"Growing Strong" featuring Pik Rite - The timely acquisition of a revered local brand and intuitive marketing moves set up young Massachusetts pumping outfit Capewide Enterprises for success.

You might think being located on a peninsula necessarily limits a small company's revenue potential. But don't mention that to Rich Capen, co-owner of Capewide Enterprises LLC with Joao Junqueira. Based in Mashpee, Mass., the company, providing pumping services and more, works well beyond the confines of its base on Cape Cod, reaching far and wide for revenue.

Capewide's services include commercial and residential pumping; Title 5 septic system repairs; custom home building, remodeling, additions and excavation; and covers 400 square miles, all of the Cape Cod region. Through diversification and some key acquisitions, the company has seen impressive growth, building from a start-up to $5 million in revenue in eight busy years.


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Richard Capen: My name is Richard Capen, and I'm co-owner of Capewide Enterprises, J.P. Macomber & Son. We're in the business of maintaining septic systems, replacing and repairing them.

We're replacing an old cesspool at this house. We're down at the end of Seaview Avenue, which is right on the ocean. And what we've done is set a 1,500-gallon septic tank, which is in series with a 1,000 gallon pump chamber. We need to pump the effluent up so that we have a separation between the bottom of the leachfield and the groundwater. 

In this case, we have a walkout basement and a laundry right behind these windows here. So, what we had to do, in order to be able to not have to have a raised system in this yard, and to be able to accommodate the actual topography, we're coming out of the house at the elevation that existed coming into the septic tank. What we're going to do is we're flowing downhill very, very, very slightly into a pump chamber, and that's going to be pumped up, because what we need to maintain is a five-foot separation between the bottom of the leaching field and the groundwater.

By doing this, we didn't have to change any plumbing inside and we're not going to end up with a mound system. We're going to be basically right at grade with nine inches of cover over the septic tanks, and then about a foot of cover over the septic system itself, the leachfield.

We're putting the finishing touches on right now. We're shoring the pipes so that we don't have any sag later on. The pipe needs to be packed nice and tight. We have a trench going back to the house where we're going to be able to supply the power to the pumps. We're going to go right into the electrical panel. Inside of this tank we're going to have a three-float system, which is going to let us know if the water comes up too high. An alarm's going to go off to let us know that the pump may not be working properly. And then the pump is going to be on a float, letting us know that it's time to pump the effluent up to the distribution box to be sent out into the leaching field.

This is a 2013 Peterbilt 348 that we just purchased at the 2012 Pumper and Cleaner Environmental Expo held by COLE Publishing out in Indianapolis. This truck was set up to Capewide Enterprise's specific specifications. We want a truck that would be a 3,600-gallon truck so that we would be able to get out and make this truck work for us on a daily basis.

We have two different sized septic tanks in our area: a 1,000-gallon tank and a 1,500-gallon tank. By choosing a 3,600-gallon tank, we're able to increase our productivity by not having to travel to the plant as often during the day. We're able to get out and pump at least three tanks with this one truck, and that gives us that ability to get out and get at least six pumps done during the day. And sometimes, actually get two dumps in and move into the six to nine pumps.

My partner and I chose this 2013 Peterbilt for reliability and productivity. We replaced an older 2,500-gallon GMC TopKick that came with the purchase of J.P. Macomber & Son in 2006. The truck served us well, but unfortunately it couldn't keep up with the demand of the pumps that we have on a daily basis. So, by going to a 3,600-gallon tank, we've increased our productivity and we're able to get out and pump at a minimum of three tanks on one tank load.

All right, what we're doing is getting ready to set this quarter horsepower Liberty pump, which is going to go inside of the tank on two blocks so it's raised up off of the floor of the pump chamber so that we're not picking up anything off the bottom; any debris that would get sucked up into the pump. Once we get the pump into the tank, we're going to run the wires through, which are going to go into a flower pot right over here, and then it's going to come up to grade in case we have to do any work on it. Later on, down the line, it'll be easily accessible. And it's going to be wired into the house through this trench going through this conduit. We're getting ready to put the check valve on now.

Richard Capen: After we set the pump, we'll be ready to get to the backfill stage on this portion of the job so that we'll be able to move forward into the leachfield. At this point, we're doing site management. We've laid out the leachfield, and we're removing the topsoil. We're going to be going five feet around the entire leachfield, so that we have proper drainage. And we're going to be able to have the septic system for many, many years to come.

We're going be under construction for two more days on this site. We'll be having a partial inspection this afternoon so that we'll be able to backfill the septic tank and the pump chamber, so we'll be able to get back to the cesspools and fill those in. This whole process is going to end up taking us three days. We completed the first day by setting a 1,500-gallon septic tank and 1,000-gallon pump chamber. Today, we're stripping out the field where the leaching system is going to be placed. And then, we're going to be going into a final wrap-up tomorrow, putting the yard back together as if we were never here. And then we'll have a Title 5-compliant system on-site in the ground.