O Christmas Grease mp3 by Steve Anderson

h2o mp3: O Christmas Grease

O Christmas Grease mp3 by Steve AndersonHappy Holidays! And to celebrate the season, a gift for you: an all-new h2o mp3 from Steve Anderson, the water world’s funniest singer-songwriter and an advocate for free-flowing pipes and sewers everywhere!

In his newest original wastewater hit O Christmas Grease we are reminded that the FOG is rolling in this holiday season, and that there’s a right and wrong method to dispose of the nasty by-products of high-fat Christmas cookery. Read more

album cover art carney Music for Men Working

h2o mp3: The Song of the Sewer – Art Carney

album cover art carney Music for Men WorkingToday we raise (or lower?) our glasses to the king of sewer workers, Ed Norton, as portrayed by Art Carney in the iconic fifties teevee classic The Honeymooners. The versatile Carney also recorded prolifically in the 1950s for Columbia Records, including the 1954 hit “The Song of the Sewer” sung in character as Norton.

Art Carney as Ed Norton, Sewer WorkerI work in the sewer,
It’s a very hard job.
You know they won’t hire
Just any old slob.
You don’t have to wear
A tie or a coat.
You just have to know
How to float.

We sing the song of the sewer
Of the sewer we sing this song.
Together we stand
With shovel in hand
To keep things rollin’ along.

I work down the manhole
With a guy named Bruce.
And we are in charge
Of all the refuse.
He lets me go first
While he holds the lid.
I’m telling you, sheesh…
What a sweet kid.
A funny thing happened
To Bruce yesterday.
The tide came along
He got carried away.
He come out in Jersey.
But it’s O.K. now.
Cause that’s where
He lives anyhow.
My father he worked
In the sewer Uptown.
I followed his footsteps
And worked my way down.
That’s how I began
In this here industry.
I just sort of fell into it.
Sheesh, lucky me.

Headlines that Make Me Say, “Huh?”

South Haven officials, please get in touch. I believe I can help you unravel this perplexing mystery.

Which begs the question: are there environmental problems in heaven?

Lane County, how much of this is allocated for communications consultants? I know a good one and I’m pretty sure she can work within your budget.

As you might have noted by the image watermarks, all from

Austin, Beware of the Blob

Austin Water Utility demonstrates that slimy, greasy, fatty subject matter can really get the creative juices flowing!  “Stop the Grease Blob” sounds like a band playing at Austin’s SXSW, but is actually a video from the city’s campaign to alert customers to the horrifying consequences of putting greases and fats down the drain. We love the screaming females and melodramatic music. Made me laugh (and snagged them an award.)

And if, like me, you imagine sewer blobs as more brownish and stinky-chunky, there’s also a campaign poster with a more surreal, scary-cute sewer savage. Repulsive, yet adorable!

San Antonio’s Mutant Ninja Sewer Turtle

SAWS sewer turtle videoFrom this angle, I can’t quite tell if this is Michaelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, or Donatello! A few mutant Ninja skills might have helped this fully grown, totally stuck turtle found trapped inside a Texas sewer pipe. The San Antonio Water System’s snaking sewer camera caught the oddball obstruction during a routine sewer line check.

It took hours of dirty digging and dismantling to free the native “red-eared slider” who was then safely relocated to a nearby pond.

Here is a screenshot from the camera video (I guess they don’t have spell-check on those rigs!) which can be seen in total on the San Antonio Water System’s Facebook page. Also, see for the complete video of this story as seen on the local news broadcast.

SAWS sewer turtle rescue

SAWS sewer turtle rescue

SAWS sewer turtle

Eschew the Fat: How Gross is This?

How did I miss this Halloween treat?

Scottish Water advises folks to “Be afraid, be very afraid” as they take us deep into the sewer to observe with our own eyes what it looks like when fats are dumped down the drain. Go ahead and “see what’s lurking in a Highland sewer.”

Please note, may not be suitable for squeamish viewers! (This is exactly the sort of thing that motivated the Thames Singing Sewermen to break into song!)

Sewer Pipe Suite Life

A concrete sewer pipe as hotel room? That’s repurposing for a practical purpose! DasPark Hotel is the sort of wild idea you’d expect to be just another conceptual prototype, but this creation of Austrian art grad Andreas Strauss is real and operational.

Located in Linz, Austria, the unique hotel adds a back wall, large front door and small window to standard concrete sewer pipes to create an affordable stay for students and other adventurous travelers.


The external simplicity surrounds an unexpectedly comfortable interior – full headroom, double bed, storage, light, power, woolly blanket and light cotton sleeping bag. All other hotelery devices (Toilets, showers, minibar, cafe, etc) are supplied by the surrounding public space.

Just how affordable, you ask? The cost is the biggest surprise of all.

Because we obtain sanitation, breakfast and other hotel facilities from existing public infrastructure, it is possible for us to work with the very simple, user-friendly “pay as you wish” system. A night in dasparkhotel costs just as much as you can afford or want to pay.

(Tipped by a post on, thanks!)

Sensational Singing Sewermen from Thames Water

The Singing Sewermen from Thames Water would like Brits to give the sewers a rest this Christmas, so the unconventional troupe has restyled the classic carol “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” into “This Christmas Think of Sewermen.”

The song, part of Thames Water’s “Bin It Don’t Block It” campaign, was recorded deep in the Victorian sewers of East London on a hand-held camera. They’re singing with real feeling, and no wonder: an estimated 500 tonnes of fat (or 1.1 million pounds) – goes down customers’ drains each December, causing nasty blockages and backups…and some unpleasant work for the sewermen, no doubt.

Here’s the lyrics in case you’d like to sing along!

This Christmas think of sewermen who tremble in dismay
When grease from goose and fatted fowl is idly poured away
It clogs the drains of London and it must be scraped away.

Put your fat in the rubbish in a bin, throw it all in
Put your fat in the rubbish in a bin

So when you’ve had your Christmas meal of turkey, wine and pud
Remember our poor sewermen and treat them as you should.
Don’t pour your hot fat down the drain ’cause it will do no good.

Put your fat in the rubbish in a bin, throw it all in
Put your fat in the rubbish in a bin

We have met the Numptee and He is Us

Mr. Numptee looks at my flooded basement with sewer overflow blockage
Well, didn’t we have a rousing good time writing about Mr. Numptee, the bumbling red-lipped character in Yorkshire Water’s “Bin In, Don’t Flush It” campaign. Mr. Numptee finds himself in a constant state of sewer overflow because, again and again, he puts inappropriate items down the drain. His adventures are super funny to me because WE’RE not Numptees, we know better!

Or do we? Above, here’s Mr. Numptee in MY basement on Saturday night, after the panic of pumping out the sewer water that covered by basement floor. Below, the floor drain. If any water went down the waste pipes or a toilet was flushed, it all came bubbling up here. Gross! That white-ish stuff is TOILET PAPER!
flooded basement drain blockage overflowing with toilet paper

We cancelled our dinner plans and hit the Yellow Pages…at 7:30 pm Saturday. To our great relief, Pat from At Your Service told us he was on the way over. (Now there’s a well-named business!) After what seemed an eternity, but was actually just 30 minutes, the truck arrives.

The truck arrives from At Your Service Drain Specialists Kansas

They unload a monster of a machine. which looks small here, but is one giant hunk of metal. A hydraulic lift lowered in out onto the driveway.

Dan from At Your Service Drain Specialists in Kansas

Pat brought his helper Dan (above); it only takes one guy to do the actual unclogging, but it took both of them to get the “Spartan 1065” down the basement stairs. If this machine could talk…I’ll bet it would have some incredibly bad breath!

Spartan sewer drain cleaning machine used by At Your Service drain specialists Kansas

Through the clean-out opening of the nearby waste stack, Pat started feeding the Spartan’s snake through the line. The end of the snake has a disk-shaped tool that rotates and cuts its way through the sewer line. Below, Pat patiently feeds the line as all of us watch the drain anxiously. “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever taken out of a sewer line,” I ask. “Feminine Products,” he says. “Tampons. That happens a lot.” Pat says he nearly always clears the obstruction within 100 feet. (The Spartan’s limit is 125 feet.)

Pat from At Your Service drain specialists Kansas cleaning out the line

“That’s it.” We all look as the water drains from the floor, off to the wastewater stream where it belongs. Believe it or not, the photo below depicts a beautiful sight that brought me great happiness!

My clogged basement drain is finally cleared

So what caused it? Tree roots? No, Pat says our home is too new for that; roots are a common problem with homes that older than 40 years. In fact, our clog was caused by “feminine products.”

WHAT! Yes, the clog was caused by tampons. Now, there are 3 women in this household and I promise you, we knew that “sanitary products” or “feminine products” were verboten to flush, but for as much information as we’ve read on this topic, we thought they meant sanitary napkins, not little bitty tampons. Manufacturers help perpetuate the myth. From the Tampax website, you will read…

Tampax tampons can be flushed in toilets connected to city sewer systems. Frequent flushing of tampons is not recommended for septic systems.

Along with the misinformation, another problem is the silly modesty of terming these products  “feminine care.” If you mean tampons, say so!

So now we know. Here’s Pat and Dan, undoubtedly smiling because they’re done at my house and can go home and enjoy what’s left of their Saturday night. (I’m smiling too, at least until I have to face the prospect of cleaning up after a sewage overflow into my basement.)

Dan and Pat from At Your Service drain specialists Kansas

Shiny shamrocks on the truck of At Your Service drain specialists KansasI never expected see Mr. Numptee at my house, or a truck like this in my driveway. So let me state this directly: do not flush tampons. Also: according to Pat, who should know, do not flush baby wipes. Even the type that claim to be “flushable” are definitely not. As the truck leaves, I notice one awesome thing: the “lucky” shamrocks on the truck are made of reflective material, so I see them shining until the truck goes out of sight. And armed with a little more knowledge, I expect to be luckier in the future as far as sewer blockages go.