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5 Tips on Septic System Repairs: an Interview with David Popelka of Andry Rasmussen & Sons

By David Popelka

Tell us a little bit about your company's history and the services you offer.

Andry Rasmussen & Sons has been offering installation and repair services of septic, plumbing, HVAC and appliance systems to the greater Cable / Hayward area since 1946. In addition we manufacture concrete septic and holding tanks.

What are two or three of the most common septic system repairs you've done in the area?

Along with the replacement of failed systems, plugged or collapsed piping is the most common problem found. Many on site waste disposal systems also have pumps, aerators and controls that require service. Regular inspection to insure the integrity of septic tank baffles and pumping to keep solids level low is mandatory for all private systems.

Can you describe some signs that a homeowner has a septic problem he or she should consult a licensed contractor about?

Backups in the home is the most obvious sign. Along with this "gurgling" when running water down drains, soft spots or depressions in your yard and water pooling or running out of the ground are warning signs that you may have a septic system problem.

When is a permit required for repairs, and how long does it usually take to get one?

Whenever a septic system is altered or components are replaced a permit is normally required. The timeframe for obtaining a permit varies dependant on the municipality, design and engineering required. However almost all municipalities will immediately issue a temporary permit for emergency repairs. Best advice is to consult with a licensed plumber or municipal zoning agency if you have a question.

Are there any basic steps that homeowners can take to help prevent major septic repairs?

Septic systems rely on bacteria to break down waste. Limiting the introduction of chemicals or pharmaceuticals that will kill bacteria as well as solids that will not easily decompose are the best ways to increase the life of your system. Regular inspection and service by a licensed pumper will also limit problems and is required by Wisconsin plumbing code.

What advice would you give to people who are considering purchasing a house with a septic system?

Ask for service records and have the system inspected by a reputable licensed specialist who can determine if there are signs of system failure and that the system is properly designed and sized for the home.

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

We have staff available for emergencies 24 hours a day by calling 715-798-3355, the same number can be used between 6:30 AM and 5PM for normal business or questions. E-mail sent to us at info@andryras.com is normally answered the same day. For septic specific questions, ask for Jeff Rasmussen or e-mail jeff@andryras.com. Mail can be sent to Andry Rasmussen & Sons, PO Box 66, Cable, WI 54821. Our offices and showroom are located 1 mile South of Cable at 42940 US Hwy 63. We are also online at www.andryras.com.

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