Improving Lives Through Sanitary Sewer Evalucations

Improving Lives Through Sanitary Sewer Evalucations

You may see typo above, but rest assured, it is intentional. Let me explain. Along with Improving Lives, another main goal of TREKK is educating the communities we serve. Our orange TREKK shirts stick out, regularly serving as conversation starters between us and local residents. Some could see this as a nuisance, but I see it as a way to further solidify the fact that the work we are doing affects everyone, either directly or indirectly. I grew up in a small town and my work in Southwest Missouri is often centered on towns with populations less than 5,000. No matter who I communicate with, I am both educating them and gaining knowledge myself. Be it the little kids who try to sneak a peek down a manhole hoping to see a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pop out, or the town elder who wants nothing more than for you to listen for two minutes about his experiences in his community, I am amazed at how we are able to touch lives. When I started with TREKK, I was one of those people who didn’t understand where wastewater went post flush. As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.” While the jokes may come and go – “Stuff flows downhill,” “you got something on your boots” – I have come to embrace the work I do on a daily basis. TREKK has built a true All-Star team, of like-minded, purpose driven leaders. And I see every day how what we do matters. A new project was recently posted in our internal Project Management system – “Sanitary Sewer Evalucation”...
Teamwork

Teamwork

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines teamwork as “the work done by people who work together as a team to do something.”  At TREKK, teamwork is exhibited on a daily basis through collaboration and commitment to the clients we serve.  And it was never more evident than the accomplishments achieved by TREKK field crews and office staff over the past summer. TREKK was tasked with smoke testing more than 2 million linear feet of sewer pipe in the Kansas City area – including local landmarks like the Country Club Plaza and University of Kansas Lawrence campus – in less than five months.  To complicate matters, a wet spring and early summer delayed the start of smoke testing by more than a month, making the schedule that much more difficult to achieve. Many people doubted that this could be accomplished by one firm and delivered on schedule and within budget. But the TREKK team did not complain, ask for more time or make excuses.  Our team stepped up and everyone pitched in to complete the work on time and on budget. It is truly awesome to be a part of this team, comprised of talented individuals working together for one common goal. ~ David...
Making a Difference

Making a Difference

Working at TREKK gives us the opportunity to improve lives in our client’s communities. And sometimes those communities happen to be the very ones we personally call home. I recently had the opportunity to help with some small pieces of an I&I cost analysis model, which included smoke observations in my hometown. Because I spent a majority of my life there, I took a sentimental moment to peer at the data we’ve input into the app our crews use for field data collection. I saw my step-grandfather’s house, and the house where my great-grandmother lived before she passed. Too many times my great-grandmother’s toilet would back up and the manhole out in the street would overflow.  Looking closer, I saw the concentration of smoke defects in that area. I couldn’t believe that after all these years, the area was finally being investigated. But it was a simple text message conversation with one of my TREKK colleagues that yielded an epiphany I may have never realized. After sharing with him my relationship to the client community, he reminded me that my tools are now being used to study an area that I played in as a child. I helped get the smoke testing app started and built a model to process acoustic sounding, manhole inspections and smoke testing in the app, which is being used weekly on sets of collected field data. I didn’t realize it at first, but I got to be involved in that effort indirectly. Never, ever, would have I seen that connection in my life had my colleague not said it. I work for the firm...
Subject: Info – Water Main Break

Subject: Info – Water Main Break

At TREKK, our mission is to improve lives in our communities every day. There is nothing better than when something in your personal life brings into perspective just how our work impacts our communities. Like when you open your inbox to this email from your child’s school, which also happens to be where your wife works, and see this message: “Subject: Info-Water Main Break Parents,  We just wanted to let you know that there has been a break in the water main in front of the school.  Breakfast and lunch will be served and we have bottles of water for the children to drink and have arranged a plan for them to use the restrooms.  We are hoping this situation is resolved soon.  We will keep you posted.  Have a great day!!  Thank you,  Administration” This immediately put me into “I’m an Engineer and I’m going to save the day” mode. You see, I feel like our role in the engineering community is to collect relevant and important data for infrastructure that allows us to fix these problems before they happen. Proactively, not reactively. Spending the right amount of money in the right place, possibly a little more than we want to at times. The whole day made me think of a recent project in which TREKK partnered with EnTech Engineering in St. Louis to detect leaks in a water system for a local community. By using infrared technology, our team detected 10 major leak locations in the water system, while only inspecting about a quarter of the entire system. By fixing these leaks, the inspections practically pay for...