Formadrain’s Long History of Solving Problems

Montreal’s Olympic Stadium

Gerard Marc-Aurele, the founder of Formadrain Inc., had been working for many years in the field of plumbing, perfecting his craft and learning the basics of organization. When he was unable to convince his employer to diversify into drain cleaning, he decided to strike out on his own. 

In 1969, Gerard founded Drain-Clair, a drain unblocking and cleaning company in Montreal. Unblocking drains proved to be a thriving business as this function was probably the least favourite part of plumbing and most plumbers preferred replacing the pipe to clearing obstructions in it. His first two customers were plumbing companies he had previously worked for.

Searching for ways to expand the business, Gerard began to develop new technology and equipment for removing a variety of blockages. One of these new systems, implemented in 1974, was a steam kettle to thaw underground drains to melt and remove tar. In 1975, Drain-Clair began cleaning restaurant drains and interceptors (grease traps for cooking fats). 

Gerard’s genius was not limited to plumbing, however. In 1975, Drain-Clair was contracted to unblock forty columns comprised of a series of voussoirs (wedge-shaped precast concrete forms) at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium for use in the stadium’s support columns. 

The Olympic Stadium columns are arched, rather than the traditional vertical construction. The individual concrete blocks are held together by steel cables and sealed with epoxy. These supports have a central opening through which electrical conduits are run. At the time of construction, there were numerous obstructions in those annular spaces. These obstructions included some epoxy that shifted during installation, but the majority of the obstruction consisted of foreign objects such as pieces of wood, cans, metal parts and various other items and was apparently caused by deliberate vandalism. The sabotage was rumoured to have been perpetrated by a small minority of union members in a misguided attempt to punctuate their demands for higher wages. 

To resolve the arrested construction of the Olympic Stadium, Gerard developed a carbide drill that effectively destroyed the foreign objects. The magnitude of the vandalism committed upon the voussoirs was such that Gerard kept crews on site for more than six months clearing the annular space. While this contract did not prove to be highly profitable, it did establish Drain-Clair as a premier problem-solver.

Starting in 1977, Gerard began the development of unclogging drains using water pressure. By this time, the company had twenty employees. In 1978, a vacuum pumping service was added.

In 1980, Gerard regrouped all of the different operations of the company under the name Drainamar Inc., retaining the different names of the individual specialized services.

In 1986, Gerard purchased Sanitank, a company that specialized in CCTV inspection of pipes, transport of liquid waste, vacuum pumping and cleaning with water pressure. This acquisition doubled the size of Drainamar Inc. to a workforce of 50 people, which necessitated a move to a larger facility, one that included a treatment center and a large garage as well as offices.

In 1994, Gerard founded Formadrain Inc., to develop and export his award-winning revolutionary steam-cured no-dig sewer lining system. Since its inception, Formadrain has been the leader in developing and perfecting cutting-edge products and systems for both residential and commercial applications.

Formadrain products, including their proprietary resins – Formapox 101, Formapox 301, and Durapox – combined with continual R&D and unbeatable licensee support has firmly established Formadrain as the industry’s leading provider of no-dig pipe rehabilitation technology.

To learn more about the Formadrain system of no-dig pipe lining, contact Bruce Stevenson, Business Development Manager, at 1-888-450-3986 or email Bruce@formadrain.com.