Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Groover

In the fall of 2004 I was invited to a Grand Canyon single track mountain bike trip at Temp Point. In the National Park System there is a requirement is that campers bring everything in and pack everything out and leave the area cleaner than when you arrived. One of those "thing" is a toilet system call a groover.

The name "groover" came about because in the old days an old Army Ammo box was used as the toilet. After you finished your business and got up you had grooves on your backside. Hence the name of the toilet stuck as "the groover".

My good friend and host, Rob Shepler, had placed the groover in a pristine location overlooking the awe of the Grand Canyon. What a place to to take a moment in time. As I needed to take my moment I was overwhelmed by the choking odor of exposed solid human waste. And I thought to myself, I'm going to avoid eating anything more on the trip so I wouldn't have to make a trip to the groover.

Back at camp I told Rob that the groover smelled worst than any zoo or porta-potty I had ever been in and we had a good laugh. He said that was a problem that had no good solutions. (Rob is an Eagle Scout and an avid oresman on white water river rafting. He has been down a dozen Grand Canyon tips).

Rob knew of my 20 years of experience in the toilet care industry and I told Rob that I had a solution to this awful problem. I went back to my lab and developed a compound that is now used in river toilet systems. Rob and I formed a company called, as you might guess, Groover Labs, Inc. ( and are a key supplier to major river rafting supply companies.

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