Facing Tough Waterfront Jobs, New Jersey Contractors Turn to Joe Mayers for Help

Septic Experts has built its reputation around complex projects in an area where the topography presents unique challenges

Facing Tough Waterfront Jobs, New Jersey Contractors Turn to Joe Mayers for Help

The lakeside lot had a 45-degree slope plunging 40 feet from the road to a retaining wall. (Photo courtesy of Septic Experts)

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The COVID-19 pandemic prevented families from going anywhere, but they still showered, washed dishes and laundry, ate, and flushed the toilet. Marginal onsite systems serving lakefront homes and islands in northern New Jersey failed under the hydraulic load.

“These aren’t your typical job sites,” says Joe Mayers, owner of Septic Experts in Wantage, New Jersey. “The area is mountainous, the lots are small, and some lakefront properties are accessible only from the water.”

The company has built its reputation around complex projects. As a result, other contractors occasionally refer their customers to Mayers if sites require his equipment and crew’s expertise in overcoming the topography.

For example, the latest difficult install involved replacing the 500 gpd onsite system for a three-bedroom home on Lake Hopatcong. Besides little room on the lot for the replacement, a 45-degree slope plunging 40 feet from the road to a retaining wall. The owners came and went via boat, but Mayers left his 8-by-12-by-2-foot-high commercial transport barge at home and worked from the road.

On the first day, two laborers pulled a mature tree stump, moved boulders, and added soil to make a ramp for the equipment. “It had rained a little, causing the 20,000-pound Kubota 080 compact excavator to slide down the hill, which was a bit of a scare,” Mayers says.

During the next three days, they knocked down a section of wall to reach the back yard, then installed three 50-foot rows of Quick4 chambers (Infiltrator Water Technologies). The 5-foot-wide, 1.15-cubic-yard Yanmar C30R rubber-tracked crawler carrier with articulated undercarriage scrambled between material stockpiled on the road and the drainfield.

Backing away from the lake, they installed the fiberglass tank containing the AquaKlear advanced treatment unit with ultraviolet disinfection, the piping, compressor, and control panel. “The state requires disinfection when effluent is discharged near sensitive waters,” Mayers says.

Over the next three days, they replaced the section of destroyed wall with a 4-foot-high block retaining wall (Recon Wall Systems) and built a precast stairway from the back of the house up to the street. “The local health code requires a landing every 10 steps of vertical rise and we had three gravel landings separating the 40 steps,” Mayers says.

The only time they needed the barge was to retrieve the hay bales placed along the water’s edge for sediment control.

To learn more about Joe Mayers and Septic Experts, read the full profile in the February 2023 issue of Onsite Installer.


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