Let’s Amass the Biggest Library of Installer Videos

Sharing your knowledge of septic systems is as easy as point, shoot and talk. We’re here to post your video content for the installer community.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Well, often that axiom is correct. 

And sometimes a video is worth a thousand pictures. A great example of this is the constant torrent of YouTube videos posted by DIY enthusiasts covering every imaginable topic. 

I have learned to rely on these videos to take on numerous tasks around the house and garage that I wouldn’t necessarily have figured I could tackle in the past. Fix a leaky faucet? Check. Building a bookcase? Check. Change belts on the snowblower? Check.

One recent job comes to mind. It saved me hundreds of dollars in exchange for a few hours of my time … and fueled my confidence to take on more and more repairs for myself.

I drove my 19-year-old car around for two winters without heat because the mechanic told me it would cost almost as much as the car was worth to fix the climate controls. Then I asked the question on YouTube. Guess what? Many other owners of the same car had encountered this problem and they were generous enough to share their step-by-step instructions to fix it.

Buoyed by these video clips, it wasn’t long before I had torn out much of the dashboard of my car to remove the control panel and discover the broken solder joint that plagued this particular vehicle. After a little work with a soldering iron and reassembling all the plastic bits — I was back to being toasty warm behind the wheel. The whole operation took less than two hours.

Why do I bring up my small automotive repair triumph? It’s not to brag, really, though I was pleased to have heat in the car again. Rather, the story illustrates the power the millions of first-person instructional videos have to help others learn a new skill, save a little money and generally make lives easier. 

We would like to do that with Onsite Installer, too. 


I think we do a good job in this print publication to help technicians learn about new onsite technologies and how to implement them. Our System Profile story each month takes you to the site of a challenging project and gives you the details of the job through interviews with installers and designers. We also share numerous photos to show the machines at work, the equipment that’s buried and the site issues to overcome. 

But what if we could enhance your experience from these stories by adding voice and video? The good news is we can … and we can make it better with your help. Through the magazine’s online home, www.onsiteinstaller.com, we are able to post videos to build on the reader experience you find here. These could be video versions of the System Profile feature. They could be demonstrations of machines and onsite technology used in the field. The ways we could use videos are almost limitless. 

I want to invite you to become a partner in this process. All it takes is your knowledge and experiences, a smartphone and a passion for helping others learn something new to advance this great industry. You don’t have to be a professional cameraman or communicator. You really don’t need to know much about the video-making process. You just need to know the subject material — and let’s face it, when it comes to installing septic systems or operating machinery, readers of Onsite Installer are the experts.


Before we get into the content of helpful videos for the onsite industry, just a word about making videos. It’s pretty basic: Find your camera app, scroll to “video,” point the camera at what you want to shoot and press the go button. Show what you feel is important to the viewer and start talking. Then all we need is the raw video uploaded to our team at COLE Publishing and they will do the rest to post your video and get folks watching it.

Think this is something you can do? Would you like to network with other installers and encourage them to post videos as well? Then drop me a line at editor@onsiteinstaller.com and I’ll help you get started. 

So what are some of the types of videos you could create? Here are a few ideas: 

Document a system installation

I’m sure you already document system installations with photos using your phones, along with the as-built drawings and any notes you feel are important for future maintenance providers and the homeowner. A video covering each step of the process will enhance your documentation for the customer. And it can be helpful for others in the industry who encounter similar system design or site challenges. Simply shoot a few minutes of video as your team completes excavation and site prep, tank and component installation and laying the drainfield. While showing the process, explain each step along the way. 

Demonstrate O&M procedures for advanced systems

We know that annual or twice-a-year inspections and maintenance are becoming necessary for more systems. Grab your camera and walk through your operations and maintenance process for these systems. Sharing a video like this is a good conversation starter for professional networking. Others may benefit from your ideas, while you might get valuable feedback that will help improve the quality of your inspections moving forward. A video is also a great way to explain the complexities of a variety of onsite solutions to your customers. Seeing you in action may prompt more system owners to contract with you to take care of their systems.

Contribute machine operator techniques

Through the popular Roe-D-Hoe competitions at past Water and Wastewater Equipment, Treatment and Transport (WWETT) Shows, I have seen firsthand how installers can help each other improve their techniques behind the controls of excavators and skid-steers. These skills challenges prompt a lot of valuable discussion among operators — sharing tips and tricks about more efficient ways to get jobs done. When you encounter a challenging earthmoving situation, flip on the camera and show how you dealt with working in tight spaces, on steep grades and so forth. Sharing these videos will help all operators build on their skills. 

Show us your favorite machine

Create a walk-around video reviewing your favorite excavator, backhoe or other piece of equipment. Show installers the features and capabilities you like best about the machine. Talk about the pros and cons of each piece of equipment used regularly by your crew. Your input could help point others toward more efficient equipment and their videos could do the same for you. Often the best advice comes from an operator who works in the field and has their hands on the controls every day.

Emphasize safety on the job

Installing is hard, often dangerous work. We benefit as an industry when we can share information that allows crews to work more safely around excavations and with heavy equipment. Shoot a video demonstrating how you slope spoils piles to prevent earthen collapses. Show how you employ a trench box when working in a deep excavation or in unstable soils. Walk through the personal protective equipment your crew uses, including clothing, footwear, eye protection, hard hats, etc., in the hopes that it helps others work more safely. 


You’re probably not a professional videographer and nobody expects you to be. But you do know more about installing septic systems than anyone else. That’s why it’s important for us to share your uniquely qualified perspective on the installing industry in any way we can. We’d like to stop by and capture videos of every Onsite Installer reader and visit every worksite to show you at work. But that’s not realistic, of course. What we can do is build a library of helpful videos you create and make them available for anyone to view and learn from.


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