From routine inspections to emergency calls, a good camera helps installers complete a wide range of services


The first step in any repair job is knowing what’s going on underground, and that is why a camera snake is the most valuable tool at McKim Septic & Pumping in Purcellville, Virginia.

The company runs an active business about 40 miles from Washington, D.C. There is no lack of work. From installations to real estate inspections and repairs, McKim Septic & Pumping provides a full range of wastewater services using 20 people and working year-round.

The company’s first camera didn’t work as well as expected, says Michelle McKim, who runs the Services Division of the company. The new unit came from Trojan Worldwide Inc. It’s a C100 self-leveling camera with 130 feet of cable, a 7-inch screen, a stainless steel camera head, and a microphone and memory card socket to record video and audio.

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The company has three technicians on the road answering a variety of calls, and they handle about 15 inspections per day. Although not required by the state, real estate agents always want inspections at the time of sale.

“We use that camera for every sale we do. A lot of these older homes have no drawings of the wastewater system or have very poor drawings,” McKim says.

The camera is useful on a variety of other jobs.

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“People will call us because they have wet spots in their yards. Instead of digging up the entire yard, we can use the camera. As long as we can get into the tank or the distribution box, we can see what’s going on,” she says.

On average, the camera is used for two jobs every working day. Office staff tries to schedule the same technician for those camera jobs. That eliminates the complication of trying to set a meeting point to transfer camera gear.

“We’re talking about getting a second camera down the road,” McKim says. “We have the need, and when our camera is out of service, it’s very expensive to rent one temporarily,”

Related: U.S. EPA launches septic system program

Read more about McKim Septic & Pumping in this month’s issue of Onsite Installer magazine.


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