You have this big tank in the ground – it has a delicate balance with the right stuff to serve you well. It’s going to fill up, it will need to be pumped out. You can make a difference on its service and longevity.
You’ve invested a lot in your septic system and with proper care you will have a long relationship. When you do the right things, your system will perform for you and life will be good. A few mis-steps however, and your problems can be many.
The Right Stuff:
- Liquids that go in, eventually have to come out, so reduce the amount of water that goes into your system. Excess liquid can also dilute the effectiveness of the organisms.
- Conserve water, use only what you need. Turn the faucet off when you are brushing your teeth or working at the kitchen sink. Turn it on when you need it. No need to let it just run.
- Install water conserving devices, such as a water-saver shower head. Buy an energy and water efficient dishwasher and washing machine.
- Get those leaky faucets and toilets repaired. Leaks will cause your system to fill prematurely and will dilute the ability of organisms to process the real waste.
- Only discharge biodegradable waste into your system. That means plant or animal waste that can be broken down by the organisms already there. Things like plastic, metal or other objects will cause problems.
- Compost your garbage or put it in the trash. The fewer solids, the easier organisms in your system can process other waste. Those carrot and potato peels, egg shells and coffee grounds are compostable.
- Know where your septic system tank cover is and keep it clear of overgrowth so that it is accessible for being serviced/pumped out.
- Only plant grass on top of your septic system.
- When it rains, where are your downspouts sending the excess water? Keep it away from the drain field of your septic system.
- Avoid putting grease or oils down your drains. Over time, grease can clog your system. Less grease means a happier system.
- Also avoid putting chemical or caustic cleaners into your system. These chemicals can interfere with the organisms that are working well in your system. Use green-friendly substitutes for your favorite cleaning agents. Plus, it’s healthier for you, too!
- Have your system pumped out at least once a year, or more often, based on how much you are putting into it. Have your tank checked for cracks or leaks when it is pumped out. Good maintenance will extend the life of your system. Good prevention and maintenance are cheaper than costly repairs or replacement.
- If something doesn’t seem right, or you notice a problem, call your septic service right away.
The Wrong Stuff
- Don’t use a garbage grinder or garbage disposal. Your system will have fewer clogs/or problems if you keep garbage out of your system.
- Do not put solids in your septic system. If it isn’t biodegradable, don’t even think of putting it in your system. Never put sanitary napkins, tampons, paper towels, sanitary wipes, disposable diapers or heavy toilet paper into your system. If it’s solid, put it in the trash.
- Never put solvents, paint thinner, oils, pesticides, disinfectants caustic cleaners or poisons in your system. You don’t even want to know what could happen.
- Never drive a car or other vehicle (not even ATVs) over your drain field/septic system.
- Don’t dig in the area. Do not plant flowers, trees or shrubs on your drain field or septic system. Keep it clear. Know where that drain cover is to make it easier for servicing.
- Don’t allow excess rain water to collect on or near the drain field or septic system. It’s just like that leaky faucet—you don’t want excess water going into your system and filling it up needlessly.
Your Gentle Giant will serve you well if you make these simple tips routine healthy habits.
It’s better for your system, it’s better for you.
Did you know, we are part of a world-wide network of portable sanitation professionals?
VPS, Inc. belongs to PSAI (Portable Sanitation Association International) a world-wide organization for portable sanitation professionals.
Check it out: http://www.psai.org/about.html
From the PSAI website, about PSAI: ” Founded in 1971, the Portable Sanitation Association International is a non-profit trade association serving the portable sanitation industry. PSAI membership is composed of two types of members, Portable Restroom Operators and Associates which include manufacturers of portable restrooms/toilets, restroom trailers, trucks, deodorizers, supplies, and services.”
At VPS, Inc. we stay on top of current information and technologies so that your business or your event, will benefit from the cleanest and best portable solutions for your toilet, shower and laundry needs. Around our globe, sanitation, safe disposal and cleanliness are really important to avoid the spread of germs and disease. We feel proud to be making a difference, right here in Northeast Wisconsin and other locations around the country.
Kris and Kurt
Kris and Kurt VandenPlas take pride in being able to respond quickly to a variety of new and unusual requests.
The last week of July when the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual AirVenture event was taking place at the busiest airport in the world, hundreds of thousands aviators descended upon Oshkosh, WI.
People came from all over the world. A customer called from the E.A.A. grounds just before the start of the convention asking for a mobile restroom trailer with air conditioning for their elite client.
Within a few hours VPS was on the road to Oshkosh with the elite unit:
Happy customer, and a cool and happy client have already booked this unit for 2012.
Last spring, summer and fall, Kris and Kurt were on the road again with their custom-made mobile showers. That was great news for the folks who participated in bike tours, concerts and car races. After a hot day of fun in the sun, all they needed was a nice shower to feel refreshed.
The showers traveled to:
Denver, Colorado, St. Louis, Missouri, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Delaware.
Hurricane Season Readiness
Then, last fall when hurricane season was threatening the east coast, Kris and Kurt were taking calls for emergency relief. Their portable showers and laundry trailers were all set to go at a moment’s notice.
Meanwhile back at home – the local team was keeping all portable toilet units clean and serviced regularly at area parks and events.
It is the meticulous attention to detail and ability to be ready to travel that sets VPS, Inc. apart from other portable restroom and shower providers.
Here is what festival goers and sportsmen and women have to say about our portable toilets:
“I am pretty phobic about using porta-potties — you know the ones, tiny and dark inside and smelly. I can’t even breathe sometimes inside one so I just plain “hold it”, until I get somewhere where there is an indoor bathroom. I was at a festival recently and well, there just wasn’t a place to go indoors and then I saw some big units all lined up. I tried the portable toilet and this was a whole different experience! It was spacious inside, and it was clean – really clean. I could move inside, plus I was surprised to see hand-sanitizer inside, too.” – Fran, Bellevue
“After fishing all morning on the lake, we came in hot and tired and of course needing to use a restroom. There was a VPS porta-potty near the boat landing. I was pleasantly surprised that is was so clean inside. In spite of this boat landing being a high use area, it did NOT smell bad inside. There was room enough to turn around inside along with plenty of toilet paper, too. This was obviously, well-maintained and cleaned often.” – John, Green Bay
“When my family and I are at an event, I know it’s clean when I see a VPS toilet on site.” — Annie, from Appleton
“We were at the pre-season Packers game recently (August 19)–it was a nice hot summer evening and after tailgating, my husband stepped into a porta potty on the way to the stadium–it was NOT a VPS unit–needless to say, it was an unpleasant experience and it did not even have hand sanitizer. Then I stepped onto the Packers parking lot on the way to our seats and spotted a VPS unit– even on a hot night–the porta potty did not have an odor, it was well-stocked with toilet paper and had plenty of hand santizer. My husband peeked inside, too and was amazed at how clean and pleasant it was. — A & J from Green Bay
We are never complacent and always want to hear from you–so we can improve our service. We appreciate your support. Here are some more thank you notes we received:
“Thanks for helping the bike tour run smoothly”. From Eric S.
Thank you again for your wonderful service” –From Mike & Cathy C. “
“Thank you very much for keeping your toilets cleaned and hand sanitizers full. It does go a long way for your company.” —From Jeremy M
“The trailered restroom was fabulous. Thank you! Thank you! — From Cindy W
“Thank you for consistently excellent service. We will continue to recommend you to others & will call you first for any future needs!” –Pam & Joe V.
Our showers have been on the road during the past three years servicing bicycle tour groups in Wisconsin, Michigan, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
During one particular event Kris said, “As riders were coming in at the end of their day, we were approached by people expressing how glad they were that WE were the shower provider. We got hugs and a big welcome! We already know next year’s location and dates for the bicycle tour.”
After one race, the “half-century” and “century” rider groups arrived about the same time which caused a line to form at the shower trailer. The event celebrates the rides with wine and hors d’oeuvres followed by a nice dinner. Since the riders wanted their showers before food and fun, they were missing the social hour and the goodies. Kurt talked with the event organizer and arranged to have wine and hors d’oeuvres brought over to the shower line. The cyclers were delighted and had a great time joking and visiting with Kurt and Kris while they waited.
Kris said, “Once people use our showers, they are very loyal to us and we are dedicated to serving them. We get to meet and form friendships with people from all over the US. This is what is so great about what we do.”
This fall, we provided portable showers at a Nascar Race in Dover. We also did the Spring 2011 race and both times had many people tell us, “Hope to see you here next year!” Nascar fans expressed that if there are no showers available, that they won’t be camping there either.
Kris said, “We have a loyal following and have made many friendships at these events. While the cars go round and round, we are part of the fun and always ready with clean, warm showers so that everyone can really enjoy this event while they are camping.”
Uganda needs money to build water towers so Joel Stratton from Acts 1:8 Ministry agreed to sit on the rooftop of Margaritas Restaurant — for a long time- – one and a half weeks to be exact– to raise money for the water towers. He pitched his tent on the roof and promised to stay there until enough money was raised. But there was one huge problem, no place “to go”– what was he to do?
VPS responded by donating an electric toilet— it was a little pot with a flusher. Joel was very appreciative (“relieved” in fact) to have this luxury. His toilet was set up in its own little tent. Take a look:
It takes lots of folks to prepare for the NFL concert before the season opener Packers game on September 8.
We’ve been in on the planning, the meetings and securing the needed equipment. Staff will be on site Thursday September 8 from 2-7:30 p.m. to ensure general restroom cleanliness, restock soap and paper supplies and to keep things running smoothly.
Beer distributors have stocked and restocked area establishments with supplies of beer. With all that beer, we are ready to help out with VPS porta potties. Check this out: Potty Prep-WFRV TV Aug 31
Each year the painting of the Packers slogan on the original fence facing Lombardi Avenue is a much anticipated event as the new message is created. Some years, we’ve even helped with the painting. As always, we donate the use of a portable toilet to make the job more comfortable.
Read about this year’s original Packers fence– Packers Fence Painting
Help After the Hurricane
A hurricane pounds the southern coast of the United States; filthy, unsanitary water is everywhere. People are displaced, their homes ruined and yet they have to go on with their lives. We try to help and ease that burden. In addition to providing mobile showers, VPS can also step in with a mobile Laundromat.
Our Portable laundry is working in South Africa
A village in Africa uses wash tubs and a sporadic supply of local water to hand-wash their clothing. It’s hard work and not very clean. A man from the village searches online for a better idea and finds VPS Enterprises’ website.
After many emails and conversations between a South African businessman and VPS owner, Kurt VandenPlas, design ideas were drafted to build a trailer to house washers and dryers to help our friends in a country half a world away.
As plans evolved and were finalized, the businessman and his partner traveled from South Africa to Northeast Wisconsin to VPS headquarters in the middle of a blustery Wisconsin winter—with all the glory of ice and snow on the ground. For two businessmen from South Africa this was quite the eye-opener. They were also amazed at the quality of custom work and immediately ordered two portable laundry units.
The units were custom built to meet the needs of another country, including seven washers and dryers, folding tables and a 500-gallon water tank to hold water– because many communities in South Africa do not have a continuous source of water.
Another challenge was to build the portable laundry to European electrical standards. After a quick course in learning these different standards, it was also necessary to purchase specially made washers and dryers, lights and pumps that were manufactured to European standards. It took six weeks to build the two units. Next hurdle was to deliver the trailers. Kurt and his team towed the trailers to Baltimore where they were inspected by US Customs and then were finally loaded onto a ship to make their 2 ½ month journey to South Africa. The latest report from our friends in South Africa is, “All is going well with the portable laundry.”
This is How We Do It:
Kurt builds each trailer to house washers and dryers. He starts with a trailer bed and installs washers and dryers inside with water hookups. The trailer has its own holding tank of fresh water along with a generator that heats the water. Another holding tank collects the waste water for proper disposal later.
Kurt builds the hook-ups for the washers and dryers.
Washers and dryers are installed on one side of the trailer with folding table/work area on the other side.
Exterior view of the mobile laundry trailer
We take care of things that you don’t want to have to think about—like where and how you get clean, where to get your clothes clean and where you take care of “business” – bathroom “business”, that is.
Four areas where we make sure “facilities” are available:
- Special events – large festivals, weddings, anniversaries, music events, corporate events.
- Parks and other recreation areas.
- Disaster relief—such as after hurricanes, tornadoes and floods.
- Construction sites – lots of workers on site, with nowhere to “go.”
Special events – A wedding or corporate event in your plans? We have luxury restroom trailers that will make you and your guests feel, well pampered. For high-end events, think oak and marble on the inside with porcelain-style sinks and 100% clean. Kris at VPS, Inc. adds in a few personal touches on occasion. An outdoor wedding or a high-end corporate event is possible with all the nice things taken care of; our business is to take care of your ”business.”
Parks/recreation areas – A day on the lake fishing or playing in the park is great family fun. Keeping yourself hydrated is what we hear from medical professionals and others in order to stay healthy, especially in summer. Hydration means, it has to go somewhere and portable restroom units by VPS are in many area parks and recreation areas in Northeast Wisconsin. Our units are far from the “old outhouse” of days past. Today, it’s all about being spacious, well-lit, clean smelling with plenty of hand sanitizer.
When Disaster strikes how do you take care of basic needs? Tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, floods—it’s all devastating. We’ve come to the rescue with portable restrooms, hot/clean showers—yes, even showers! And Laundromats that are contained in a trailer. Kurt builds each unit – his own custom design—we carry and heat our own water and dispose of it later as well. Most importantly, we jump into immediate action when we get the call. It’s our “calling” to help those in need.
Construction sites – If you are building it, well then, you can’t use it yet. We provide portable restrooms on construction sites year-round, to help those who are making life better for others with new buildings. VPS has a process where we keep the units functioning even during our cold winters. There is no “third tree on the left”—na-ah—Just clean, fresh, portable toilets placed on the construction site for those hard at work.
Look for us throughout Northeast Wisconsin: Green Bay area, Fox cities, Manitowoc, Oconto and Marinette.
We wait all winter for the dates of our annual long-distance bike tour. How we bikers love it—hitting the open road—watching the fields pass by, anticipating a stretch of shade to cool us off—even just for a few moments as we cycle through the coolness.
We ride with passion and sweat; we drink water all day long and sweat some more. At the end of a long day’s ride, pushing up and down hills and doing what we love, we pull into a park to camp – the sweat dried to our skin, muscles happily tired. It’s a basic park—no extra facilities. We pitch our tents, think about dinner, but what we really want is a nice refreshing shower to get rid of the baked-on sweat and dust from the day’s ride.
And what comes tooling along our route, moving with us each day is a portable shower! Clean, wet and refreshing. Soap and water feel so good to get the grit off; and sinks with mirrors attached to the outside of the trailer feel like an incredible luxury. VPS, Thank you for providing a refreshing shower. There’s nothing like it!
And now, what’s for dinner?
A Passionate Cycler
When a volcano erupted in Iceland in March 2010, it caused flights to be grounded for a couple of weeks in New York. Officials at JFK Airport called, “We have thousands of stranded travelers here in the airport— we can’t fly with ash in the air. Everyone is camping out in the waiting areas and they need showers!” We responded immediately by taking our portable shower units to New York. We were on the road in just a few hours.
Hurricane Katrina – it was one of the largest disasters of our lifetime in the US. Everything is under water, homes and businesses destroyed, including the water supply. There’s water everywhere, but none of it is safe or clean. Thousands are displaced and basic needs—like a shower – become essential. VPS responded.
That’s where Kurt VandenPlas put ingenuity and skill together to create portable shower trailers. He builds each one from scratch. The sum of the parts—creates a nice warm, mobile shower.
Kurt builds the base for the trailer that will hold the showers:
The trailer fits onto the custom built base :
The stalls, shower heads and parts are assembled in the trailer.
The portable showers are clean and tidy inside.
Each trailer has its own clean water tank attached underneath the trailer and a generator that heats the water. The waste water from the showers is also contained in another tank – and will be properly disposed of when full.
The trailer is easily moved from one place to another to accommodate the needs of people. These units are sent to disaster areas, but they are also used for special events, like a big festival or a bike tour. In fact, the portability allows it to follow an event—such as a bicycling tour. As the cyclers go from one location to another, the portable units follow the tour and provide a clean refreshing, portable shower at the end of a long, hot ride.
Here we are at a country festival.
VPS has created a Very Portable Solution to meet a need.