Waste and Water Logistics Expands its Services to Grow

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BEAR Press Release

When Jesse McCourt and his wife started Waste and Water Logistics in 2003, they knew there was a need in the area for the services they were providing, but as they progressed they learned there were a lot of other things they could perform for customers that their original plan did not include. When they found that out, they expanded into those areas, and today they continue to look for new areas of service and the revenue that comes from them.

That was the message delivered to the Castle Country Business Expansion and Retention general board on Aug. 17 when Dominic Ibanez from the company gave a presentation that gave the history and a run down of present day operations that the home grown firm pursues.

“Before Jesse started this business, he was working for Nelco,” said Ibanez. “At the time, he requested of the company that was providing their Porta Potty service that they supply hand sanitizer and a little bit higher standards. That company basically refused. Jesse started looking into it and he started researching at some of the conventions and shows that were out there. At that point, they decided to start a business.”

When it began, it was a part-time endeavor. McCourt continued to work for Nelco Contractors at the time and he labored to do both jobs. In their original investment, they started with 26 toilets and a service truck that Jesse designed and built at his house. To do it, they took out a mortgage on their house and they cashed in Jesse’s 401k.

By the end of 2003, the company was up to about 75 units. It was at that time that Jesse backed down from Nelco to take on his business full time. But it still wasn’t quite enough revenue even though he was working more than full time at it so he took an evening job working for Savage.

By 2005, the business was really taking off and he saw the need for equipment that was more heavy duty, more industrial to take care of the septic pumping and porta potty business. Suddenly, being in the business of pumping out septic tanks he found himself so busy that he hired his first employee, which has now grown to nearly 30 workers who make their living performing the many functions of the company.

Ibanez said that one of the things he has noticed about the company as he has worked with them is how they honor core family values.

“Jesse has brought all of his family into the business and he would ask any of them to do anything he wouldn’t do, nor would he ask an employee to do it either,” said Ibanez.

By 2004, it was trademark time and the “I Got Poop” became the logo.

In 2007, they bought a trucking company in Roosevelt. That company was mainly a potable water hauling company. That added business and business contacts in Duchesne county. The company had contracts they served throughout the Basin and he was able to up sell his other services such as the roll off dumpsters and, of course, the portable toilet service. At that point, they were up to four employees.

From that time, the business took off. In 2008, they company had an excellent year to the point that the growth outside the area required hiring two crews running seven days a week. But the downturn in the energy fields in the Basin hurt the business eventually, going from servicing 32 drill rigs in 2008 to only four in 2009.

“In 2009, we had a rough year, but we always pull through,” said Ibanez. “Jesse is a resilient person. He had put together enough business lines that we were able to get through that. We had commercial, residential and industrial lines and they were strong enough to keep us going.”

In 2009-10, the company started to put together its shop that is presently located in Helper. With the new shop, the company was able to keep their vehicles in the building where as before there were problems with vehicles freezing up during the cold weather.

“That was a non-stop battle,” said Ibanez. “But there was a problem. There was not sewer system in that part of Helper and he made the investment to pay for the installation of that to that area of town. ”

The system now services all of that part of Helper and could handle up to 800 homes.

Up until that point, all of the waste that was hauled had to go to the Price River Water Improvement District’s waste water treatment plant.

“We were putting on a lot of extra miles and extra hours hauling the loads there,” stated Ibanez. “The logistics made it tough. We had to deal with their schedule and times.”

That system install and the waste treatment facility inside the shop has allowed the firm to not have to worry about what times they can work or when they come back in from a job. McCourt, who was at the presentation, explained that the disposal as it was before was time consuming and it was expensive.

“We were able to cut our disposal costs by 85% by installing that treatment system in the building,” he said. “The cost of installing it was paid for very fast because of what we saved.”

The building also has its own service shop whereas before all the work needed to be sent out.

Part of that project was funded through efforts with BEAR for a Fast Track Grant. McCourt said that it was their first BEAR grant and the company got $50,000 to offset some of the costs.

“The dewatering equipment cost almost $200,000 and so the grant helped a great deal,” he stated. “It paid about 25% of the project.”

Ibanez said that Jesse is always looking for more ways to expand the company and for new technology to better serve customers. Today, the lines of service the company provides is long. People may know them for their porta potties, but many have found they are also there when they need them for sewer emergencies.

“In 2014, he got a phone call from some residents that they had sewer problems and that they had had plumbers come and that they couldn’t solve it,” said Ibanez. “The problem was old pipe and root intrusion.”

The traditional solution to the problem was to dig up the line and replace it clear out to the main. But Jesse had seen a new technology that he thought would be better, quicker and less costly for the owners of the property. It was basically a trench less line service. Waste and Water Logistics has a system that is called a pipe burster. The company’s personnel dig a hole near where the line enters the main and then dig a hole either along the foundation of the house or in the basement where the line runs. They then insert a device that looks like an arrowhead and it follows the track of the old pipe pushing it apart while a new sewer line is drawn behind it. The new pipe is all heat welded together with no joints. That way, tree roots, one of the most common problems that homeowners have when their lines become plugged, can’t get in.

“With that investment there was supposed to come some training, but it needed to be used right away, so Jesse and his crew watched some You Tube videos, did some Internet research and spoke on the phone with the company and was able to complete the job,” said Ibanez.

The 126 feet of line was replaced with what was actually a larger pipe because the arrowhead cuts the old pipe and pushes it to the side. To dig the line up and replace it would have cost over $25,000 because of the fact it was covered by concrete and asphalt. Instead, it cost the people under $10,000. They started at 9 a.m. on the morning and were gone by 6 p.m. that evening. All that was left to do was put and patch the concrete and the asphalt where the holes were dug. Since that first job, the company has done hundreds of jobs with that equipment.

The company also provides other services including the demolition of septic systems and installation of new ones. They also rent out Conex containers for storage and install temporary chain link fencing for construction sites and other venues. They also provide camera inspections for sewer and septic systems.

Innovation has been the key for the business. For instance, the company used to have dedicated trucks for dumpsters, potable water tanks, septic tanks, etc. Now, the company uses skids with hook trucks so the truck itself can be changed out to serve several duties.

“We try very hard to not mix our skids up, you know between the potable water tanks and the septic tanks,” said McCourt jokingly.

Another service the company recently started offering was to provide a cement washout service. It used to be that contractors would just wash out concrete trucks on site but now it needs to be contained. The company takes it back and recycles the material washed out of those trucks now.

Restoration and cleanup has also been implemented by the company. Recently, they cleaned up a State Institutional Lands site where a lessee had left a mess and the company contracted to clean up junk and hazardous materials. The company also did some of the restoration work on the Carbon Power Plant site when the building was taken down.

The company continues to grow and, recently, they have been promoting and hiring as their management structure changes to help them grow more and to take on more services.

“We have a poster hanging in our office that I like,” said Ibanez. “It says the privilege to work is a gift, the power to work is a blessing and the love of work is success. I really believe that is the basis of Waste Water and Logistics.”

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