Category Archives: Disaster Response

  • 0

How Municipal Projects Continue During COVID-19

Tags : 

Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter the personal and professional lives of people around the globe, many individuals continue to work on essential jobs. One of the jobs that continue as scheduled deals with municipal sewer and pipe projects. These particular projects are vital during the COVID-19 pandemic as the strain to existing infrastructure increases and more people are forced to stay at home.

Yet despite this heightened demand, workers continue to tackle projects for the convenience and betterment of citizens. Here is how our professionals brave conditions to bring people the sewer and water services they need.

Basic Safety Protocols and Precautions

Although some contractors and builders have deemed their businesses nonessential, municipal projects are an integral service. That’s why many jurisdictions are continuing their projects as scheduled. Even as these water and sewer projects continue, companies, governments, and contractors are putting specific safety protocols and precautions on work.

EPS Engineering considers safety a top priority for both our employees and the community. We follow all guidelines by the CDC and have protocols in place to continue serving our community safely.

On March 25, 2020, the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC)—a group of 25 trade associations—released safety guidelines to protect employees and workers as they continued to fix or install sewer and water lines. In addition to masks and other personal protective equipment, the protocols also outline other tips, including:

  • Disinfecting and cleaning surfaces.
  • Work practices to ensure cleanliness and minimize the spread of disease.
  • How to handle potential illnesses on the job site.
  • Social distancing

Using these guidelines, municipal job sites can remain secure and free from the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Constant Assessment of Job Sites

To secure the job site, foremen and supervisors should constantly assess job sites. Not only should this include a thorough daily inspection of the site, but also making sure that workers follow the guidelines laid out by the CISC.

Social distancing should also be enforced throughout the workday, and discussions or disciplinary action handed out to workers who disobey these rules.

How COVID-19 Is Affecting Municipal Projects

Despite some companies continuing their projects and efforts during COVID-19, certain aspects of the business continue to suffer. According to one survey of the Associated General Contractors of America, 28% of companies reported that the government or a local agency had prevented them from bidding on or completing work. In addition, 22% discussed the lack of material because of a supplier cancellation, as well as up to 20% of projects cancelled or delayed for at least 30 days.

The long-term effects on municipal projects may not be recognized until after these stay-at-home directives are lifted. But our technicians, engineers, and plumbers continue to follow strict safety guidelines to ensure that our local community has the services they need.

Although “essential” is a loose definition, our workers and company repairs and builds sewer and water infrastructure and we continue to improve the lives of others during this time of uncertainty.

Our essential services are what continue to make this time less difficult, while also ensuring the integrity of infrastructure for the foreseeable future.

From our entire team at EPS Inc. We are here for our Bay Area community and remind everyone to keep hope alive as we navigate through this pandemic.


  • 0

Local Infrastructure and Municipal Underground Projects Continue During the Covid-19 Shelter in Place

Tags : 

Businesses across the country have suspended their operations due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and many more have cut their staff to all but essential workers. However, local infrastructure and municipal underground projects can’t slow or stop as a result.

Residents of these areas need the infrastructure and underground utilities during shelter-in-place orders, and municipalities are forced to continue their workload in the face of danger and adversity. Thanks to the selfless work of these individuals and government planning, none of the essential services that people need will halt as a result of Covid-19.

Underground Sewer

Underground sewer systems are among the most important services to residents during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially as these services come under strain due to more usage. Fortunately, underground sewer repair and other projects will continue during the outbreak to ensure that these services continue uninterrupted.

Although there’s little evidence to support that Covid-19 can spread through sewer systems, protecting against sewage backups remains crucial. Many residents may find that a sewage overflow may cause problems, specifically because of the lack of cleaning supplies as a result of panic buying.

Therefore, municipal workers will continue to monitor sewer systems, build new lines when necessary, and conduct repairs. These projects will also follow all current mandates and safety procedures to keep workers and residents safe.

Utilities

Although utilities supply the power necessary to curb cabin fever and reduce boredom, they also play a vital role in the everyday lives of citizens, especially during the Covid-19 outbreak. Without gas, power, internet, and telephone lines, the ability for people to cook, work remotely, or contact family members and emergency services becomes compromised.

During the Covid-19 shelter-in-place requirement, municipal crews continue their normal routines. This will include the inspection of all above-ground and underground utility lines, as well as any repairs necessary due to weather, wear and tear, or any other type of issue. Like other businesses, these workers will apply social distancing guidelines and other protocols designed to minimize the spread of Covid-19 to coworkers or other members of the general public.

Emergency Pipe Replacements

Pipe repair and pipe replacement are two essential services that homeowners and renters need to survive and maintain their quality of life during the coronavirus pandemic. Without fully functioning pipes, water systems, and other utilities can be rendered useless. When pipes fail, it can create a catastrophic scenario, especially for customers who are confined to their home for the near future.

Municipalities understand the importance and maintenance of pipes. As a result, they continue to put crews to work, albeit with safety guidelines in place. Thanks to the efforts of these workers, everyone affected by Covid-19 can enjoy uninterrupted services and maintain their way of life as long as possible, despite the challenges posed by coronavirus.

Through planning and strict safety guidelines imposed by municipalities, residents can enjoy the services they need to make life easier during the Covid-19 pandemic. In these times of uncertainty, having these services will at least provide a bit of consolation and reassurance.

EPS Inc. has been a partner of Bay Area municipalities for multiple decades, we want to honor those that continue to serve during these difficult times facing our nation and are proud to support their efforts on municipal infrastructure projects whenever and wherever they need us.


  • -

EPS Inc., a Bay Area Heavy Construction Company Saved My Home from a Sinkhole in San Mateo

Tags : 

Douglas Irvin, a 74-year-old retired Bay Area resident and no stranger to engineering, he retired after 32 years in engineering with the department of defense.

He said in an interview earlier this week.  “Nick Bechwati saved my home and I am grateful.  Nick did everything he could to save money and discussed what he planned to do each step of the way.  He treated me like the professional engineer I am”.

Douglas Irvin has owned a rental property in the San Mateo area for over a decade, all was great until he received a call from his tenant one morning in February 2017 letting him know that a huge sinkhole ripped apart the yard, drained the koi pond and has threatened the home.  Irvin was left with a big problem and a project ahead he wasn’t expecting.

“I had to act fast, I was worried about another rain storm coming and the house collapsing” he said as he recalled the story to me earlier this week.

As the San Mateo Daily Journal reported in February and Irvin recalled during our conversation, he was left with a lot of unanswered questions.

Where is the water coming from? Was there a pipe that failed? Who is responsible for the uphill storm water?  With all these questions, he knew he had to act fast and possibly get the answers later.  He didn’t want to lose his home, and wanted the right heavy construction company for the job.

“There’s a 48” storm drain pipe that ran right through my property, never saw it on the map, I always thought it ran around the property”. Said Irvin

His home was in danger of collapsing, and the entire seen was a complete disaster, marked off by bright yellow caution tape by local authorities.

What lead you to Nick Bechwati, owner of EPS Inc. in the Bay Area?

“I’m not a stranger to engineering, after 32 years I still had a lot of contacts and started asking around for the best Bay Area heavy construction company.  Everyone kept pointing the finger to Nick Bechwati as the most experienced, and best equipped to handle this project, so I gave him a call”

How did your first meeting go with Nick?

“When nick walked up to meet with me, he was holding and leaning on a cane, I also have trouble getting around at my age, so we immediately had something in common.” He said as he chuckled.

Nick Bechwati was still recovering from leg surgery due to an accident that happened earlier this year, he never missed a day of work after his surgery, he is a dedicated hands-on owner that has been serving the Bay Area since 1989 providing advanced drilling, heavy construction, and plumbing services for residential, commercial and municipal clients throughout Northern California.

“They say I’m a workaholic but I don’t see it that way.  If you love and enjoy what you do, is it considered work?” Said Nick Bechwati, owner of EPS Inc. dba Express Plumbing.

His dedication must’ve been apparent to Mr. Irvin during their first encounter.  Irvin continued, “After 32 years of experience in engineering, and dealing with so many people in the industry, I’d like to think I’m a pretty good judge of character.  I didn’t hesitate, after a small conversation with Nick, I agreed with everything he said, I liked his ideas, and action plan, I could tell he was the one I’m trusting my home to, and signed a contract to start right away.”

Were you around your San Mateo rental home during the heavy construction project?

“I’m retired, so I had all the time in the world to hang around the project, I knew what I was looking at and I saw Nick on the job, I documented, took photographs and observed him making some tough decisions, it wasn’t easy, but he had a solution I agreed with every time”.

“This wasn’t your everyday situation, they had to go 25 feet below the pipe and clear all the debris, it needed the right person for the job, someone that can act fast, with no room for error, being an engineer myself, I would’ve done exactly what Nick did in many situations”.

The project was quite involved, it required someone with experience to deal with the permits, and City licensing requirements, etc… “Nick has been around for a while, his relationship and contacts with the local City helped ease the process”. Irvin said with satisfaction.

Did you know EPS Inc. has an Express Plumbing division that handles every day plumbing issues?

“Well, this project didn’t need a plumber that’s for sure, but yes I am familiar with all the services his company provides.  I’ll tell you, if I do need a plumber anywhere in the Bay Area they’ll be the ones I call.

During our conversation, Douglas Irvin was a joy to speak with, he was very forthcoming and shared all he could about the project with a passion.  Very mild tempered when discussing a disaster that threatened his home, this can only come from his many years of experience in engineering.

EPS Inc. dba Express Plumbing is a full-service company specializing in engineering, heavy construction, drilling and plumbing.  Nick Bechwati has been serving the Bay Area since 1989 by providing the highest quality, guaranteed services to not only meet but exceed the clients’ expectations.

The company provides its services to residents, business owners, Bay Area cities, along with 24-hour disaster response.

Anything else you’d like to add Mr. Irvin?

Nick Bechwati did save my home, I made the right choice when I picked EPS Inc. to handle this heavy construction project.  I still have many issues to deal with at the City, but for now, my home is saved and I couldn’t be happier.


EPS, Inc. is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for our employees and customers. Read More

Express Plumbing
307 N. Amphlett Blvd San Mateo, CA 94401
Phone: (800) 246-6425 $246 - $6425
Folllow Us!