What is Sewer Diving? New Discovery show enters the strange world of pooh plungers
'Sewer Divers,' a series discussing the outdated, centuries-old sewer systems in key cities across the country, will also highlight the life of divers in the nation is all set to air on Discovery on Sunday, January 1, 2023, at 9 pm ET/PT. The series is produced for Discovery Channel by Anomaly Entertainment Corp. It is not new for Discovery Channel to bring out a series of this kind as they previously produced 'Dirty Jobs' that solely focused on some of the messiest jobs done by people.
Sewer diving is one of the riskiest hazmat jobs in the world, and involves deep cleaning the sewer systems across the country. While cleaning these sewers, the light levels are often low, and the water flows are erratic. The new series will elaborately discuss the struggles faced by these brave plungers who try hard to keep their hands dirty just to keep everyone else’s bathrooms and kitchens clean. Sewer diving is dangerous as raw sewage may be contaminated by hypodermic needles and broken glass, and divers may contract diseases through cuts and punctures.
The show will also feature New York, New Jersey, and Ohio sewers, claims Warner Bros Discovery. It will feature some of the divers including 'Dirty Water Don,' aka Don Gann, and Rick Simon. According to New York Post, Gann will be featured in the first episode of the series, and he said, “I’ve had quite a few [close calls] over the years, I’ve been pinned, I’ve had things fall on top of me where I couldn’t get out on my own [and] another diver had to come in to get me. I’ve been buried digging a hole for an underwater cable. The hole collapsed on top of me, so every time you took a breath, the mud constricts you more. You have to control your breathing, remain calm, and have faith in the guys you have [above the manhole]. No matter how scary the job is, the guy next to you has to be as good as you.”
"A lot of people think we can just swim around like a fish,” he said. “It’s very difficult to move around with the current, and you can’t see what you’re doing. You rely on your 10 eyes, which are your fingers. So, basically, all the dirty and disgusting things that people don’t want to touch – we have to touch those things to understand what we’re doing," he added.
The audience will witness him wearing a $3,000 rubber suit that keeps him safe from toxic chemicals and waste and a 36-pound helmet.
The diver also stated, "Once you hook the neck dam — the suit to the helmet — your mobility becomes spare. It’s hard to get it off by yourself. A lot of people in this industry won’t last because they’re claustrophobic. The [manhole] is small, the ladders are in disrepair or broken down there. There’s usually a current or the area is very slick so you can’t get good footing or move around. You really rely on your guys up top. There are quite a few dangers: electrical shock, a slew of dive-related sicknesses. You could lose a limb. You could lose your life.” According to TV Guide, the first episode, 'That's Not Mud', will focus on the life of Gann and how he tries to fix a sewage-filled basement in Mt Vernon. The second episode, 'The North Arlington Fatberg,' will bring out how sewer divers clear a North Jersey sewer pipe that contains a 'fatberg' of wipes, toiletries, and trash.