Pumper Profile Preview: LaRoche’s Sewer, Drain & Septic Services

Watch for this upcoming profile to see how a husband-and-wife team effect change to Minnesota land application rules.
Pumper Profile Preview: LaRoche’s Sewer, Drain & Septic Services
Owners Phil and Kathy LaRoche with 2-year-old grandson Ethan LaRoche in front of their 2010 Mack Granite TM700 vacuum truck.

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In the septic pumping industry, working with city and state officials on updating or improving regulations can be challenging, and often requires a healthy dose of education for said officials, patience, and a collaborative effort between pumpers and their state associations before progress can be made.

But it’s not impossible, as proven by Phil and Kathy LaRoche of Faribault, Minnesota, owners of LaRoche’s Sewer, Drain & Septic Services, who struggled for years with the issue of waste disposal.

One problem was some treatment plants refusing to accept waste; or plants did accept waste but only offered limited days and hours of operations, making it difficult to fit into operators’ schedules.

“I’ve worked on that for 25, 30 years, getting these different municipalities to accept this waste,” Phil says. 

And when it came to land application, the northern state’s weather set up another roadblock, with winter conditions and rainy seasons restricting the time frame for the practice. The solution was obvious: store septage until conditions were suitable for land application, which at the time wasn’t possible under Minnesota regulations.

Cue Phil and Kathy LaRoche and their ambitions to improve these rules.

“You could have storage, but it had to be in something you could move — a mobile unit on wheels,” says Phil. “For some people that’s fine, but for someone like ourselves where we’re pumping a million-plus gallons a year, you need some sort of storage to get by.”

Read the full profile to find out exactly what steps the LaRoches took throughout this process to be successful. Who knows — maybe one of the LaRoches’ methods could be applied to an outdated or overly restrictive rule in your service area.


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