth of a Mosaic dragon lying in a garden with a fish and lily pond at the bottom of the beautiful staircase.

The ergonomic design of the seating around the Plaza, which was beautifully decorated in mosaics, was incredibly comfortable to sit back, relax and talk with friends and family.

Gaudi’s design allowed any water from those brief showers to fall to the back of the seating and then get channelled off quickly into a gutter on the outside of the seating and then dispersed to the dry garden areas below through a series of “spitters” hand carved in stone.

Absolutely Beautiful!

Park Guell Lion

Park Guell Lion

Rain lions

Rain lions

A place for inspiration and relief

In previous blog posts on urinals  and toilets, I showed you a field goal in a urinal that helped to reduce spillage, and also the infamous ‘fly in the urinal’ at Schiphol Airport. So once again, courtesy of Exponential Growth Strategist (http://www.ExponentialPrograms.com) Dr Marc Dussault (http://www.MarcDussault.com)  here is another photo, this time of  an unknown location in Amsterdam. This is just another example of how we can all take life a little less seriously and enjoy ourselves a little more.

A place for reflection

A place for reflection

 

The next time you come across an interesting bathroom or other plumbing related installation, please take a picture and forward it to me – this blog is a collaborative effort from people travelling all over the world to bring you a mosaic of photos, articles and facts that are curious, intriguing and fun.

 

Draining the “Coffee makers lane”

                                                                                                                                                                           Our Venetian correspondent is at it again!

As you have seen in previous posts, Holy S – – T ! A Gondoliers impression and The latest sewer notes and history of Venice, Gio the Venetian Gondolier knows how much our readers love to see how waste water and sewer is moved around Venice.

Hey mate!
I’m so proud to be on the site that I decided to send you more stuff about Venice. Here is first of all a picture of my lane ” calle del Caffettier” ( the coffee maker lane) while a draining is on the go.

As you see on the first pic our local plumber has the drain hose on the left side of the lane with all the pipe going over the bridge.

Venice pumping waste

Venice pumping waste

Then you see how the pipe goes to the canal where the drain boat is waiting with the plumbers mate.

Venetian drain boat collecting waste

Venetian drain boat collecting waste

Then a picture of our proud fire patrol just after the draining of a boat that sunk because the owner did not drain the rain out…. shame!

Venice fire team to the rescue

Venice fire team to the rescue

That is all my friend.

See the statue of our Lady on the top of the wall near my house? Isn’t it a corner of paradise?

A special piece of Venice

A special piece of Venice

Yes it is Gio. Thanks for sharing it with us!

More from Venice 2

St Marco drain boat

St Marco drain boat

Now Giovanni knows his way around the lagoon and the Grand Canal and all the other canals of the beautiful city of Venice.

His impressions of the sewers and sights of Venice along with his images of the way sewer is transported from the grand homes and palaces along the canals is always educational.

Apart from being a wonderful host and waterman, this excerpt from a recent correspondence underlines just how well our correspondent in Venice knows his way around his water bound city.

Hey Dave!
So can you imagine that Sophie the daughter of a friend from Evans Head, came to visit me in Venice?
Yesterday we had a great evening and this morning I had to wake up early ‘cause I had a commitment with a Norwegian novelist. He is writing a novel about somebody escaping from an island in the lagoon of Venice with a gondola, so he had to check out if it was possible for somebody to do it without knowing anything about a gondola before the moment of the escape.

I took him out on my gondola this morning at 8 for some research and now I’m back. I took these pics on the trip.

Gondolier at rest

Gondolier at rest

So dear readers, this gondolier knows his S – – T.

Please enjoy some more images of Venice courtesy of Gio.

Cruise ship at anchor Venice

Cruise ship at anchor Venice

The latest sewer notes and history of Venice

Mozarts neighbours get the drains cleared

Mozarts neighbours get the drains cleared

More S – – T from Venice! The best part about this blog is sharing with so many people and getting your insights into my topic S – – T.
Our knowledge of the sewers of the world grows.

Basically, we all use our toilets regularly and if you are not, then seek medical advice. Now I’m not going to get into anything unsavoury in this post, but I have a few toilet jokes and stories lined up for you in the future. So stay regular!

Our regular readers would have read about the world famous Venetian Gondolier my friend Giovanni Giudice in earlier blog posts like Holy S – – T.  A Gondoliers impression.

Here in Australia, as we drift into the cooler months it’s spring in Venice and Gio has been keeping me up to date with some interesting facts about the sewer movements and the history of his home town.

Here is an excerpt from a recent communiqué:

Mozart slept here!

Mozart slept here!

Yesterday I took these pics of drain boats in the first one you can see how they get the pipes to the house. This house is just in front of the house where Mozart, Wolfang Amadeus Mozart, stayed when he came to Venice in the Carnival of 1771.

This is written on the marble white stuff you see. Probably there is still some Mozart S- -T!!

 

 

 

Drain boat at St Marco square

Drain boat at St Marco square

This pic is of another Drain boat in front of San Marco Square. As you see from the last picture, I have taken all these pics from my gondola. You can see I’m under the bridge and you see the back (stern) of my lady, my gondola.

Take care my friend,
Giovanni

If you are travelling to Venice and need a guide, look for Giovanni, he is the best!

Something to aim for….a fly on the wall.

In a previous blog post  He aims, he shoots, he scores, I showed you a field goal in a urinal to reduce spillage. Some people were wondering what the original one at Schiphol Airport (http://www.schiphol.nl/) looks like… So once again, courtesy of Exponential Growth Strategist (http://www.ExponentialPrograms.com) Dr Marc Dussault (http://www.MarcDussault.com)  here is the infamous fly in the urinal at Schiphol Airport!

 

a-fly-at-schiphol-airport

 This blog is all about having fun with everything having to do with plumbing, plumbing services and plumbing repairs. If you come across anything that you think my readers would enjoy – please send it to me via a comment on this blog. In advance, I thank you for making this a top blog for plumbing aficionados!

Trumpets and toilets

The 2010 Pumper and Cleaner Environmental Expo held in Louisville Kentucky February 24th-27th 2010

We went to Louisville to see how the best of the best plumbers in the United States, look after their clients. If you have blocked sewer drains, blocked sewer pipes caused by tree roots in your pipes, or tree roots in your drains, or overflowing toilets, the experts we met at Pumper Cleaner 2010 know how  to fix your problem.
As the name of the show suggests, the focus is on pumping and cleaning up on that other topic very close to my heart, sewerage, that’s right S – – T; because in our game S – – T happens.

Our short YouTube video shows some of the equipment on display and how it is used.

Enjoy the trip!

Music by Chuck Mangione, “Give it all You’ve Got”

Don’t Let Tree roots Take Over Sewer pipes!

Today’s post is courtesy of Joe from Woollahra Sydney.

Joe had constant problems with the trees around his Sydney home, and tree roots growing in his sewer pipes, blocking them repeatedly. He would need drain cleaning several times a year to cut the tree roots, as the London Plane trees around his home tightened their vice like grip on his sewer pipes and drains. When this happened, the sewer would overflow in his home and on some occasions the raw sewage would come up in his kitchen sink!

Joe found a way to deal with the tree roots in his sewer pipes, to stop them re-growing and blocking his sewer line.

Now, Joe and his wife Elizabeth, both teachers, travelled to South-east Asia to help those less fortunate and during their travels over summer visited Cambodia and in particular the ancient city of Angkor Wat, built in the early 12th century.

 

Joe at Angkor Wat Beware of tree roots!

Joe at Angkor Wat Beware of tree roots!

Joe was astonished by the power of these tree roots and how they could almost consume these ancient buildings. He couldn’t wait to share this and other images with us.

Joe says, “Don’t let tree roots take over your drains and sewer pipes!”

 

What’s Your Poo Telling You? #2

 A friend and colleague, Dr Marc Dussault (http://www.MarcDussault.com), recently visited San Francisco and came across a great little bookstore… Little did he know it was Chronicle Books the publisher of the great little bestsellers “What’s Your Poo Telling You?” and “What’s My Pee Telling Me?”…
I guess this is another example of how small the world really is. These books are as funny as they are informative. If you’d like a copy, I’ve pre-purchased some inventory just for you. Give us a call and we’ll get them shipped to you… Pronto!

lone-drainer-at-chronicle-books-2

 

Marc chatted with the sales rep in the store and even brought up our website to show him who was selling the books in Australia!

 

How cool is that?!?!?

lone-drainer-at-chronicle-books-11

He aims, he shoots, he scores!

Today’s blog post is from Exponential Growth Strategist (http://www.ExponentialPrograms.com) Dr Marc Dussault (http://www.MarcDussault.com) who tells me that Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam setup a test with a fly printed at the bottom of the men’s urinals to ‘reduce’ spillage. From memory, the reduction was astonishing, 75+% reduction. The reason it seems is that given a target, men can actually aim quite well…

Marc came across this version of the same principle in his native Montreal, Quebec at a local sports restaurant called La Cage Aux Sports (http://www.cage.ca/pointe-claire)…

 cage-aux-sports-urinal

 

La Cage Aux Sports Urinal

a-fly-at-schiphol-airport

Schiphol Airport Urinal

Let’s face it – spillage or no spillage – this just looks like a lot of fun doesn’t it?

 

Psst! If you look closely at the floor – there’s no spillage!!!