Drainage Contractor

Features Business Contractor at Work
Photo Contest: How I spent my summer

DC readers showcase their passion through pictures.

October 23, 2023  By Bree Rody

Submitted by: Ashley Broughton

This year, Drainage Contractor decided to embark on its first photo contest since 2019.

The move was inspired by the recent growth of the drainage industry – contractors are busier than ever and installing complex, challenging systems. However, contractors are often so busy – particularly during the summer – that they rarely take time to brag about their own work.

After a call for submissions in June, more than 30 images were submitted from contractors and drainage companies from around the continent – from the Carolinas to Ontario and, of course, plenty of entries from Iowa. Content included everything from trenching and excavating to unique installations, like golf course drainage.

The editorial and publishing team at Drainage Contractor graded the images not only on the physical quality of the images but also in how well they represented the world of drainage – what kind of work was being captured? What sort of action did we get to see? What does the image say about the kind of work being done in the field (the figurative field and the literal field)?


The winning entry was immortalized on this issue’s cover, but this gallery also highlights the other outstanding submissions. More will be available online. Thank you, Drainage Contractor readers, for your pictures!

Grand prize
Ashley Broughton, office manager at Williams Drainage, submitted this along with two other images depicting a typical day in the life of contractors at Williams Drainage. Captioned “double trouble,” this image captures the intense productivity required to get tile in the ground and keep progress moving.

Submitted by: Ashley Broughton
Listowell, ON

Runners up
Chuck Brandel, VP at ISG, submitted this image of construction administrator Dalton Grose using the Trimble GPS system to verify the slope and elevation of a newly installed public drainage system in Watonwan County, near Madelia, MN, designed by ISG.

Submitted by: Chuck Brandel
Mankato, MN

Alexandra Zahn, a PR and content manager at Flynn Wright representing Advanced Drainage Systems, sent this and other images of a tiling project in West Liberty, IA. The image was captured by the ADS on-site team. The overhead view enables viewers to witness not only the full scope of the work, but also the power of the machines.

Submitted by: Alexandra Zahn
Des Moines, IA

Hjelmeland Excavating and Farm Drainage owner Brian Hjelmeland submitted this image that conveys every contractor’s mindset at sunrise: “Ready for a good day of tiling.” The family business was founded by Brian’s father, Jan Hjelmeland, in 1977.

Submitted by: Brian Hjelmeland
Algona, IA

Mark Luckhardt, partner with Turf Rehab, submitted a series of action shots of the team at Turf Rehab installing a second slit drainage system at The Tree Farm Golf Club in Aiken, SC. Slit drainage systems use a network of trenches using smaller-diameter perforated pipes and sand to drain excess water and is common in turf and sport fields.

Submitted by: Mark Luckhardt
Aiken, SC

The second image shared by Williams Drainage’s Ashley Broughton, this image captures Williams’ branded equipment in a sea of golden wheat in the southwestern Ontario area served by the company. 

Submitted by: Ashley Broughton
Listowell, ON

Our top entries are rounded out by this submission from Reid Drainage’s Isaak Sawatzky. Located near the Windsor-Detroit border that separates the U.S. and Canada, Reid Drainage’s submissions depicted drainage in action – focused on productivity, enjoying the ride and, of course, smelling the fresh dirt.

Submitted by: Isaak Sawatzky
Staples, ON

Print this page


Stories continue below