IOWPA News, Spring 2020

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I WPA News

Spring 2020 Quarterly publication of Indiana Onsite Wastewater Professionals Association

Why ALL Businesses Need A Plan The Switch

From Excavation to Septic Services

Building A Pumper Truck

Sunset Septic ‘s Winter Project

Where Are They Now? Greg Miller & Greg Lake












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IOWPA News Spring 2020

IOWPA News is the official publication of the Indiana Onsite Wastewater Professionals Association, Inc. (IOWPA) and is published quarterly.

Indiana Onsite Wastewater Professionals Association 7915 S. Emerson Avenue, Suite 132 Indianapolis, IN 46237 Phone: 317-965-1859 • Fax: 317-534-3460

In this issue . . . 10 Why ALL Businesses Need A Plan 12 The Switch: From Excavation to Septic Services 14 Building A Pumper Truck 16 Where Are They Now? We visit with those who helped build IOWPA over the years. • Greg Miller: Trying to remember some things from the past (p. 16) • Greg Lake: There at the beginning (p. 17)

PUBLISHER Jane Breeding, Executive Director, IOWPA 317-965-1859 EDITOR AND AD SALES Mary Breidenbach, Cumulus Design 317-757-8634 • Advertising Rates: Rate sheet available online at or by contacting Mary Breidenbach at 317-757-8634 •

Reprint Permission: Please email IOWPA to request permission to reprint. Direct your email to and include the title of the article and publication date. Views expressed in articles or editorials do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the association or its directors, but are those of the writer. Trade names used in articles are for identification only. No discrimination is intended toward similar products and IOWPA does not endorse the use of the products mentioned. Subscriptions: Subscription is included with IOWPA membership. Nonmembers: $20.00 per year (4 issues per year). For questions regarding subscriptions, please call IOWPA at 317-965-1859.

On the cover: Sunset Septic Team — Jon Houseknecht with wife, Gale and son, Cody stand in front of their new pumper truck. Jon shares how they built their new truck this past winter on page 14.

p. 6 — IOWPA Conference Recap

Plus More! 2

President’s Message History of IOWPA


Calendar IOWPA Field Day 2020 ISDH Update


2020 IOWPA Conference Review


IOWPA Ralph Reed Memorial Scholarship Application (Due: May 1)

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Dear IOWPA Members, 2020 is starting off to be a big year for our organization. In January, the conference drew a great turnout with 375 attendees. Also, I’m happy to annouce that we currently have 734 members and growing. It is wonderful to see this great organization expanding and thriving. With the growth and changes the association has experienced over the last 20 years, the Board is working hard this year on bringing Karl M. Glaze our bylaws and other documents up-to-date. We hope to have the process completed this year with everything in order to ensure IOWPA continues to expand and succeed long into the future. Committees are already working hard on a field day for this year as well as on next year’s conference. Be sure to read the Field Day Committee’s update on page 4. If any of you are interested in being involved with a committee, feel free to contact the committee chair, Jane Breeding (, or any of us on the Board (see contact list to the right). The members are what make IOWPA the strong organization it is, and are what will keep making it great into the future. I am honored to be your President during this time of growth. I will work hard with the Board and Committees to make this year a great one for IOWPA. Sincerely, Karl M. Glaze IOWPA 2020 President Daviess County Health Department

2020 IOWPA Officers President: Karl M. Glaze (2023) Daviess County Health Dept. 812-254-8674 Treasurer: Gary Steinhardt (2023) Purdue University, Dept. of Agronomy 765-494-8063 Vice President: Jon Houseknecht (2022) Sunset Septic & Excavation, Inc 219-778-8100 Secretary: Kyle Nix (2023) S&M Nix Enterprises, LLC 812-347-2920 Executive Director: Jane Breeding 7915 S. Emerson Ave., Suite 132 Indianapolis, IN 46237 317-965-1859; Fax: 317-534-3460

Board of Directors Will Banks (2022), Ike’s Sewer Service 765-448-1443 •

History of IOWPA IOWPA has a wonderful history; however, not all of it was documented. Do you have any recollection of past conferences, volunteer days, or meetings that you could share? L.A. Brown has iniated a search to gather historical information on IOWPA and needs your help. Please send your contributions — memories, photos, saved programs, etc., to L.A. Brown at

Greg Inman (2022), Infiltrator Water Technologies 800-896-9565 • Andrew McAfee (2022), L.A. Brown Company 260-824-5754 • Randy Staley (2021), Staley’s Soil Service, Inc. 812-939-2752 Alice Quinn (2023), Indiana State Dept. of Health, 317-233-7179 •

In the future we hope to have a page on IOWPA’s website on our history but we need to fill in the gaps. In the mean time, here is a few more nuggets that L.A. has uncovered.

A look at our past ... the year 2001 Earliest newsletter found so far: November 2001 IOWPA’s 2001 Conference: The conference was held on December 13–14, 2001 at Adams Mark in Indy. Registration for the conference was $60 at the door.

2001 Board of Directors: Jacqui Bauer, Brad Boyer. Greg Lake, Greg Miller, and Ralph Reed

After this issue, IOWPA will not send copies of the IOWPA News to anyone who has not paid their 2020 membership dues.

Do you have an IOWPA newsletter that’s older than the fall issue of 2001? Can you recollect earlier events? Please share them with us by contacting L.A. Brown at

To check your membership status, please contact IOWPA at 317-965-1859 or email

IOWPAs annual dues in 2001: $50






IOWPA Field Day 2020

April 16

Greg Inman, Field Day Committee Chair

IEHA Spring Conference


May 1

IOWPA Scholarship Application Deadline

See page 8 for application and more information about IOWPA’s Ralph Reed Memorial Scholarship. Application also available on IOWPA’s website at

September 14–18

2020 Septic Smart Week

It’s never too early to think about how you can participate in Septic Smart Week. For more information visit

October 25–28

2020 Onsite Wastewater Mega-Conference Hampton Convention Center, Hampton, Virginia

Be sure to check the Events and Upcoming Exams pages on IOWPA’s website ( for most up-to-date listings.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) On March 6, 2020 the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) confirmed the first case of Coronavirus in Indiana. Please follow federal, state, and local guidelines to keep you, your families, and employees safe and to help reduce the spread of the virus. Below are a few websites with information about this rapidly unfolding situation. Stay safe. Centers for Desease Control Indiana State Dept. of Health

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We are close to getting a local permit to host a field day in 2020. The Field Day Committee voted last year to use the Pam’s Promise Transitional Housing site for the IOWPA Field Day. Pam’s Promise Transitional Housing Corporation is a non-profit transitional housing program offering a variety of support services for Montgomery County homeless men, women, and their children with a goal of helping clients become self-sufficient within three to six months. To learn more about Pam’s Promise, please visit their website at There were a few hurdles in the way which caused us to have to push the project into 2020. Everything seems to be on track to use the site this year. We have a great group of IOWPA members and volunteers that have already stepped up and helped this project move toward local and state approval. We will be looking for more volunteers and donations as the project develops. Please feel free to email me if you are interested in volunteering or donating at Since the 2019 project got pushed into 2020, we are still hoping to complete another field day site this year in addition to the Pam’s Promise site. Currently we have received three applications for 2020 — Helping Paws Pet Haven in Huntington, Butterfly Transformation House in Laconia, and Camp Millhouse in South Bend. The committee is reviewing the documents and meeting with the applicants to evaluate each site’s potential for a field day. The Field Day Committee will be meeting soon to discuss each site and vote on the 2020 field day location, which will then be taken to the IOWPA Board for approval. We’ll keep you posted.

ISDH Update Alice Quinn, ISDH The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) held our annual On-site Sewage Systems Meeting on February 4–5, 2020 at the Indiana Government Center South. More than 50 representatives from 41 local health departments were in attendance for one or both days. The ISDH residential field staff presented design examples for all sand-lined systems approved for Indiana. The sand-lined system training has been a requested training for the last few years, and this year, the field staff delivered several great presentations and provided the attendees with a lot of examples and manufacturer specific information. Dr. James Howell, former ISDH Assistant Commissioner and current Decatur County Health Board Member spoke to the local health department representatives about how to work cooperatively with local boards of health to achieve optimal public health outcomes at the county level, and Tom Duszynski, PhD(c) with the Department of Epidemiology at Indiana University-Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, gave a riveting presentation on “Public Health: The science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities.” NRCS State Soil Scientist, Rick Nielson, and NRSC Resource Soil Scientist, Dena Anderson, provided training on Water Movement and Treatment in Soils. Claude Goguen, NPCA, also joined us for a discussion on modifications to septic tanks. The training was rounded out with residential and commercial program updates and a presentation on Outlet Filters given by Brian Payne, PE, with the ISDH Commercial Plan Review Division. Stay tuned for another round of regional trainings! ISDH will be providing five regional

workshops throughout Indiana this spring; however dates and locations have not been confirmed at this time. Those training dates will be given to IOWPA for announcement when they are confirmed.

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2020 IOWPA Conference Recap Jane Breeding, IOWPA Executive Director Above: Dr. Sara Heger from University of Minnesota was one of many speakers at the 2020 IOWPA Conference in January.

Thanks to everyone who attended the 2020 IOWPA Conference. This year’s

attendance nearly matched the recordbreaking turnout from last year with a total of 375 attendees. Our conference theme, A Problem Shared Is a Problem Solved focused on troubleshooting common problems in the onsite wastewater industry on relevant topics such as soil compaction, high strength waste, septic tanks, site preparation, sand-lined systems, and solutions for small communities.

We thank all of our speakers and panelists for sharing their expertise. We received great evaluations from the attendees surveys with special praise for presentations by Dr. Sara Heger with University of Minnesota. The conference also offered Installer Certification review and exam. As a result, I’m happy to announce we have 57 new Certified Installers!

Left: Dave Ortel, ISDH leads the Installer Certification review at the 2020 IOWPA Conference.

Below: Attendees of the Installer Certification review.

Conference Sponsors AK Industries Drainage Solutions, Inc Infiltrator Water Technologies Valley Farms Supply Watermark Engineered Product Sales, Inc

At the Annual Meeting held on the first day of the conference, the 2019 L.A. Brown Volunteerism Award was presented to Julia Hayes with the Indiana State Dept. of Health who among her many contributions, co-chaired the 2019 conference committee and is again chairing the committee in 2020. Congratulations Julia! And finally, the fundraiser for IOWPA’s Ralph Reed Memorial Scholarship Fund raised over $4,800! The scholarship provides $750 to three college student each year and money for soil judging contests at Vincennes, Purdue, and Huntington Universities. Thanks to all of the people and companies who donated and a big thanks to everyone who bid on items. See more conference photos on back cover.

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Greg Inman presents Julia Hayes with the 2019 L.A. Brown Volunteerism Award.

Silent auction fundraiser helped raise over $4,800 for IOWPA’s scholarship fund.

Trade Show Exhibitors

Conference Trade Show

Accurate Laser Systems Inc Advanced Drainage Systems AK Industries / Hydro-Action Cash Concrete Products Clarus Environmental / Zoeller Company Drainage Solutions, Inc Eljen Corporation Imperial Industries, Inc Indiana Land Improvement Contractors Association Infiltrator WaterTechnologies KAF Sales & Marketing Associates, LLC MMI Norweco Presby Environmental, Inc Topcon Solutions Store Tuf-Tite, Inc. Valley Farms Supply

Want to help plan IOWPA Conference 2021? Contact Conference Committee chair Julia Hayes (

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IOWPA’s Ralph Reed Memorial Scholarship Applications Due: May 1 OFFICIAL RULES This grant of $750.00 will be made to defray the cost of tuition and room and board at an accredited institution of higher learning approved by the Indiana Onsite Wastewater Professionals Association (IOWPA). Disbursement of the money will be made upon presentation of winner’s college invoice as proof of enrollment. The scholarship money will be paid directly to the scholarship winner. Applicants must be a citizen or legal resident of the United States, a resident of the state of Indiana, and a dependent child of an IOWPA member. In order to be eligible, applicants must complete the application form in its entirety and return it to IOWPA by the entry postmark deadline, May 1st. All applications will be first screened based on leadership responsibilities in community and school activities and on grade point average. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on the number, length of commitment, and quality of leadership responsibilities in community and school activities, awards, honors, academic records, career goals, and financial need. Applicants will be evaluated on a comparative basis at the sole discretion of the committee. All decisions are final. Application material and decision of the committee shall be confidential. Acceptance of scholarship constitutes permission to use recipient’s name and/ or likeness for purpose of promotion. No transfer of scholarship is permitted. Applicant must plan to attend an accredited school in the fall following the application deadline date of May 1st. Recipients will be notified by mail. Employees of IOWPA or members of the Board of Directors must remove themselves from voting on an application if a family member has applied. Mail or email scholarship application and transcript to: Indiana Onsite Wastewater Professional Association 7915 S. Emerson Ave., Suite 132 Indianapolis, IN 46237 Email: • ph: 317-965-1859

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SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION A. Personal Information Name (Last) ___________________________ (First) _____________ (MI)___ (Gender) M F Address ___________________________________________________________________________ City____________________________________________ State ____________ Zip_____________ Phone ___________________________________

Email _________________________________

B. IOWPA Member Information Company________________________________ Member Name ___________________________ C. High School Information School Name_____________________________________________ Graduation Date___________ Address ___________________________________________________________________________ City____________________________________________ State ____________ Zip_____________ GPA_________

SAT Scores: Math________


Number of Students in Class_____ Class Rank _____ (Transcript must be submitted with application) Attach a typed list of academic awards, memberships, or other special recognition you have received dating back to your sophomore year. D. College / University Information Is this your first year of higher education? Yes____ No____ (If “No,” college transcript is required) If “No,” indicate credit hours completed ___________ If “No,” indicate credit hours required to graduate _________ School Name _______________________________________________________________________ Address ___________________________________________________________________________ City____________________________________________ State ____________ Zip_____________ Please indicate:  4 Year College/University  Vocation/Technical Schoo

 2-Year Community/Junior college  Other: Specify

Major Course of study______________________________________________________ (Priority will be given but is not limited to water/wastewater related studies) E. Financial Information Please indicate which of the following income ranges matches your gross family income:  Under $20,000  $20,000 - $35,000  $35,000 - $50,000  Over $50,000 If you are receiving other financial aid, please itemize by name and amount Name ______________________________________________ Amount____________________ Name ______________________________________________ Amount____________________ Name ______________________________________________ Amount____________________ If there are any family circumstances that influence your need for financial assistance, please describe. ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ F. Essay On a separate page in 250 words or less (please type) write a brief essay on your goals as they relate to your education, career, and future plans. G. Certification In submitting this application, I certify that the information provided is complete and accurate to the best of my knowledge. False information will result in revocation of any scholarship granted. Applicant’s Signature__________________________________________ Date________________ Parent’s/Guardian’s Signature___________________________________ Date________________



Why ALL Businesses Need a Plan Renee Wiatt and Maria I. Marshall, Purdue Institute for Family Business WHAT DOES A BUSINESS PLAN CONTAIN?

Whether you have a small business, family business, mid-sized business, or a large corporation, they all need plans. Business plans help guide the business and provide a strategy for moving the business forward.

1. An executive summary condenses all relevant parts of the business in easy-to-understand language. In a maximum of two pages, the executive summary should explain the business concept as well as the company’s competitive advantage.

Most people associate a business plan with trying to secure financing from non-family lenders or investors. But you, as the owner, are the biggest lender/investor to the business, so you still need a business plan even if you already have a business that’s doing well and growing.

3. The description of the product/service explains how customers will use the product or service. It also summarizes patents, trademarks, or copyrights protecting the product/ service. The key in the description is to focus on the benefit to the consumer, not just listing the product’s features.

The business planning process allows business owners to strategically think about their business throughout the business’ lifecycle (from business startup to owner exit). For example, your marketing and succession plans should be fully integrated with your business plan. One of the most important parts of the business plan is the process of planning: setting the outcomes you want and how you plan to get there. Doing this correctly can set the stage for smooth and efficient business operation.

2. A mission statement shares the company’s purpose, where the company is going, and its core values.

4. An industry profile includes an industry analysis, the company’s general business goals and immediate objectives, ease of entry and exit, economic trends, industry standards, and also information on the existing and anticipated profitability of competing firms. 5. The competitor analysis provides information on competitors’ market shares, products, and strategies. This section should make it clear that this company has an advantage over its competitors. 6. Business strategy explains how the business plans to gain a competitive edge in the market and what sets it apart from the competition in the industry. It also describes the image that the business will project. 7. The company’s marketing strategy provides proof that a profitable market exists, including proving that customer interest exists and target customers can pay for the product or service. 8. Having a plan of operation allows a clear picture of business structure. Plan of operation includes: an organizational chart, incentives to keep key personnel, the firm’s form of ownership, and agreements such as leases and contracts. 9. Financial forecasts for the business include monthly pro forma financial statements (income statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheet) for one year and by quarter for the next 2-3 years. The forecasts should be done in 3 sets: optimistic, most likely, and pessimistic. WHAT IS THE POINT OF A BUSINESS PLAN?

Other than brainstorming ideas and making sure that your company is aligned in goals, values, and vision, a business plan can be used as a feasibility study, operating guide, or a financial proposal. A feasibility study can help to expand upon an idea to see if it is worth pursuing. A business plan can serve as an operating guide by explaining where the (new) business will go and how it will get there. Using a business plan as a financial proposal helps expound to a potential investor(s) how their funds will be utilized and how their investment will returned to them, by way of shares, dividends, etc. I HAVE MY BUSINESS PLAN, NOW WHAT DO I DO?

When you are finished with your business plan, be sure keep it. This is a living document, meaning that every year or two, it should be updated and edited accordingly. A business plan is not the ending place. Along with a detailed business plan, some other useful documents are as follows: job descriptions for all employees, a buy/sell and operating agreement, a succession plan (separate management and ownership transfer plans), and an estate plan.

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The Purdue Institute for Family Business (PIFB) website hosts an entire page of resources and publications dedicated strictly to business planning. Another PIFB page houses resources related to strategic business planning, which includes the following topics: goals and objectives, industry and competition, legal matters, and marketing. If you are interested in building your own business plan in a question-and-answer format, visit the INventure Business Planner here: Reference: Ehmke, C. and J. Akridge. 2005. The elements of a business plan: First steps for new entrepreneurs. Purdue Extension Publication EC-735.


Stay connected to IOWPA between issues. Sign up for the IOWPA monthly eNewsletter at You will receive: Certification exam notices, the digital version of the magazine, reminders for events, and much more.

Renee Wiatt and Dr. Maria Marshall reside in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University. Dr. Marshall is the director for the Purdue Institute for Family Business (PIFB) and Renee serves as its family business management specialist. PIFB’s website is full of resources for small and family-owned businesses. We publish a quarterly newsletter focused on topics crucial to succession, leadership, communication, strategic business planning, and estate planning in small and familyowned businesses. PIFB also hosts a question of the month and results are shared with subscribers. In order to subscribe, find resources, and learn more, visit the PIFB website here:

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The Switch I must admit that I never planned this path that led me to become the President of AA Septic Service, but therein lies the beauty of the journey. Growing up, I began working at age seven on my Uncle’s farm and continued gaining experience throughout my childhood and teenage years working with several other local farmers, a local well-drilling company, and various other jobs as they were offered. As I approached college age, I decided to begin with business as my major; however, I quickly realized during my first semester that I needed another direction. During a conversation on a snowboarding trip on the slopes of Bozeman, MT, a friend shared about majoring in the construction field. This instantly resonated with me, and I knew that it was the opportunity I needed to mix my childhood job experiences with my education. So upon returning to my second semester, I changed my major to Construction Engineering Management Technology. While moving forward with college, I began looking for a full-time job in the field to further my knowledge and gain as much experience as possible. A year prior to completing college, I sent Gradex Inc. a resume and requested that they consider me for an Assistant Project Manager position. Upon following up with them, I learned that not only were they not hiring, but they did not even have that position within the company’s organizational structure. Well, apparently, I must have made a pretty convincing sales pitch because, not only did they give me an interview, they also created the position within their company so they could hire me! I worked in the office full time for my final year of school, graduating college with a Bachelor’s degree in Construction Engineering Management Technology and two Associate degrees — Architectural Technology and Civil Engineering Technology, through Purdue University. 12 • Ph: 317-965-1859

From Excavation to Septic Services Jonathan Monday, President, AA Septic Service

minute to stay home the The long hours I had grown next morning to be available accustom to during college while they performed the carried over to my full-time service. James Penner (owner employment and I applied at the time) and I made small myself fully into becoming talk while he quickly and a “professional problem thoroughly performed his solver”. This approach service. As we chatted during again served me well and the service call, he mentioned I was blessed by the Dapp getting older and wanting to family (owners of Gradex, retire and I countered with Inc) by being promoted a quick “you should sell it”. multiple times during Jonathan Monday He looked me a bit surprised my 16 years of service and stated that he would be at Gradex. I ultimately interested if the right person moved into the role of came along. Seeing the possible opportunity Senior Project Manager, where I remained at hand, I quickly countered again and until I left the company. My years of said I’d be interested in talking more about service at Gradex allowed me to manage acquiring the business. many cross functional teams to complete large multimillion-dollar excavating and Letting go of the security that comes with underground utility projects for some of working 16 years for the same wonderful the largest contractors and owners in the company that treats you like family is not Midwest. I was fortunate to have some at all an easy thing to do. But after much amazing mentors along the way who helped prayer and petition we truly felt that this is me grow and challenged me to achieve more where our prayers were leading our family, than I ever thought possible. and we took the leap of faith to move forward. During my 16 years at Gradex, my wife Sarah and I started a family, and we have I worked days at Gradex and nights at been blessed with five wonderful children the dining room table putting the pieces — two daughters and three sons. Two of together to move forward. Six months our sons have special needs — one with after my emergency back-up septic call and Cerebral Palsy and the other with Duchenne discussion with James in the front yard, my Muscular Dystrophy, a terminal muscular wife and I were successful in acquiring the disorder. With our son’s medical needs, the business. priorities of our family were being shifted and our focus in life was changing. The long We are committed to continuing to provide hours of the construction industry were outstanding service to the community and beginning to take a toll on our family, and clients as they have come to expect over the the need to spend as much time with our years. We will continue to be prayerful for son as possible began to be at the forefront God’s blessings of wisdom and patience as of our minds. We began to pray about a we humbly serve our community. career change that would allow for more family memories to be made together. A family of seven living on a septic system ultimately resulted in an emergency call to our local septic company, AA Septic Service, one Sunday evening. I decided at the last


Building a Pumper Truck Jon Houseknecht, Sunset Septic & Excavating, Inc. Our company, Sunset Septic & Excavating, was started in 1995 when my wife, Gale and I bought an existing company. Our first pump truck was a 1983 Mack Cabover with a 1,250 gallon tank. We used the truck for several months before repainting it to match our signature yellow color scheme. While raising four children, we both worked other jobs to get through the financial ups and downs of a new company. But we have lots of great memories of those early years and still laugh about the time I had knee surgery. My right leg was in a cast, which I could not bend, and Gale was nine months pregnant with our fourth child. The phone rang and a nearby company that was waiting for a sewer line to be connected was in desperate need for their tank to be pumped. It was an emergency. Given my condition, Gale would not let me go alone, so off we went! With my leg in a cast I had to stand on the seat to drive. Luckily the cllient

Photo #1

Photo #3

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wasn’t but a mile from our place. On top of all this, it was a very hot day and Gale was very uncomfortable. We were quite a pair that day. By far, this was the worst tank I ever pumped! Today, our son Cody works with us and we are all certified IOWPA installers and inspectors. We also do repairs, jet clean, camera, and auger sewer and septic lines. OUR NEW TRUCK

With this new truck, our fourth, we increased our capacity and improved our efficiency to meet the increased business we’ve experienced since our county implemented the IOWPA inspection at the point of sale for real estate. We added many new elements on this truck that we discovered over the years from other pumpers, manufactures, the WWETT Show, and our daily operations.

Photo #2

Photo #4

Please note, safety is important to us and we don’t encourage others to take on a project like this without extensive experience and skill in building and fabricating, which we have. THE BUILD

After realizing we were in need of a new truck, we looked extensively for a replacement and found a truck on the lot of a nearby dealer (Photo #1). I measured the frame behind the cab and knew it would work with an existing tank we wanted to use which was just a few years old. The truck sat in our yard for several months until winter arrived and we had time to work on it. Winters usually slow down somewhat and during our non-productive days we were able to build it in our shop. First, the frame had to be shortened by 4 feet. Once complete, we then mounted the tank onto the frame using our excavator and welded it into place. (Photo #2) We then installed a new pump as well as the drive shaft with a gearbox. While we had bought and fabricated the brackets for the hose trays, that would wait until after the truck was painted. Next came the sanding and prep work on the tank. Now the entire truck was ready to

What a great looking group! Jon Houseknecht, his wife, Gale and son, Cody stand in front of their new pumper truck for their company Sunset Septic.

paint our company’s signature yellow color. After painting we installed the fresh water tank with pump and hose reel. To finish the project, Gale purchased the truck decals locally and installed them (photos # 3 and #4). Our new truck is a 2012 Kenworth with a Paccar 450 hp engine coupled to a 10 speed transmission. The tank is 3,500 gallons with a 100 gallon fresh water tank for cleaning

and introducing water on septic inspections when not available. Aluminum tool boxes were installed to carry fittings and organize tools, and a jetter is yet to be installed. The truck gets washed on a weekly basis and we always receive complements on it. We are very happy with the results.

your business. Perhaps we should consider an educational course on pumping with certification? Please email me (sunsetseptic@ and let me know if you’d have interest in this. Also please feel free to email me with any questions and concerns you have on building your work truck.

I spoke at the IOWPA conference and was surprised at the interest in pumping. This could be another profit center for

Sunset Septic & Excavation, Inc. 219-778-8100 •



Trying to Remember Some Things from the Past Greg Miller, Founding Member of IOWPA I have been asked by L.A. Brown and Greg Lake to participate in a “where are they now” challenge while recalling some of my efforts for IOWPA over the years. I will try to remember names of the key people and events leading up to the formation and early years of IOWPA. All my records and data were turned over to the association years ago. My memory does not always serve me well. Some of those mentioned are still serving the public health while others have passed on from this life. May they rest in peace. There are too many names and events to mention here. My apologies in advance to those I have not mentioned. It has been twenty-three years since my wife, Diana Miller of A & R Wastewater Management, asked me to attend a small group of pumper/haulers from Elkhart and St. Joseph counties. I recall names like Art and Joe Osowski, Tom Stump, Harold Grubb, Dick Dolph, Forest Hershberger, and Clarence Moseng. They and others like the Strombecks from North Webster were united under the name of the Northern Indiana Pumpers Association (NIPA) which grew into the Indiana Pumpers Association (IPA). The issue driving them most towards organizing was “land application” and “treatment plant acceptance of septage.” In other words, “what do we do with this stuff?” Attending local meetings led to IPA conferences in Indianapolis and larger national conferences attended by the National Association of Wastewater Transporters (NAWT). The conferences were sponsored by Cole Publishing and held in Nashville, Tennessee. Things took on a different look for me when Infiltrator Systems, Inc. offered me the opportunity to represent their product. This gave me the chance to meet with even more members of the wastewater industry. Meetings became opportunities to share ideas that showed the real talent and intent of professional people. Manufacturers of products for the industry, as well as pumper/haulers and installers from Indiana and other states met to satisfy their curiosity 16 • Ph: 317-965-1859

and quest for more knowledge. Names like Tom Ferrero from Pennsylvania and Ralph Macchio from New York were very influential at this level of participation. They brought years of experience to the table and a willingness to help. With assistance from my wife, a disposal site was established in Elkhart, Indiana. Elkhart Environmental Processing Corp. could be referred to as an example of successful cooperation between regulators, manufacturers, and pumper/ haulers building relationships to answer that pressing question “what do we do with this stuff?” When I traveled Indiana working for Infiltrator Systems (January 1997 to October 2003), I met with pumper/haulers and installers to hear their stories, present my product, and promote IOWPA. I also visited with state and county regulators. I was looking for common factors. I enjoyed time in the field with soil scientists learning how critical it is to properly identify site characteristics. I met people like L.A. Brown and Ralph Reed. These two men were already responsible for groups of small businessmen coming together to talk about issues affecting their livelihood. Some companies did both pumping/hauling and installation while others did one or the other. I promoted coming together as IOWPA to share ideas and gain an understanding of the bigger picture of wastewater management. At that time the regulatory community was attempting to write changes to Rule 410 IAC 6-8.1 for designers and installers. It was a tremendous opportunity to collect input from experiences in the field as well as the office and share it with others in the industry. It seemed only natural that professionals working together with common goals and mutual respect would find answers. All of this to be done by experienced professional people looking for methods that would bring answers to the onsite wastewater industry and people beyond the reach of municipal sewer. Their answers would speak to the question “what do we do with this stuff?”

The Indiana Onsite Wastewater Professionals Association (IOWPA) grew out of a need for individual expression and the ability to listen to others without prejudice. One didn’t have to agree with another but, agreeing and disagreeing with someone respectfully in a setting of professionals was the position we took. We did not exclude individuals with a passion for their point of view. Many meetings with other members of the wastewater community at the RCAP building in Indy gave us reason to believe the different groups could come together as one. The name of the group was chosen to reflect the importance of professionalism in what our industry was doing. It also provided an easy sendoff to someone with the friendly wish of “IOWPA you have a great day!” Some of the state conferences and trade shows promoting IOWPA that I attended were held at Kokomo, Indianapolis, Florence, and South Bend. I remember Don Jones and Brad Lee from Purdue University as very encouraging about IOWPA. Greg Lake and Brad Boyer were very significant in a team effort helping to arrange for the Indianapolis conference at the Adams Mark Hotel. In October 2003, my focus changed from being on the road much of the time to wastewater issues in Elkhart and St. Joseph counties. Back home with A&R Wastewater Management, I helped a family business survive and prosper by being a management solution for onsite wastewater treatment systems. I did presentations for real estate agents to encourage questions and provide answers promoting septic inspections done during the sale of a house. I spent the next fourteen years working at the local level. I became semi-retired in 2014 and fully retired in 2017. We watched the next generation take over where Diana and I left off. Family time is very important to us resulting in trips for Diana and I to Indy and Lebanon often twice-a -month for several days. Now I spend a lot of time chasing a small white ball around a golf course with good friends. Oh, and I happily address our “to do list”. The world of wastewater management is not as high on my list of priorities as it used to be, but I guess that is what retirement is about. Still learning the rules for that phase of life. I wish all current and prospective members well. IOWPA you are successful and happy.


There at the Beginning Greg Lake, Howard County Health Department In 2004, I moved from the Howard County Health Department to the county’s Surveyor’s Office. As the Deputy Surveyor, I oversee the maintenance of 500 miles of regulated drains for Howard County, along with the assessments for each of the watersheds. While in this position, I was appointed to develop and implement the county’s required Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4). In 2009, the county created the Howard County Stormwater District, in which I was appointed the Administrator. Since then I have operated in both roles for the county. The most important role I have had since my career change is being DAD. I have a beautiful and loving best friend, Sarah, with whom I have three crazy and special children.

Greg Lake and family.

One of the memories that I have from IOWPA is the very first meeting. It was four guys meeting (I don’t even remember where) talking about what could be done to bring professionalism to the installer/pumper industry. Those people were Greg Miller, Bob Paulus, Don Franzmeier, and myself. From that discussion, things only grew and improved. I got to meet and have relationships with so many neat people through those years. As I look at IOWPA today, the individuals that have carried this same vision forward have done an incredible job growing this industry. I look forward to seeing what the next 20 years will bring.

If you have someone from IOWPA’s past that you’d like us to feature, please send your request to:

P.O. Box 70 Rensselaer, IN 47978 219-866-5063

Custom Dosing Tanks Available in 1000, 2000, 3000 gallons Simplex, Duplex, Triplex, & Quadplex

H20 Loading available Fully installed with aluminum hatches, complete rail systems, floats, & control panel CAD drawings available upon request


INDIANA ONSITE WASTEWATER PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION 7915 S. Emerson Avenue, Suite 132 Indianapolis, IN 46237 Phone: 317-965-1859 • Fax: 317-534-3460

2020 IOWPA Conference

Full conference recap and additional photos on page 6.


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