Sarratt Septic

While talking to a homeowner he brought up a number of concern about his

contracted operator:

My operations person shows up unannounced.  My operations person does

not give me an explanation of services.  My operations person has never

spoken to me about my septic system.  I don't know when the tank was last

pumped.  I do not know my operators name (off the top of my head).  All I

get is a bill twice a year.

First, I would recommend contacting your service person and voicing your


I'm not in the business of taking away customers from other operators; it's

not my style.

So, if your system is running well, I generally recommend that people stay

with their same operator.

If for any reason you can't resolve your differences, I would be happy to talk

with you face-to-face about managing your system.

One thing you might do is find out the next time your operator is coming

over and follow him around while he does his job and pick his brain.

When I do operations on a system y
ou are welcome to walk around with me, ask me questions, help me and take pictures or video.

If you are not at home when the State requires me to do operations, I will come out to your home when you are there at no charge to explain what I do and teach you about your system.

Even if I have to make a special trip to the other side of the State I will come out to teach you about your system for free.  I live near Charlotte and Waynesville (on the weekends).  I offer operations  as far away as Cape Hatteras.  Just ask.

Normally, the operator notes in his records, how close the tank is to needing to be pumped.  He may also note this on the form he submits to the county.

It will look something like, "T
ank does not need to be pumped at this time." or "Tank is 5% full of scum and sludge."  In North Carolina we normally pump when the tank reaches 33% of capacity.

I'm not aware of any rule which says the operator must send you a summary of services after a visit, but this is a normal, customary part of operations service.  A report to the homeowner was recommended at the subsurface operator training I attended at North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the manufacturers I have trained with also recommend this practice.

I personally send my clients the information I send to the county and I send the client a brief summary letter explaining the information in the report.  The county report forms are a little confusing if you are not a septic operator.  My letter explains any problems or areas of concern in plain English.  It also notes how full the tank is of scum and sludge and whether it needs to be pumped or if it will need to be pumped in the near future.  I also give a brief overview of the services I performed.

If the system is out of compliance I give you a specific heads up about this before I contact the county.  And, be aware that an out of compliance system has to be reported by me to the county within 48 hours.  Out of compliance usually means the water quality samples were not within an acceptable range.

As far as the contractor showing up unannounced, I would discuss this with him directly.  You are correct in that he probably has this as a standard condition of his contract. 

Personally, I notify customers in advance that I will be showing up unless we have other arrangements.

This actually has purpose for me because sometimes I need a customer to cut off their tank's pump so I can run an efficiency test on the pump.

I certainly do understand about the odd experience of unannounced, surprise visit.

Sarratt Septic

Serving Western North Carolina

Charlotte & The Foothills

and the Inner & Outer Banks

Ph 828-447-5184