Most people don’t spend their days thinking about where our waste and wastewater goes. Fair enough. It’s why the professionals take care of it. Unless you’re in the industry or you’re in a position where your factory or place of business might be in need of some sewage treatment, it’s likely not at the forefront of dinner conversations. Here at Clowe and Cowan, we specialize in wastewater treatment and sewage pumping. So what kind of services do we offer and how has the sewage system played a role in our cultural history?
Our sewage systems have a long track record and history. Waste management was always quite a problem and it was a slow realization that these materials needed to go somewhere and be separate from our drinking water and places of recreation, etc.
American cities once relied on private cesspools and privacy chambers. These had to be emptied on a periodic basis. These systems were soon stressed as populations grew bigger, denser, and disease became prevalent. The spread of municipal waterworks kickstarted some of the early and more significant changes. Once people began having water pumped into their homes, the use of sewage systems made sense. Suddenly the usage of water skyrocketed and septic tanks and other waste systems could not simply keep up. In the 1860s, some brick sewers were installed. From there, some cities began the concepts of modern sewage and began installing a separate sewage system. One seat of pipes was for storm-drains and rainwater and one for the sewage itself. And yet, many cities are struggling today with their sewage infrastructure, given that many sewage systems were installed very early on—often before the advent of the toilet.
If you’re a homeowner, you might have some experience with sewage issues or problems. If you own a septic tank in your home, then you know the work that it takes to keep sewage maintenance up to par but if you live within the city limits you are likely a customer of the city’s sewage and waste treatment plants.
Here at Clowe and Cowan, we offer sewage pumping services that help clear out sewage waste by using special equipment and pumps. This eliminates the need to send a person down to the sewer systems. And yet, while many Americans don’t give their sewage system much thought, it seems to be a common theme in a lot of popular films and stories that play with the idea of what happens in the dark and underground tunnels that exist in our cities.
So when people outside of the industry think about the sewers, perhaps they often think about some of the very popular stories in our culture that use the sewers as a setting. Here are some popular sewer stories in popular culture:
IT the Clown. Initially, a film done in the mid-70s, inspired by Stephen King’s novel of the same name and now a newly remade version captured a whole other generation of people. The story of IT, plays on the idea that the sewer systems are dark labyrinths that hide horrifying things beneath the surface. IT the Clown lives beneath the surface and lures people into the darkness, sometimes to never be seen again. The underground seems to always signify a place that is unknown, dark, and possibly hiding the darkest of human potential. The sewers seem to be the perfect metaphorical tool for these types of stories.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Another story that has survived generations. Originally created as a comic book series in the early 80s, it has been adapted to film several times and lived on in the imagination of many kids and young adults. The origin story was simple enough and used the sewer system as a place where anything can happen. After a truck with radioactive isotopes crashes into a man carrying four pet turtles, they fall into the sewers the rest is history. Emerging from the accident are four distinct turtles with ninja capabilities that make the sewer their home.
Indiana Jones. Where would Indiana Jones not venture to? It’s no surprise that in the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones would find himself underground, moving through the dark labyrinths of the ancient city where catacombs and all kinds of icky stuff linger around.
Ok, so those are just a few examples. If you look around popular culture, you’ll likely find other stories that explore the dark crevices of our cities by using it as part of their storyline. And yet, real sewer treatment is not just where radioactive turtles practice their karate skills, it’s a necessary part of all cities and commercial places infrastructure to keep things sanitary, flowing, and running smoothly.
Here at Clowe and Cowan, we have spent years studying and perfecting our techniques when it comes to water waste management and sewer pumping. We work with a variety of industries including municipal entities, the mining industry, commercial industry, and fire line equipment.