Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Fun--Septic Humor or When a Good Flush Beats a Full House!

Septic System Pumping Requirements on MN Acreage


When I first heard the infamous Erma Bombeck quip, "The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank", I had no idea what she was talking about. Now, after a decade of living on an acreage property with a septic or private sewage system, I not only get the joke, I know it is true.

Septic cleaning is a dirty business and somebody’s gotta do it. Septic tanks must be pumped out at a minimum of every three years in the city of Ham Lake. This periodic requirement for individual septic systems specifies not only pumping but a visual inspection too. In fact, having your septic tank pumped and inspected is a requirement of most Twin Cities north and eastern metro communities. State and county codes do not control the point of sale or inspection of on-site or individual sewage disposal systems (ISDS or septic systems) leaving it up to each Minnesota city and community to adopted their own standards and rules for inspection.

Our personal choice has been to use Olson’s Sewer Service of Forest Lake to pump out and inspect our septic system since we moved to our Ham Lake acreage. Their slogan, “keeping your sewer in the pink” and hot pink trucks are seen all over Forest Lake, Columbus, Wyoming and Ham Lake. When their pink reminder postcard arrives in the mailbox every three years, I call and schedule our septic pumping and inspection right away.

Olson’s colorful slogan is catchy yet tame compared to septic professionals really. Some septic service companies have adopted some unusually humorous, and rather gross, sayings to remind you of what they deal with on a daily basis. Here is a list of some favorites that have been seen on sewage and plumbing trucks all over the US:


· Yesterday's Meals on Wheels
· We're #1 in the #2 business.
· You Dump It, We Pump It
· After the first whiff, call Cliff.
· A good flush beats a full house
· We do Pump 'N Right
· We'll take crap from anybody.
· Satisfaction guaranteed or your merchandise cheerfully returned.
· Your poop is our bread and butter!
· Your brown is our green.

If you have a septic system on located on your property, check with city hall for specific pumping and inspection guidelines as they are not all the same. While Ham Lake requires an inspection once every three years, it is once every two years in Lino Lakes. Most cities require that the tank, drain field and baffles of the system be inspected at the time the system is pumped. As part of their service, most septic contractors will submit a completed permit to the local city hall to document the inspection.

Keep in mind, in many cases this is not an optional maintenance process and  inspection. If you choose not to clean and inspect your private sewer system, most cities will hire a contractor for you and assess the charges on your property taxes.


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