Dirty Jobs (2005) s01e09 Episode Script

Sludge Cleaner

1 My name is Mike rowe, and this is my job.
I explore the country looking for people who aren't afraid to get dirty.
You're gonna get a little taste of what it's like to be a septic-tank technician.
Hardworking men and women who earn an honest living doing the kinds of jobs that make civilized life possible for the rest of us.
Now, get ready To get dirty.
Coming up on "dirty jobs," surfing is good, clean fun.
But making a surfboard Not so fun.
You've seen worse, haven't you? No, I haven't seen much worse, honestly.
Then a quarter million bees can give you quite a buzz.
[ Laughs .]
And later, I get a good look But there's nothing good about it.
at a little nightmare called "sludge.
" Captions by vitac captions paid for by discovery communications aah! Ohh! [ Coughs .]
It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it Say hi to Matt barker.
Today, Matt has the beach to himself.
Why? Because the pacific ocean is about 52 degrees, and nobody in their right mind would be out there surfing.
Of course, Matt is not exactly in his right mind.
He's searching for the perfect wave.
And, unlike other surfers, Matt's also searching for the perfect surfboard.
That's why Matt makes his own surfboards, which I'm told is a dirty job.
So, Matt I'm just guessing But you didn't find the perfect wave today? No, that session really didn't come together.
The surfing thing for you I mean, you're not just a guy who surfs.
This is your thing.
This is your life.
This is a lifestyle, definitely.
I've been doing this for Geez about 18 years, and I've been making surfboards for 12, and it's just a way of life for me.
So, the business of making surfboards It is a dirty job? Yes, it is a somewhat dirty job.
Yeah.
And it all takes place behind this door? Yes, it does.
Why wait? Let's check it out.
So this is not a one-size-fits-all proposition? No, it's not.
As you can see, we have a selection of blanks, which are the rough preshape, if you will, of a surfboard.
They're polyurethane foam.
And they come in different shapes and sizes depending on the board that you want to come up with at the end.
So you don't make these.
You sort of order these the way they are, and then you go about the business of improving a blank, or filling in the blank, if you will.
For you, I would probably What are you, a buck 95? Yeah, give or take.
Okay.
I'd say we should go with the bouncer, which is a high-volume Kind of a bigger guy shortboard.
You'd put a big guy on a shortboard? Yeah, just depending upon the level of performance that you're looking to achieve from the board.
I'm looking to not drown.
[ Laughs .]
Well, everybody's looking for that.
We're gonna start with a 6'9" blank.
We're gonna shape it.
We'll laminate it, hot-coat it.
Then we're gonna put fins on it, we're gonna put a leash plug in it, and then we're gonna give it a sand job.
We conclude with a sand job? Always.
I love a happy ending.
Let's start.
Big guy, shortboard And a sand job.
This is the hallway that leads to the three magic doors.
So we go in door number one, and we shape a blank.
We're gonna shape a board.
Good enough.
I like what you've done with the colors, Matt.
I'm starting to see why it could get dirty because I mean, when you plane this, obviously, we're looking at Foam dust.
That's probably not the best thing in the world for you.
[ Buzzing .]
You take it down about a quarter inch or so? It's about an eighth of an inch.
Looks deeper than it is.
Oh.
[ Buzzing .]
That's a seam right through the middle.
What do you call that? That is a stringer.
That's actually a piece of basswood.
It gives the board its rigidity and strength.
Otherwise, it would just be like a limp noodle.
No.
Limp is bad.
Rigidity good.
Set the lip here on the part that you haven't cut yet and then cut at an angle and just kind of run it along there.
So I'm cutting as little as possible at this point.
No, you're cutting as much as possible.
[ Buzzing .]
Oh, dear.
[ Laughs .]
Sorry about that.
That's okay.
That's a common rookie error.
Just start off about right here on the part that you haven't cut.
Follow that edge.
All right.
[ Buzzing .]
Beautiful! That's about the best cut I've ever seen a first-timer do.
You've got a little divot right here.
Really? I'm doing that well? 'Cause normally I'm not very good at this kind of thing.
I'm very proud of you.
Well, thanks.
Maybe I should do another one.
Go ahead.
Shaping blanks.
[ Buzzing .]
Oh, crap.
Did I screw up your stringer there? No, it's okay.
I'll clean it up.
[ Buzzing .]
Well, almost.
That's what we're shooting for almost.
You ran right down into another layer Another level of foam.
You can't push.
So I messed up a blank is what I did? You can fix it? We can.
Now, that's an interesting comparison Your side, my side.
Well, let's see that planer, and I'll make them both look the same.
Should always wear eye protection.
Yeah, well, better late than never, right? Sweet.
Is the bottom more important than the top? The bottom is the most important thing on the board.
The rocker is the most important A combination of rocker and bottom contour.
What's a rocker? Rocker is the curve of the board if you're looking at it sideways.
You know, it's the curve of the bottom.
Now we work on the front.
The top, the deck.
If you will.
Why can't I get this right, for god's sakes?! You did the whole bottom of the board fine, and now you're reverting back to your I'm freaked out by the nose.
When you have the planer like this, you're not getting into that nose curve because of the length of the planer.
So you need to hold it at this angle, so your blade has contact with the nose of the board.
Oh, why didn't you tell me that at first? Well, you know, you learn as you go.
Bad.
Good.
Very good.
Remember, as I said before, you're supposed to start with the blade off of the foam.
There's so many rules! The blade's off the foam, but it's not on the foam.
It's near the foam, but juxtaposed to the foam Adjacent to the foam, but not on the foam, per se.
You sounded like a rapper right then.
It does have a certain beat to it.
Don't chunk.
You're gonna chunk it.
But if I start it up here and then lower it That's perfect.
"Perfect," he says.
That's ironic is what that is.
Don't screw it up.
Don't screw it up.
[ Buzzing .]
You've seen worse, haven't you? No, I haven't seen much worse, honestly.
But I can go in here and clean this up, and we'll be good to go to the next step.
[ Imitating Matt .]
I can go in here and clean this up, and we'll be good to go.
Don't hold it.
Don't hold it? It messes me up.
So, when you're doing this by yourself Which is the way you always do it You're taking into account not just the shape of the board but the way it's positioned, so you don't need anybody to hold it.
It kind of messes me up if somebody holds it.
Which is why you yelled at me.
Right.
Don't take it personal.
No, I don't.
I bounce back from this kind of thing all the time.
I'll be fine.
Okay.
You did the nose, and so i'm trying to stay away from that.
Can you clean it up a little bit? Because I'd hate to cut off the nose to spite the deck.
This is what we use to kind of clean up the deck and give it the proper curve that we want.
Now, hold on a second.
I can't hear a word.
What's that called? It's a surform.
Oh, it's a cheese grater.
No, it's a surform.
It kind of looks like a cheese grater.
A surform? It's pretty smooth, and we're good to move on to the next step.
The design of a surfboard can make the difference between catching a wave and wiping out.
And I was discovering there's no one better at this art than Matt barker.
And the next step would be? The next step would be outline, which is a fun step.
I'm ready for the fun to ensue.
Okay.
So, I'm gonna cut a little bit off the nose, a little bit off the tail.
We're gonna make it a 6'6".
6'6".
Exactly two feet past that.
So, basically, we're just gonna trim around the entire perimeter.
Exactly.
We're gonna take our template.
We're gonna trace the outline.
Then we're gonna come back, and we're gonna cut it out.
[ Laughs .]
Oh, man.
You gotta really read that saw and what it's doing.
I really suck.
Look at that.
[ Laughs .]
Are you gonna be able to trim this up? Yeah, we'll fix this right up.
And when you say, "we," of course I mean you.
Just take it right take it all down to that line.
That looks pretty good.
"Pretty good" is not gonna cut it.
We need perfection.
Then you better hand the tool to me.
I mean, at this point in the process, it's all about correcting my mistakes.
Sort of.
[ Laughs .]
You know, you're a first-timer, so, I mean, I can't really expect a whole lot, you know? Well, that's what I like.
Keep the expectations low, and nobody gets disappointed.
But, without making excuses, have you considered maybe putting a light in here? Well, lightwise, we have to work with these side lights because they cast shadows across the board.
Let's do a little demonstration.
Let's flip the side lights off and the overhead on.
Right.
And you really can't see a whole lot here.
No, it looks perfect.
It looks like a flat surface.
You can see that there's something wrong with it, but you can't really tell accurately what's wrong.
But then, you flip the side lights on, and you can see everything.
It's like night and day.
Wow.
This is the lam room.
What in the world happened in here? This is where all of our resin action takes place.
This is where we wrap the board in fiberglass.
This is where we hot-coat, where we do fins sometimes.
I don't know how to tell you this, but you got some stuff on your floor.
Yeah, that's a serious coating of polyester resin, different colors.
That's a Dixie cup.
Yeah, that's for resin pigments.
You see how it's green, white.
And that's a tongue depressor.
That's right.
That's a mixing stick.
The last time I saw a cup like this, the doctor asked me to fill it up.
I'm smelling residual residue resin, or residual resin residue.
Or residual resin "risidue.
" Those are my party shoes.
What happened? I spilled some resin on them.
All right.
Well, I'm not worried about my lungs, but I can't bear to trash another pair of shoes.
Let's go get changed.
Now I feel safe.
All right, so we're ready to dress the board.
And it's fiberglass cloth.
Well, that I mean, yeah.
"Fiberglass cloth" Those are two words I've never heard grouped up together like that before.
Yeah, that's how we do.
You can feel it.
It's kind of just a weave of fiberglass.
And what the resin does is it fills in all the little gaps, and the cloth actually disappears, and it just becomes a solid sheath over the board.
What do you mean, it disappears? It becomes invisible.
It's magic.
Yeah, sort of like magic.
That, by the way, is a serious pair of scissors.
Yes, it is.
This is like a big fabric scissor.
Garden shears.
Now, this first layer We just cut to cover the rail.
You can pull it right apart there.
Mosquito netting.
Cool.
That was 6-ounce cloth.
This is 4-ounce cloth.
So, combined, we've got 10 ounces of fiberglass cloth here.
We have two different weaves on top of the other, and it just gives it an extra kind of strength.
Now, are you ready to do some cutting? If only we had some scissors.
How about these? Hey, those are super.
Start right here.
Go straight across.
This gets a little tricky.
Of course.
Which is why you've given me the scissors, naturally.
For the sophisticated, esoteric parts By all means Let the novice try.
You're looking good.
You're feeling good.
You're feeling fine.
I'm making a surfboard.
I'm a part of the team.
I'm contributing.
I haven't cut off fingers, yours or mine.
We got to put some masks on and some gloves, and then we'll be back in action.
Okay, Mike, you ready to do this? One more.
One more? Yeah, one more half pull.
That's good.
A little dab will do us, right? Good.
Okay.
What about like that? Put your finger down and There you go.
I see.
Here I come.
It'll take over a gallon of polyester resin to coat the surface of the board.
It's a race against time to smooth out this gooey, sticky gunk before it dries Usually, within eight minutes.
Resin the secret ingredient of surfboards.
My god, that's a surfboard you can be proud of.
Yes, it is.
My god, I wish I could surf! Very good job, my friend.
Thank you.
Are we done? Oh.
Oh, sorry.
Funny stuff.
[ Coughing .]
[ Sighs .]
Sanding the surfboard is the last step in the process, and it's also one of the dirtiest.
Matt's made over 5,000 boards, and he insists that each one be sanded to perfection before it's sold as a barker board.
Rowe: So what's left to do? Barker: Well, all that's left to do is to ride it.
God, if only we had a beach around here.
We may be able to find one.
Yeah.
You get the board.
I'll get the door.
All right! Rowe: Hanging 10.
You know, I don't even know what that means.
So we're just outside of the town of Eugene, Oregon.
I'm talking with Chuck and his son Andrew.
They're beekeepers.
And we're joined by, what, a couple hundred thousand of your best friends back there? Chuck: Probably a quarter of a million.
Now, Andrew and I seem to be the prudent ones of the bunch.
You're just gonna go in there just with the suspenders and the jeans and short sleeves, and that's it? Yeah, I get into one of those uniforms, it's too hot for me.
I can't take it.
Me, I like peace of mind.
Okay.
What are we gonna do today? Well, what we're gonna do is we're gonna take some honey boxes off Boxes that are full of honey.
Take them back to the shed for extraction.
That involves a little bit of driving the bees down and a little bit of blowing the bees out.
Is that a smoker? That's a smoker.
Usually, you use burlap in it.
Start it up with a little bit of paper and matches, and drew's gonna do that.
Mm-hmm.
I'm gonna get my leaf blower that we use to blow the bees out.
Really? I bet they love that.
Well, they're kind of used to wind.
They've experienced a lot of it every day when they fly.
So it's not something foreign to them.
So, usually, we can blow them out without too much fuss.
And what I'm gonna do before we start is we'll take some of this It's really kind of an almond extract And we'll put a little bit on each board.
And this'll run some of the bees out.
There you go.
One in each hand.
All right.
Give Mike a hive tool.
Oh, yeah.
A hive tool.
Yeah.
You got your choice here.
All right.
This looks This look all right? Yeah.
All right.
I don't have any pockets.
Oh, I got a pocket.
All right, let's go get some honey.
Okay, let's get to work.
Okay.
I'm gonna take the brick off.
And we'll just put it back behind.
And we're gonna take a peek at this hive and see if there's a box that needs to come off.
Drew, give them a little smoke.
Yeah.
Definitely.
Hello.
Look at that.
There they are.
They're like apartments.
Yeah, they're modular apartments.
And what we're gonna do is put one of those black fume boards right over the top.
Yeah, with the padded side down.
And that'll put out enough fumes that I think that some of the bees, at least, will get out of there.
There's another box.
How many times you been stung? Oh, I stopped counting a long time ago, Mike.
Now, pop that.
And the last one will be the one next door.
Ouch.
Get you? Yeah.
Number one of the day.
Okay, we're ready.
What we do is we'll wait and see if these bees move down a little bit.
Okay.
And as they move down, they'll clear these boxes out.
And we'll blow them out a little bit and cart them back to the trailer and put them on the pallets.
You make it sound easy.
Only the top layers of the hives are harvested.
Okay, now he flips it up.
The bottom layers are left intact.
They contain enough honey for the bees to survive the winter and produce again next year.
There are about 30,000 to 40,000 bees in each hive.
Oh, yeah.
We're loaded here.
Lots of bees.
These are very heavy, full of honey.
Very heavy.
Very noisy.
Listen to that.
[ Buzzing .]
Oh.
I see.
Sorry about that.
You took my hive tool.
Never take your eyes off your hive tool.
These gals are not going down.
Okay.
The sucker got me right through the glove.
Did he? Yeah.
Chuck: Well, Mike, we appreciate the help.
Sorry we made you carry so many boxes.
No, no, no.
It's all part of the gig.
I haven't got as dirty as I thought I would, actually.
Yeah, you look pretty clean.
We got to get you messed up back at the shed.
What happens back at the shed? We got to extract all this, and we got to spin out honey.
So I'm gonna go back and work with Kathy, then.
We brought the honey back to the factory, otherwise known as the shed behind the house.
There we go.
Thanks.
Each one of these is about 30, 35 pounds of honey.
One, two, three, four, five.
Yeah, close to 200 pounds on here.
Yep.
All right.
So we're just gonna walk this straight back down to the What'd you call it? The hot house, the hot room.
Yeah, the hot room.
That sounds kind of ominous.
Yeah.
Well, it's pretty warm.
It keeps all the honey hot so it flows nice.
And here's the hot room.
The hot room lives up to its name.
It's 90 degrees inside.
No kidding! Yeah, that's warm.
Yeah.
Gotta take all these boxes and take them over here into the extraction house, and my mom, Kathy She's going to show you how to take this and make it into honey.
All right, well, I'll put this back and get started.
Yeah, sounds good.
Before I started with Kathy, a trailer in the yard had aroused my curiosity.
Yeah.
We'll get it loaded up.
I got to ask you.
What's in there? Well, after we extract all the boxes and get all the honey out of the frames, we pack them up and load them in there to store them.
Can I look in there? If you want, yeah.
Go for it.
Just open up the door there.
Better watch out, though.
[ Buzzing .]
Holy heck! Yeah.
Man! [ Laughs .]
Hello, bees.
You can't hurt me.
I'm invincible.
To bee or not to bee.
Coming up Thank you very much.
honey can make you money.
It's fresh.
It's organic.
It's raw.
No honey is organic.
No honey is organic.
Did I say it was organic? Well, the bees are.
The hunt family produces about 8,000 pounds of honey a year from 130 hives.
But this sweet work is only a part-time operation for them.
During the week, Chuck is a sociology professor.
Got it? Yep.
And his wife, Kathy, is a special educational instructional assistant.
This is a frame.
Mm-hmm.
You see, these are all the cells.
See how they've capped it over? When the individual cell becomes so full, it That's cappings.
All right, that's what the bees do.
What do we do? Okay, so what we're gonna do is we have to turn on our uncapper.
I turn it on high.
That will heat this up.
This is called an uncapper? Uncapper, exactly, because it takes the cappings off.
And I turn it on.
This one doesn't need to be uncapped.
Okay.
This one does, so I'm gonna put it in.
See, it just cuts it off.
It's just this serrated edge that runs straight up.
Right.
And back and forth.
Yeah.
The cappings are actually beeswax, which is later processed and used for candles, soapmaking, and other crafts.
Thumb.
And then just put it on the, uh Aah! Did I get you? [ Laughs .]
Okay.
There was a bee down there.
Yeah? There is a bee down there, yeah.
Now, just put looks good.
Great! Beautiful! Wow! Look at that.
That's some handsome uncapped honey right there.
So now what we're gonna do is we're going to take the frames and put them into the extractor.
Now, the extractor has, um Oh! Sorry.
Go ahead.
That's all right.
It has little slots in it where you're gonna put the frames.
So you can do the next outside one.
Now, you're checking to make sure they're the right weight.
Yes, feels good.
All right, good.
Well, no.
You want to be in that one.
I want to be in this one? Okay.
So you want to put it right over there.
This.
All right.
Looks good.
Yep, looks good.
You're ready.
Okay, so what we're gonna do is just turn on the machine.
There.
There it goes.
Rowe: So what's going on now, Kathy This is being turned, and it's throwing the honey that's in the combs against the sides of this device, and then it's draining down, going through this hose up through here.
And it'll eventually get pumped out through this hose when you're bottling.
Into the bottler, yeah.
Now, this is the point that makes it all worthwhile.
I mean, we're about to take the honey, put it in the bottle, and, ultimately, this is what you sell.
Okay.
You just flip the little lever, and you try to keep the honey coming down on the side of the container so that you don't incorporate air back into it.
And it should be That should be the product right there.
That simple.
So, you pull this up or down? Pull it up and keep it slanted so you keep air out.
Yeah, mm-hmm, because the honey has settled in the bottler all night getting the air out.
Oops, nope! Nope, no, no, no! Crap! It's got to go right up in No, like that.
Oh.
Okay, here.
Geez.
Look at that.
Things were going so well.
Put it down.
I just spilled 50 cents all over the place.
Don't lick your fingers.
I really want to lick my fingers.
No, you can't.
Really? You cannot lick your fingers in here.
Oh, man.
I'm sorry, Kath.
That's all right.
That happens.
It didn't happen with Chuck.
Thank you.
Now you're gonna do a couple of bears, right? Yeah, I'll do a bear.
Sure.
Okay, good.
Tilt it just a little bit.
Don't let any air get in there.
Watch.
Focus.
Back off a little bit, and It's amazing where the Oh, see? Look If you go a little too far, you're absolutely screwed.
Right.
Wow! All right.
There's your lid.
Come here, lid.
What do you sell the bears for? That's a 2-pound bear, and that goes for $6.
So if a 2-pound bear goes for $6 and a one-quart bottle goes for $8, a one-quart bottle must weigh over two pounds.
It's three pounds.
See, I did that in my head.
Very good.
Thanks.
Well, it's the end of a long, hard day.
I'm hot.
I'm sweaty.
I'm sticky.
And it was an honor, Mr.
and Mrs.
Hunt.
Thank you for letting me come by.
Well, thank you for coming.
Nothing left to do but sell some honey and soap tomorrow? Farmers' market? Tomorrow morning.
What time? About 8:30.
8:30 work for you? Right.
Thank you very much.
Always a pleasure.
I think I'm stuck to you there.
[ Laughter .]
Oh, those hunts, those wacky beekeepers.
See you in the morning.
See you tomorrow.
[ Triangle rings .]
The next day, we were at the farmers' market in downtown Eugene, Oregon.
The hunts sell all of their honey at these local outdoor markets.
In addition to honey, the wax from the bees is used to make candles and soaps by Andrew's wife, carmella.
Great.
I'm gonna put it up for sale today.
I get it.
And today, they had the advantage of a super salesman.
All right, 2 pounds is $6.
Now, is that this year's honey? You bet it is.
I poured it myself not 12 hours ago.
BlackBerry.
Carmella: Raw BlackBerry.
That's right.
Then that's the one I'd better get.
It's fresh.
It's organic.
It's raw.
No honey is organic.
No honey is organic.
Did I say it was organic? This, of course, represents probably the best value on the table.
It's a gallon of honey for $28.
What's your name? Dirk.
Dirk, we live in uncertain times, you know? And if it were me, I'd be looking at this whole opportunity as just that.
A chance to stock up on the honey.
A chance to get all the honey I need for all my future honey needs, without really fully understanding what the future holds for any of us.
You talked me into it.
Let me do a gallon and a bear.
All right, great, two bars of soap, a gallon, and a bear That's $28 plus $6.
That's gonna be $34, plus $10 is gonna be $44.
Well, thank you so much.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
Thanks.
The buses driving the gritty streets of our cities get dirty Really, really dirty.
So they come here for a good scrubdown and an oil change.
But all that dirty water and all that greasy oil doesn't go down the drain and into the sewer.
No, that goopy mess goes somewhere else, and today I'm going to find out where.
I'm standing inside a great big, giant garage outside of laguardia airport.
I'm wearing rubber, tyvek, and I'm wrapped in duct tape.
This is my friend Todd.
Todd works with key environmental.
That's correct, Mike.
I know that because it's written on the truck right there.
What is going to happen to me today? Today, you're gonna get covered in sludge.
Sludge and what exactly, in laymen's terms, is sludge? Sludge is a makeup of oil, grease, dust Everything a bus picks up off the road.
It's greasy.
It's messy.
This is a dirty job.
Where, exactly, in this giant, cavernous barn of a garage, do you keep the sludge? Right under where you're standing.
There's a metal plate.
Under the metal plate is a large pit.
Now it's becoming clear.
We're going underground into a pit full of disgusting material.
That's correct.
There was over three feet of filthy standing water in the pit Oh, that's a handsome hose.
Look at that.
so Todd used a vacuum truck to suck it out.
But a lot of the sludge underneath was too thick to go through the vacuum's hose.
That was going to have to be shoveled and bucketed out by hand.
After you.
Yeah, you're very kind.
Thank you.
Oh! Good god! Todd: That's the oil-water separator, Mike.
It is just, without a doubt, the dirtiest metal box I've ever seen.
Pretty gruesome.
Do we go with the hoods up or down? Leave the hoods down for right now.
All right, 'cause it's about 100 degrees in here and maybe 200 degrees in the suit.
Yeah.
You want to breathe.
You want to be able to breathe.
The whole point of this is to keep the worst of the crap out of our lives.
Correct.
Out of the sewer system.
All right.
This isn't very deep at all? No, no.
You're talking about two inches deep right now.
You're good to go.
You're on the floor.
Ay-yi-yi.
Todd: So that's the clean-out.
That seems to be full, which means that the separator's not flowing as well as it should be.
There's probably a good cubic yard of sludge here.
When you say "good," you mean, "at least.
" At least a cubic yard of sludge.
But there's nothing good about it.
I'd never opened a sludge box before, so Todd called in crew member Shawn to help.
Oh, god! Who was I to argue? And more to the point, why on earth would I? Don't stick it too far in there because it'll all be shut down.
Oh, god! I think I just made it sick.
I think I just made me sick.
Yeah, show me your technique there, Shawn.
So this is about six weeks of material.
So if it looks like this every six weeks, that means you're down here 10 times a year, 9? Just about, yeah.
So there, under your right hand, is where the water is being constantly pushed into the separator.
That's correct.
That's the dirty wash water from the engine wash, the drains, and the bus wash.
And all of that gets filtered through here, doesn't it? The thing is, I don't see the filter.
Where is the actual Well, it doesn't filter.
It allows the sludge to separate in the box.
Just because it's heavier, it sinks to bottom.
Correct.
I got it.
You know what? Todd, I'm tired of sucking.
I believe it's time to shovel.
Let's go to it.
Got one? Thanks.
It's pretty peaceful without that vacuum going.
If this is what you consider peaceful.
Well Whoa! [ Spits .]
Can I get a I need a towel.
[ Grunts .]
So, how does this rate? On the seven levels of hell? Yeah.
Six And a half.
I'm glad I could accommodate you.
Yeah.
How how'd you get into this line of work? Working in shops, garages They always ask me to do additional things.
Like, "by the way, "can you take fluorescent tubes and recycle them? Can you clean out an oil-water separator for us?" And I said, "sure.
" But you didn't know what the hell you were talking about at the time, did you? Not a clue.
Oh, I love that.
So, upstairs, Shawn is filling these 55-gallon drums.
He's handing them to somebody else that's actually filling the drums.
Some other bastard's standing in this endless line of pain.
Down the food chain.
While bus drivers cruised in and out of the garage in their clean, air-conditioned coaches, I was sequestered in a subterranean pit shoveling some black goop called "sludge.
" [ Grunts .]
Not bad for a first-time bucketing sludge.
Or it's not your first time? Well, for sludge, yeah, I'm afraid this might be my first time.
And last? I'm afraid you might be right on both counts.
[ Laughter .]
How many showers do you take in an average day? After this? Yeah.
I mean, how long does it take you to get clean? A good long time.
[ Laughing .]
A good long time.
It's getting pretty juicy down there.
Yeah.
It really grabs on to it.
So, why are these two containers kept separate? Well, the first chamber is supposed to hold back the majority of the sludge and give the sludge a chance to separate and the oil a chance to separate.
But they've done a lot of washing, which is restricting This is chamber one? This is chamber two? This is chamber one.
That's chamber two.
Water comes in over there.
It looks like you have just about got it.
And me.
All right.
You want to get the last drop, or are we ready to go to the next phase? We're ready to go to the next phase.
You see that hole in the wall? We're gonna introduce a high-pressure water blaster in there.
So you'll see all kinds of muck and [bleep.]
Come flying out of there.
Todd: When he drops that down, you want to grab that? Ah.
This would be the jet.
That's correct.
This is the nozzle of the jet router.
Rowe: This is essentially replacing the work of a mechanical auger.
Correct.
An auger would go through the pipe, and it would turn and spin.
Mechanical, exactly.
And all it would do is Pierce a hole when you're talking about sludge like this.
How does it work? High-pressure water fed through this hose.
There are very tiny holes drilled in the head of the jet router, and those come back at you.
Instead of a stream of water shooting ahead like in your conventional nozzle, this shoots back at you.
And there are very tiny holes, which create a lot of pressure.
The water could cut you.
It could lacerate your skin.
According to Todd, the jet router does for a sludge drain what floss does for your teeth.
Flossing properly here meant that I had to feed the hose 200 feet into the pipe.
It's about 105 degrees down here in the sludge pit.
Dirty, smells bad, too.
What'd you expect? It's a sludge pit.
It's amazing what eight hours of sucking, shoveling, and jet routering can do to a sludge pit And a TV host.
By the time we were done, I'd lost literally two gallons of sweat and had felt all my sanity and strength had gone with it.
[ Coughing .]
God! I'm not saying it's hot in there.
But I am saying it was incredibly dirty.
What are we looking at? About 600 pounds of sludge.
Where's it going? This is going to an incinerator in Newark.
Why's it going there? Because it has a btu value.
It burns for energy.
It's got good value.
Interesting.
We're not going there now, are we? No, not today.
No, good.
So, let's put the lid on, the steel lid.
Let's get it snug.
Okay.
Let's put the ring on with the bolt down.
It's like an o ring.
There you go, with the bolt down.
All right, let's speed it up and use the speed wrench.
Is that what this is? Get it real tight because, when you tip it over, you don't want to lose any liquid.
Oh, wrong way.
Oh, crap.
Bang on the rim a couple of times with the wrench.
Try the wrench.
Why am I doing that? To make sure it's tight.
Is it? I think we can get tighter.
[ Grunts .]
Now we're gonna move this monster into the back of the truck.
How much does it weigh? About 600 pounds.
So let me get you the Yeah, get me something, like six other guys.
Oh, a Dolly.
Hello, Dolly.
This is a special Dolly, right? Yes, this is a drum-handling Dolly.
Where's that truck? Oh, the big white thing with "key environmental" written on it? Todd: All right.
[ Grunts .]
All right.
Is that far enough? It's far enough, man.
You are a dirty, dirty man.
You too, man.
I knew I liked you.
At the end of the day, the pit was clean Well, cleaner.
But I wasn't, and that just didn't seem fair.
We'd like to have a look at your dirty videos.
No, not those dirty videos Your dirty job videos.
If you have a dirty job and a video camera, send us a videotape of you doing your dirty job.
Make sure it's really dirty.
If it's dirty enough, we'll put it on the air.
And if it's really super dirty, I'll come out and do the job with you.
Go to discovery.
Com/dirtyjobs for all the information you need.
And, for god sakes, take a shower.
Woman: When does your sister get to town? She gets in Thursday.
That's the kind of comedy you get on "dirty jobs.
" It's not dirty or really funny.
That's the kind of comedy we specialize in Clean, unfunny humor.
It's fun to have sticky hands.
[ Laughs .]
My name's Mike rowe, and I've put a pig on a pedestal.
Why? Because even though he works in the dirt, this noble creature is the embodiment of hard work, self-sacrifice, and a good-natured willingness to get the job done, no matter how dirty.
Day after day, he goes about his business without complaint.
And night after night, he brings home the bacon.
[ Pig snorts .]
I am sorry I said that.
What's on your pedestal?