In 1980, during the beginning of one of the more damaging global recessions, a young man by the name of Mike Burch was laid off from his construction job. With a family to feed, he was determined to find work, but jobs were lacking. Earlier that year, on a whim, Mike had purchased a high-pressure water blasting system, that he had begun operating out of the back of his pickup truck.
Now unemployed and with no job prospects on the horizon, Mike, and his wife Patty, decided to take a leap of faith and steer head-on into the high-pressure water blasting industry. The risk paid off.
Mike did the blasting work while Patty took care of all the administrative duties. They were able to make ends meet and eventually paid off the equipment loans. A number of the water blasting projects required Mike to supply a source of water leading him to purchase a septic truck which created an avenue for septic tank cleaning. Soon after this new venture began, a contract for the City of Mount Vernon advertised for bid. The work involved managing the City’s liquid sludge from their wastewater treatment plant. At the urging of a respected family member, Mike decided to submit a bid on the contract. His bid was accepted and biosolids management became the new primary endeavor for Burch Hydro.
Burch Hydro’s biosolids business began small – with one semi-truck and one field application unit, but quickly grew into a thriving business with its own maintenance and accounting departments. The business headquarters, which were originally located in Mike and Patty’s basement, were moved to a rented facility, and then permanently to the location still in use today. Over the years, our fleet has grown to include over 30 different types of equipment, some of which is designed and built in-house, and our team has grown to include between 20 and 30 individuals whose jobs range from field work to equipment maintenance to engineering and administration.
But that’s not the end of our story! The rules in our industry are constantly changing, and as a result of some of those changes, we decided, in 2000, to develop an innovative technology that would provide our customers with a cutting edge option for sludge treatment.
We patented our process for the use of industrial microwaves to treat and dry sludge and named it Burch BioWave. We currently have several systems installed worldwide and are continuously improving the process.
And our story continues today! Each and every day we are finding newer and better ways to do what we do and to provide our customers with innovative, professional, and personal service.