Moving to a Blower System

This pumper changes his traditional vacuum truck setup and sees great results
Moving to a Blower System
LaRoche’s service technician Dave Bryer uses the company’s 2010 Mack Granite TM700 vacuum truck with a 3,600-gallon tank to clean a residential septic system.

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Pumper Phil LaRoche and his wife, Kathy, operate LaRoche’s Sewer, Drain & Septic Services, a full-service septic company in Faribault, Minnesota, a rural area in the central part of the state just south of Minneapolis. Since their start in 1974, the couple has always used traditional vacuum pumps on their septic trucks. But for a recent purchase, they decided to go a different route.

“Another truck has a rotary-vane-type vacuum pump,” Phil LaRoche says, “but this one has a National Vacuum blower system. Blowers are getting to be the thing nowadays.”

The company’s older service vehicle is a 2010 Mack Granite TM700 with a Balzer Inc. 3,600-gallon steel tank and a Challenger 506 liquid-cooled vacuum pump from National Vacuum Equipment. LaRoche worked with Minnesota company Crysteel Manufacturing to build it – as he’s done with all his trucks since the early 1980s. “We’d round up all the components then have them put it all together,” LaRoche explains.

He broke with tradition on his newest truck, a 2011 Mack Granite TM700 with a 3,500-gallon steel tank, and bought it fully built out from Advance Pump & Equipment. “I just wanted a turnkey situation,” he says.

The unit came with a Challenger 4310 high-vacuum positive displacement blower system from National Vacuum Equipment. LaRoche explains the benefits:

“A rotary-vane-type vacuum pump is designed for intermittent usage in 20- to 45-minute intervals, which is about what it takes to pump a septic. But a blower can run at roughly 27 inches of vacuum 24 hours a day, seven days a week, if you want it to, and it won’t hamper its performance.” He adds that another advantage is it doesn’t use oil like a vane pump.

LaRoche finds the blower system especially useful on tougher jobs outside the realm of typical septic pumping, such as lift stations or digesters at sewage plants. “Stuff that’s hard to pull and deeper, that’s where the blower is nice because it can pull a deeper vacuum.”

LaRoche has been very happy with the new system. “I enjoy it a lot,” he says. 

Learn more about LaRoche's Sewer, Drain & Septic in the December issue of Pumper.


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