ESSEX, Md. (WJZ)—Baltimore is once again front and center for an episode of  the popular CBS show “Undercover Boss.”

Kai Jackson reports this episode is about a company and its leader who gets down and dirty.

He’s no Mike Rowe, but when you’re waist deep in sludge, you best believe it’s a dirty job.

“Handling sludge is icky,” said Bill Massa, Synagro CEO. “Never in my life did I think I’d be grabbing sludge with my bare hands. In fact, it made me pretty uncomfortable.”

Massa is the president and CEO of Philadelphia-based Synagro. It’s a wastewater treatment company that manages the Back River plant in Baltimore County.

And this Sunday Massa will be cleaning it on CBS’ “Undercover Boss.”

“Working with Christa in Baltimore, and we’re cleaning out a centrifuge. A centrifuge is a big piece of equipment that separates water and solids,” Massa said.

“It’s always interesting watching the new guy,” said an employee.

Massa hasn’t been on the job for a full year yet, so his chances of being recognized were slim.

His big challenge was surviving the disgusting and back-breaking work at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant in Essex and other cities.

“I’m putting these clothes on and after five minutes I’m thinking ‘I’m just not going to make this,’” Massa said. “The clothes are real heavy, digging into my shoulder. Finally I got it rearranged, and I’m working the next three or four hours, and I got through it.”

Like many of the featured bosses on the show, Massa has a heart and admits he empathized with his employees.

“When I’m out and people are telling me some of their hard stories and issues they’re dealing with, that was very touching. It definitely moves you,” Massa said.

You can see “Undercover Boss” at 9 p.m. on WJZ-TV.

Comments (11)
  1. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    Its all smoke screen T.V. folks. Pure B.S.

  2. Steve M says:

    Personally, I’d like to see him catch and eat a Catfish or Carp from Back River to prove just how good of a job the treatment plant is doing from polluting the river.
    Now that would make a better TV show.

    1. me says:

      I agree! Used to go fishing with my dad as a kid at Cox’s point and whenever we caught anything – usually catfish, croakers, and tiny rockfish, we’d never dare eat em (hell- there were signs warning not to eat more than one eel per YEAR from the river) – always fed what we caught to the herons or gave it away to the desperate old men who were out there every morning

  3. ratm33 says:

    At the end of the day he is still a rich greedy a** hole

  4. Baltimorebob says:


  5. Flatius says:

    My friend worked at that plant. He died.

    1. He died? says:

      what the heck!? lol

  6. adamritter says:

    we got jobs in Baltimore?

  7. ESSEX, Md. (WJZ) says:

    I guess this solves the problem of where the poop plant really is…just read the first two words of the article.

  8. Bill Adams says:

    Its the GIANT egg shaped building in Essex. I always wondered how they got the turds out of the water.


  9. GALUPA says:

    it looked to me they need more employees and other ways to do some of the jobs.Instead of wadding around in all that sh/// they could some kind of track overhead to run the hose all over the place. i also thought this ceo did not do enough for the people!!!!

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