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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

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

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.

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!

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.

 

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

Using a public toilet. Should I hover or cover the seat?

Here is a little fun on Friday! Have a great weekend, and wash your hands!

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

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!

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!!!