Business: A&C Septic Service LLC

Owners: Cheri Errico and her husband, Jon, of Middle Township

Location: 200 Stagecoach Road, Middle Township

Started: 2005

Employees: Owner-operated

Phone: 609-463-4600

Cheri and Jon Errico purchased an established business, Heen Sewerage Service, in 2005.

The business provides septic tank cleanings for residential and commercial buildings and grease-trap cleaning for restaurants. In 2013, it is expanding into portable toilets.

“It's disheartening to see people hook up to city sewers,” Cheri Errico said. “Maintaining a septic system costs a couple hundred dollars per year. When they hook up to city sewer, it can cost two or three times that.”

She said that with more towns adding sewers, the portable toilet business can be a growth area for the firm.

Cheri Errico said personal service can help the business stand out, so when customers call, they never get an answering machine, even though the couple are available 24/7.

“We were going out to dinner last night and a customer had an emergency in Eldora. We put our customers first. It’s unpredictable,” she said.

Errico said understands customer service because she grew up in a family business, Roofing by Ruffing in Lower Township.

A major expense for A&C Septic Service is maintenance of pump trucks, which are cleaned and detailed several times a year, she said.

One trend is that more customers are installing systems that rely on two tanks, with one to hold gray water from the washing machine. That helps with the long-term sustainability of the system, she said, which, if well-maintained, should last 20 to 30 years.

Working in the cold is a challenge, digging up the lids when the ground is frozen. That’s harder on the labor and on the trucks.

A&C Septic covers a 25-mile radius from Middle Township, which includes all of Cape May County and as far north as Corbin City in Atlantic County.

Errico said some people can’t handle the business because of the smell. But the service is a necessity for homeowners, and performing it well gives a sense of accomplishment as with any service to people.