Walking the Talk

Damon Huibregtse, owner of Dirkse and Huibregtse LLC and Wisconsin Onsite Water Recycling Association (WOWRA) board member, wanted to help a family in need.

He and other WOWRA board members had talked about installing a septic system as a community service project for a long time, and decided to put that talk into action by creating Rejuvenate a Family Day. “We had done some soil work for this family and hadn’t ever heard back from them,” says Huibregtse. “They were in tough shape with a ton of medical bills and couldn’t afford to move forward. We hope to be able to continue the program annually or bi-annually.

“For this project, I talked to several board members and other manufacturers we work with and had everything donated within a couple of weeks of releasing the idea. Ledgeview stepped up by donating two compartment 1,500 gallon tanks. We went Extreme Home Makeover on the system by finishing it in four hours with lots of volunteers. We had to cut one large tree down.

“It was not your normal install, but everything went smoothly. We had three newspaper photographers show up along with a state senator, a county administrator and a cabinet member from Governor Walker’s administration who thanked us for our efforts and coordination. It was an emotional presentation to the family.”

Many of the manufacturers who donated system components are also WOWRA board members. Some of them were beaten to the punch when others heard about it first so WOWRA will get the chance to ask others when they put together the next Rejuvenate a Family Day.

Not Just A Job

Huibregtse worked for his dad and uncle for about 20 years before buying Dirkse and Huibregtse LLC in January 2012. “I grew up learning from my dad and uncle as a sort of forced apprenticeship,” jokes Huibregtse. “We install septic systems, excavate and service pumps. If a pump breaks on one of our installs, then the pumper will call us and we’ll go out and fix it.”

Huibregtse has three employees: one person to draw up the plans and the others to help Huibregtse install the systems.

“We tend to overbuild our systems at times, which adds to the longevity of the system. It’s a good investment in the property when it comes time to sell and one less thing that the sellers and buyers have to worry about. If possible, we try not to put a filter in the first compartment. We’ve found that when waste has to travel through an extra set of baffles, it helps keep the filter from clogging and adds years to the life of the system.”

Huibregtse uses high-quality materials, and likes to have two compartment tanks. They tend to use a local company, Ledgeview Precast Concrete, for their tanks. “We are blessed to have several quality precasters in our area to choose from. We have also used plastic Infiltrator 1060 tanks in recent years. The new process Infiltrator came up with makes them competitive on price with concrete tanks. We get our large holding tanks from Weiser Concrete—they seem to have every size we need. We use Sludgehammer pretreatment in some of our mounds, Crestline Pipe and PolyLok 525 filters.

“We hope to grow and pass on the company to the next generation while providing a high-quality product to our customers. You kinda live your life through your septic systems. I drive down the road and think ‘I built that’ or ‘we helped them with that problem’ or ‘we fixed that mess.’ It becomes a way of life.”

Story by Jennifer Taylor

Resources

For More Information:

■ Dirkse and Huibregtse LLC, (920) 564-3322
■ Crestline Pipe, www.cresline.com
■ PolyLok, www.polylok.com
■ SludgeHammer Pretreatment, www.westcanwastewater.com
■ Weiser Concrete Products, www.wieserconcrete.com

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