Case Study: Ames, Iowa

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In 2015 the city of Ames, Iowa began a massive-scale repair and restoration of its sanitary sewer system. In an effort to reduce the project’s timeline, materials, labor and overall costs, the city’s engineering team decided to use a Mr. Manhole cutter to complete the work.


The team was warned that with projects such as this, residents can get anxious when their street is shut down and the sewer is torn up, especially when the repairs drag on and on. But, the Manhole technology is incredibly fast, and on a good day, depending on the depth of the rehab that was being done, contractors completed 8-12 very easily. Everything is done quickly and efficiently with minimum impact to the public.

Technology always improving

Save our Sewers, Inc. President, Brad Steenhoek, has been using Mr. Manhole since 2010 and noted that there have been changes that continue to improve the speed of repairs. Steenhoek originally used a 4 arm design that has since evolved into the 6 shooter style with a 6 arm cutting device. In addition to that, the teeth are no longer welded into the machine but are easily replaceable shark teeth that require a punch and hammer to insert with roll pins. He also noted that there is flexibility plus the performance in the full spectrum of needs with depth and diameter. He went on to say that after trying competitor products, Mr. Manhole is his go-to tool as nobody else has anything close.


The team estimated the cost at 1.9-2 Million and put out the bid for contractors. The low bid was 1.6 and the project was finished in under a year. The city will be using the Mr. Manhole process in the future.


The quality inspector for the project verified that the quality of the repair exceeded expectations and everything sealed up and stated it was an excellent job.

Always improving

Despite the fact that Mr. Manhole is an amazing tool for the job, we pride ourselves on taking our contractors needs seriously and improving on this great product. We have a few versions available in different cost brackets and work hard to bring a small town integrity to a product that handles the needs of every city. We give excellent customer service, enjoy constructive feedback and train to make sure that contractors and crews understand the process and the best way to get the best result in a timely manner.

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