Name of Business:
Goulet Septic Pumping & Design
Rene & Brenda Goulet
Pumping, haulage, design, evaluation and repairing of septic systems.
Green Valley, Alexandria, Cornwall, and Hawksbury in Eastern Ontario.
Number of Years in Operation:
What got you started in the onsite wastewater industry?
After quitting the dairy farm in 1982, I got into excavation by buying a used backhoe, small dozer and a gravel truck. We did excavation work like removing stone fences, ditching and selling mixed topsoil. We started getting requests to install septic systems and as I was not licensed at the time, I would install it with a licensed plumber. I got my license to install septic systems in 1987. In 1991, we got licensed to pump septics and holding tanks. MOE approved a few fields on my farm for a septage spreading site. At that time, I would spread the sewage directly on the field and the following year I would plant corn. In 2002, we installed a double liner lagoon for storing septage and holding tank waste during the winter. In 2005 we planted evergreen trees in our buffer zones as we have to stay away from property lines by 30M. I have a farm on each side of a side road. In 2005, we got involved with Chris Kinsley from Alfred College/University of Guelph and the MOE in experimenting with reed beds for the treatment of septage. We are still using the reed beds and it has been working fine. Using reed beds is a way of separating the sludge from the liquid and the sludge composts itself and turns to a peat moss type of matter. If MOE decides it is an acceptable way of treatment, then we will expand. During this time we have planted all MOE approved sites (8 small fields) with about 58,000 Hybrid Popular trees. These trees suck up nutrients a lot faster than a crop of corn. We installed a PTO pump at the lagoon and about 7000 feet of irrigation pipes in the plantation and use 3 irrigation guns to spread the effluent throughout the plantation. When it times to move the guns we use a 4 wheeler to move the guns as they are on wheels.
Give us one reason/secret for your success.
I think honesty, taking time to listen the home owner’s concerns and educating them is the way to go, as well as doing a good job for a fair price.
Where do you see the onsite industry going?
I think being in the onsite industry is a very important place to be. Years ago onsite professionals didn’t have the respect we have today. We are professionals, licensed through the government as designers, installers, maintenance providers and haulers. We are educated in the treatment of sewage which has to be properly treated before being disposed of. People need our help and guidance to design and install proper sewage treatment systems. We used to look at a septic system as being an expense, but now you have to look at it as being a part of the building -which is a significant investment. If you don’t have onsite sewage treatment, the building cannot be used. We need to treat our sewage properly as the treated effluent will eventually be sent back into the natural environment. We need to keep our waters clean for future generations. We also need to educate the public on why we need to treat sewage because they don’t realize that we will be drinking that water again –they are not making any more ‘new water’.
What can the onsite industry do to improve?
We need to encourage those of us that don’t go to meetings or conferences to learn about the new systems on the markets and to learn the new Code regulations. I find every time I go to a meeting I learn something if not from the meeting itself then from somebody who has had a different experience.