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Tips on Septic System Repairs: An Interview with John Ferreira of Select Excavation & Landscaping LLC

By John Ferreira

Tell us a little bit about your company's history and the services you offer.

My name is John Ferreira and I started the business in 2009. It was never supposed to become a business. I always enjoyed trucks and equipment, but had started college. When we had the ice storm in 2008, I bought a one ton dump to help clean up at my parents and friends houses. Friends' houses turned into their neighbors and the snowball began. Then each cleanup turned into can you pull stumps and bring in fill and so it began from there. Eventually I stopped college because I had way too much work from the business that continued through the years. Here we are today, offering complete excavation, site work, and landscape construction jobs. we do everything from septic systems to driveways, yard expansions to retaining walls, walkways, and patios.

What are two or three of the most common septic system repairs you've done in the New Hampshire area?

Aside from a complete system replacement, the most common repairs would be repairing lines that have a dip or sag in them. Inlet and outlet baffles and outlet filters often need to be added to older systems. Also, venting the actual field itself is another common repair.

Can you describe some signs that a homeowner has a septic problem he or she should consult a licensed contractor about?

Depending on the septic system, there are a few different signs that should tip off a homeowner to call a licensed contractor. Water will seek the path of least resistance. With that being said, septic systems can back up into the house or basement. Sometimes people will discover very green grass over or around the tank, distribution box, or field itself. Lush green grass, and odor, or actual water coming out of the ground are all signs that a field is failed or failure is imminent.

When is a permit required for repairs, and how long does it usually take to get one?

A permit would be required to replace the septic system. The whole process from doing to test pit to having the state approved plan and starting the new installations is about 2-3 weeks.

Are there any basic steps that homeowners can take to help prevent major septic repairs?

There are a few basic steps homeowners can take to increase the life of their septic system. First, they can make sure that only grey water and solid human waste is being flushed down the toilets and drains. Conserve on the amount of water being used in the household. Have the tank pumped every other year. By only flushing the proper things, conserving water, and pumping every other year, your system should service you for years to come.

What advice would you give to people who are considering purchasing a house in New Hampshire with a septic system?

If you are thinking of purchasing a house with a septic system, have it inspected. It is not a big deal to do minor repairs or have the whole system replaced, it would be just nice to know before the deal is done that way it can be negotiated into the deal if need be.

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

I would be more than happy to help anyone with septic system questions or concerns. You can reach me at 603-670-5729 or send me an email at Also, check us out at or

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