Despite many pumpers’ best efforts to encourage residential customers to regularly pump their septic tanks, more often than not, that advice falls on deaf ears.
Even if it doesn’t cause problems for the homeowner, it can be a real hassle for the pumper. “When people neglect pumping their tanks, it gets really thick and hard to pump,” says Mike Fly, co-owner with his wife, Annette, of Sweet Septic in Placerville, California.
The company has developed a technique for dealing with the problem using a tool from Goulds Water Technology, a Xylem brand. That tool is the WaterGun Booster Pump, model 7GB. “It’s a high-pressure pump that we hook into the water supply at someone’s house and then plug it into power,” Mike says. “It increases the water pressure by three times.” As they hose down the tank, the powerful spray breaks up the sludge and cuts right through it, he says, making the job easier and reducing the amount of time needed for pumping.
The company charges extra when they use the WaterGun, but Mike says it’s generally in service two or three times a week. Because the company has detailed records on all its accounts going back to the 1980s, Annette can see how many years it has been since a customer’s last pumping. This gives the technicians an idea ahead of time about the condition of the tank.
“There’s times you take it and you don’t need it, and there’s times you don’t take it and you do need it,” Mike says. “But it’s a great tool we started using a long time ago.”
Read more about Sweet Septic in this month’s issue of Pumper magazine.