How Locators Save BDK Septic Service Time and Money

Benny Karnes says his Goldak locator is easy to use and has saved his customers from headaches

How Locators Save BDK Septic Service Time and Money

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The tool that Benny Karnes likes best is the one that helps him do jobs no one else can complete. It’s his Goldak locator.

With his wife, Christiane, Karnes co-owns BDK Septic Service in Santa Rosa, California.

For about 10 years, he used a model that generated a tone to signal proximity to a sonde. When it began failing, he spent some time at the Water & Wastewater Equipment Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show studying the new models on the market. The Goldak caught his eye in part because of its small size. It folds up and stores in its own carrying case.

But it’s on the job where the Goldak shines, because Karnes says it’s simpler to use than the old tone models.

“You had to go and find the null and the point of reference and then calculate in your head the directions of where the sonde isn’t. This one has a graphic on it so we can follow the sensor,” Karnes says.

The machine also tells you how deep the sonde is, and that’s where you dig, he says.

Saving customers money

His memorable experience with this machine was with a tank buried 4.5 feet below grade. Between the time the tank was installed and the day Karnes was called in, homeowners had installed a swimming pool. The contractor dug the hole for the pool and piled all the dirt on top of the tank.

Karnes sees this often. Workers get a site plan from the county, but it’s not the right site plan, and they think a tank is somewhere other than where it is. Karnes discovers the plan is incorrect, and then he turns to his Goldak.

“In the past, we always wound up digging a hole to expose the mainline so we could follow that to the tank. Our customers now save all the time and money for all that digging,” he says.


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