Underneath the city

– week 5 –


Did you know that in a city, there are always things happening underneath your feet and above your head? These are the trucks that go beneath the ground or up telephone poles to install or repair our plumbing system, traffic signals and more.

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Truck-a-Palooza is presented by Lexington Environmental Quality and Public Works


This trailer carries the camera and equipment that the Division of Water Quality uses to inspect sewer lines. When a sewer line is clogged or damaged, a camera robot is used to figure out what the problem is.

The camera truck explores the pipes under our city. On the left, you can see broken pipes. On the right, you can see what fat, oil and grease look like when they build up.

The camera is controlled with a video game remote. Yes, you could hook an X-Box remote up to move the camera! The small camera inspects lateral lines (pipes between buildings and the main line), and a larger camera inspects main lines.

Explore the inside for the truck from the viewpoint of a driver. Click squares for more information.

You're the driver

Truck fact:

Before camera trucks, workers had to physically enter manholes in order to inspect sewers.

Behind the Wheel:

Roger Kelly & Greg Buzzard

Aka: The A Team

Roger has been working with the Division of Water Quality and running the sewer cameras for 30 years. Greg started training with Roger three years ago, and these days they go out as a team. 

Roger enjoys that, despite the fact he’s been doing this for three decades, his job is still different and engaging every day. Greg says that he likes solving the puzzle of what’s going wrong with a line.

When he’s not working, Roger goes camping and fishing with his family along the Elkhorn Creek. Greg likes to go deer hunting, fishing and any other activity that takes him outside.

Greg (pictured on the left) and Roger (pictured on the right.)

Vactor truck

Take a 360 virtual tour around the trucks by clicking and dragging anywhere on the image. Click on a hotspot to see a close-up picture or an action video. 


Vactor Truck

  • The jet/vac truck, also called a vactor truck, is used by Water Quality to break up clogs in sewer pipes. The truck pressure washes the inside of the sewer pipe and vacuums the water and whatever was causing the clog back up into a tank in the back of the truck.

Explore the inside of the truck from the viewpoint of a driver. Click squares for more information.

You're the driver

Truck fact:

The truck has a special attachment, called a “bulldog”, that is strong enough to break up big tree roots!

Behind the Wheel:

Gary Grimes

Gary started with the Division of Water Quality 32 years ago. He retired 5 years ago and then came back to work with Water Quality because he missed the job. He’s currently the supervisor of the vactor truck and camera crew. 

Gary likes the people he works with and that part of his job is stopping sewage overflow from going into creeks.

Outside of work, Gary enjoys spending time with his teenage sons.


The Division of Traffic Engineering uses this equipment to install new fiber optic cables or repair damage on-site in a clean environment. Lexington owns and maintains almost 90 miles of fiber optic network.

Fiber optic cables are used for traffic signals, telephone, TV and internet. They’re filled with glass fibers smaller than a human hair. This screen shows two of these cables being spliced together.

The machine has to align the small cables at exactly the right angle for them to properly fuse together. Even a piece of dust can ruin the process. This means the trailer is kept very clean.

Behind the Wheel:

Darrell Boone

Above is a model 1965 Chevy truck that Darrell built.

Darrell has done fiber optic repair and installation for the Division of Traffic Engineering for 16 years. He’s currently the only city employee who works with the fiber optic network. Before he started working for the city, he owned his own fiber optic company. He joined the city to be able to spend more time with this son. 

Darrell enjoys that his job keeps him up-to-date with new technology, which is always evolving. He says troubleshooting what’s going wrong with a fiber optic network can be challenging. 

When he’s not working, Darrell builds and races model drag cars with his son.