Woman Uses Crawler Inspection Tech To Launch 2nd Career

November 2008 Vol. 63 No. 11

As a woman owned business and a newcomer in a predominantly male industry, Pipe Peepers had to do everything better. “We had to produce superb results and reporting, and deliver high levels of communication – always checking in to make sure the data is exactly what the client wants,” she said. “Just because you can operate at 50 feet per minute, it doesn’t mean you have to, especially at the cost of accuracy.” She looks over footage, prints the reports, copies the DVDs, presenting it all to the client in a binder.

Pipe Peepers’ main focus so far has been new construction. Most of the problems they identify are debris, cracks, limbs and leaves. “As a new business owner, it is exciting to know that what other companies are paying three people to do, I can do even more efficiently with one person,” she said.

For the cities of St. Charles and St. Peters, Pipe Peepers inspected 16,000 feet of pipeline in a new subdivision, mostly 8 to 48 inch concrete and PVC. The city was impressed with Pipe Peepers professionalism. The rave reviews of the first job led to two new ones. “We identified some severe cracks in the new pipe, nipping a future problem in the bud, as well as rocks in boots from shoving the pipe together, breaks in joints, offset joints, a lot of debris and sags. It helped the town save time, money and future headaches, because what the developer fixes now saves the city expense after they take over.

“By making the developer responsible for the infrastructure and paying for the inspection, the city saves – big time,” says Placht.

She explained the chronology: the developer turns in the report to the city, then the city sends the developer a punch list of things that need to be repaired. Pipe Peepers inspects those repairs and one year after that, it gets televised again before the city takes over the subdivision. This way, when the city takes over, they aren’t immediately dealing with sewer back ups or other problems that could have been avoided. It makes life easier for both sides. Brad Kazmaier, president of Foresight Development Group, an area subdivision developer, recently told Placht that “I actually like the ordinance because it proves that we did the job right and we can’t be held responsible later down the road should something go wrong.”

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