Rifle worker featured on ‘Dirty Jobs’ | AspenTimes.com

Rifle worker featured on ‘Dirty Jobs’

Heidi Rice
Rifle correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Mike Rowe, left, the host of the Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs," and Rifle wastewater treatment operator Dave Gallegos spent a day in May filming Rifle's wastewater treatment plant. Rowe spent time at the bottom of the plant, shoveling out effluent. (Courtesy City of Rifle)

RIFLE, Colo. ” His job is dirty enough, but Dave Gallegos, an operator at Rifle’s wastewater treatment plant, recently found himself as part of a TV shoot for the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe.”

The shoot came about after Darren Flood, branch manager for Rain for Rent in Rifle, contacted the cable TV channel with several “dirty job” ideas.

Rain for Rent is a pump, tank, filtration and pipeline rental company and works with construction and mining companies, the natural gas industry and local municipalities, specializing in liquid handling products.

Flood contacted “Dirty Jobs” with four or five job possibilities.

“They elected to go with Rifle’s sewer bypass and Muffin Monster equipment jobs, because of the ease of access and that I had contacted the city and cleared the liability issues,” Flood said.

The Muffin Monster is an automated bar screen and grinder that catches all the solids in the wastewater treatment system that residents flush down their toilets.

Flood was contacted by the Discovery Channel and met with a film crew on May 19.

Filming with host Mike Rowe took place on May 20.

Gallegos showed Rowe the Muffin Monster equipment and made him get inside it, work and get his hands dirty.

Along with Rowe, the TV crew included four to five cameramen, a sound man and a director.

“Mike Rowe was pretty funny, but he complained about the smell,” Gallegos said, with a laugh. “It was a pretty nasty job. Cleaning the Muffin Monster is not a pleasant job.”

Next, Rowe got to clean out the raw sewage effluent channel.

“This is where all of Rifle’s sewage flows as it gets into a wet well,” Gallegos said. “This is the first stage of wastewater treatment. It’s a nasty place to be.”

Yet the pair had fun ” maybe too much fun.

At one point, Gallegos, who shaves his head, asked Rowe if he’d ever considered shaving his.

Rowe asked why he would want to do that.

“Mike, you’re getting pretty thin up there, and besides, don’t you want to be cool like me, Shaq and Bruce Willis?”

Rowe reportedly just rolled his eyes.

“I don’t know if they’ll leave that part in,” Gallegos laughed. “The director threatened that people were going to call our show ‘America’s Idiots’.”

Following the nine-hour shoot, which will translate into only minutes on the hour-long show with a couple of other jobs, Rain for Rent held a barbecue.

“Mike and the crew signed autographs,” Flood said. “They were fun to work with all day and fun to be around.”

The show is expected to air in July on the Discovery Channel and Gallegos wonders what his daughter will think.

“It’s one of the most popular shows on cable and really popular with men,” he said. “But it’s ironic that my daughter is in New York City trying to break into acting work and I beat her to it.”