The Dog & His Tennis Ball

Interested in why the development of this company happened, well look no further.. here is the story of how it all began…

As Usual the dog attack the Jet Wash

As usual the dog, Billy, attacks the Jet Wash

It all begins with Billy the nutty dog and his large tennis ball.  Billy is an 11 year old border collie cross who thinks he is still a puppy. Billy likes any type of ball, on the day in question he had a collection of 14 balls at various stages of inflation, you see Billy loves to walk around with a play ball in his mouth, On the day in question it was a large 4 inch tennis ball in his mouth.you know  the type small kids use them for rounders. 

Billy wants to play ball all the time. He wants you to play with him and will spend all day fetching the ball once thrown. The only problem is once he has fetched the ball and it is in his mouth no amount of coaching will get him to give it to you, Oh no he  walks up to you with it goes to drop it then walks away, try and take it from him he walks away. 

Last summer Andy was cleaning the bins and the rain water butt with a jet wash, as you know if not cleaned bins and rain water butts can create a distasteful odor. Not wishing to cause problems in the garden or quad outside the kitchen the water from the bins being jet washed was allowed to flow down the open manhole at the top of the drive.  The first two bins had been cleaned with no issues.

It was as the third bin was being washed that the issue was caused. Billy had been walking about with a large tennis ball in his mouth for most of the morning. He had been up to the jet wash previously then turned away. Knowing Billy would not let the ball go, Andy gave it no mind until Billy walked over to the drain, ball in mouth, looked into the manhole, then yep, let go of the ball. You what he let it go, the hole world turned slow motion, The slo mo guys would have been proud of the image in Andy’s mind at that instant

You guessed it the ball just was just large enough to pass into the drain pipe, it dropped, it bounced, it bounced again, it stopped and I swear winked then disappeared down the drain pipe. Billy sat down looked at Andy as if to say “Ha Ha go Fetch” got up went into the garden and came back with a football in his mouth

Now as the ball was smaller than the drain logic says that it will pass all the way into the sewer BUT and here it is in 1995 the gas main outside the house was renewed. When the team renewed the gas main they severed the gas, The Water, The storm water culvert and yes the Sewer pipe.  How did Andy know this, well the team laying the gas main were working for Andy as he was the area manager.  Andy could not remember how the drain had been repaired and would the Tennis ball pass though the repair into the sewer.

Andy with the help of his daughter got out his old set of chimney rods to rod the line,  Big  mistake.  the rods were not designed for a sewer, they had no locking mechanism and as such there was a big risk that they could separate in the drain. Andy was aware they could separate but decided to take a chance, not one he would do again, Yep you guessed it they did.

At this point Andy initially planned to borrow a camera from work, he has helped design and test internal cameras for the gas industry for the last 10 years, but the nearest camera he could loan was over 150 miles away. He then planned to dig a hole, break the crown of the pipe and rescue the rods. Practically this was a non starter of an idea.  At the time Andy’s health would not allow him to make any excavation. So as most people do he reverted to making a call to the insurance department. They were great they assured they would get help. They did BUT he was 2 hours away and could not come for 2 days. Yep you read that right 2 hours away and not available for 2 days, mmmm

When the guy did turn up he was young and very pleasant he assessed the situation, got out a Camera and confirmed the rods were stuck, and to add insult to injury that the tennis ball had passed through the repair and was somewhere miles away in the sewer network.

So far the guy had not done anything that Andy had not done himself in days gone past. Had the guy got the gear he would have been able to remove the rods that day but he didn’t and had to come back again. When he came back the next day the rods were removed within 20 minutes.

At no point did the drain guy carry out work that Andy had not done himself during his career, it was not strenuous, just needed some thought. Andy has helped design more sophisticated pipe cameras than what was used, The equipment eventually used was nothing special Andy was aware of where to go to get quality product. The guy did not have any special skills.  This is when the dream of ASJES Services Ltd was born. The right gear, years of utility experience, living in the area, yes this is something that Andy Sutherland could and will do.

And Billy yes he was brought a new tennis ball and yes he plays with the tennis balls every day