Andy led the Lanes emergency team, working on behalf of Thames Water, that first responded to the discovery of the Islington concreteberg.
Wastewater engineer Daryl Eastman has swapped a job creating posh nosh for a career maintaining Wiltshire’s sewers – and he loves it!
Daryl worked for 25-years as a professional chef and was the deputy to the head chef at a four-star hotel when he made a big decision to change his career.
He explains: “Being a chef is very rewarding and a great challenge. But it’s also very stressful with anti-social hours, so I was up for considering a change of direction.”
Daryl had a friend who worked for Lanes Group, the wastewater network services maintenance partner for Thames Water, who recommended that he think about joining the company as well.
“I though, nothing ventured and went along for an interview, and was offered a job,” says Daryl. “To be honest, I’ve never looked back. Being a wastewater engineer is better than being a chef. It’s been a breath of fresh air.”
Daryl started as a jet vac assistant, supporting a jet vac driver in responding to drain and sewer blockages and carrying out planned sewer cleaning across Wiltshire.
Now, five years on, he has an HGV licence and drives his own jet vac tanker. As one of the most respected senior wastewater engineers in the team, he also trains new recruits.
Daryl says: “I very much know I have a career at Lanes. The job involves a lot of training, good qualifications and skills, and there’s a lot of responsibility.
“Being a chef, you get a buzz from positive customer feedback about your food, and you get the same feeling working at Lanes for Thames Water.
“You get a real sense of achievement when you solve a drainage problem and it’s clear from the reaction of customers that you’ve made a real difference to their lives.”
In fact, Daryl jokes, serving the customer is the most important aspect of both roles – being a top chef and a qualified wastewater engineer. They just sit on different sides of the digestion process.
And he knows which side he now prefers.