Bob Oates, Bob Oates Sewer Rooter Mary's Place

Nearly 30 years ago, Bob Oates left his hometown of New York City for the Pacific Northwest. A second-generation plumber, Bob set up shop in Seattle shortly after he arrived. Today, his company employs 36 people who share Bob’s passion for problem-solving and helping others.

Continuing the tradition passed down to him, Bob’s business is a family affair: working alongside him are his wife, his daughter and his son-in-law. Together, they’re active members in their community, supporting causes from women’s shelters to workforce opportunities for the disabled.

Since his business was deemed essential, Bob and his family have continued to help their customers throughout the pandemic. And while sales dropped significantly, they were able to keep everyone employed and they accommodated those who needed to stay home safely.

Bob’s relationship with Columbia Bank goes back many years, to a time when he got the support he needed to take his business to the next level. Due to that relationship, Columbia Bank knew Bob Oates Sewer Rooter would make a great partner for the Pass It On Project. Bob Oates Sewer Rooter is installing a new water heater for Mary’s Place, a nonprofit organization in Seattle that provides safe shelter to women and children, and Columbia Bank is paying for it. Together, Bob Oates and Columbia Bank are keeping the water on for those who need it most now.