Septic Services and Cleaning: What We Do

When your septic system fails you

Your septic systems isn’t a normal topic of conversation, that is until you find that it’s failing. Somebody in your family woke up in the morning and noticed a wet spot developing on the lawn, a drain making funny gurgling noises, or a toilet backing up somewhere in the house. There were foul smells coming from the basement, another family member reports. The drains smell, too, says somebody else…

Suddenly your septic system is the only topic of conversation and you need to find septic services near you.

24/7 SEPTIC EMERGENCY HOTLINE: (260) 750-2185

How your septic system works

To help you determine if your septic system is in serious trouble, and what that trouble might be, here are the basics of how a septic system works.

Everything that goes down your household drains eventually makes its way to your septic tank. All of the substances lighter than water floats to the surface of the tank, creating a layer of scum. Once the scum has separated and floated to the top, it leaves behind something called “effluent”. Effluent is the water that exists between the scum layer and the sludge layer of your septic tank (the sludge layer is made up of solid particles, heavier than water, that sink to the bottom of the tank.) Over time, aerobic and anaerobic bacteria work to digest both the floating and sinking solids in the tank, while the effluent flows through your drain field and seeps into the ground.

Problems develop after several years of scum and sludge buildup starts to fill the capacity of your septic tank—waste buildup and capacity overload are the root causes of most major septic system failures. A tank filled beyond its capacity results in the visible (and foul-smelling) symptoms you may have the misfortune to discover: persistent wet spots over your drain field, sluggish plumbing, back up in your drains, lingering, unpleasant odors, and so on. What should you do when you find one or more of these symptoms in your home?

Call a professional, and fast.

Septic services we offer

We respond quickly to your call for help and immediately get to work on troubleshooting, diagnosing, and solving your septic problems. We’ll discover if there is a clog in your line, waste buildup in your system, or damage to your drain field. Then, we’ll determine the best method of repair. To minimize damage to your property we carefully read a map of your system, which tells us where your tank, manhole, distribution box, lines and drain field are located. When a septic emergency strikes, we get there quick and will leave behind as little evidence as possible.

We care about our customers—we want to save you time, money, and headache, so we’ll always educate you on how to preserve important bacteria in your tank, allowing your septic system to function longer and more efficiently. We’re happy to teach proper septic tank maintenance to spare you from having your tank pumped more often than needed. A healthy septic system makes for fewer septic problems.

If you’re building a home and need a brand new septic system installed, we’re the guys for that job, too. We’re experts at determining the best location for a new septic system according to the layout of your property, the location of your house and other buildings, the condition of the soils near your residence and other environmental factors. Preserving the local environment and functioning alongside it is important to us, and we consider this each time we install a new system or repair an existing one.

Shankster Bros., are your local septic pumping professionals

Septic systems may not be a normal topic of conversation for most people—but we’re not most people. We’re septic service professionals.

We know how to help you.

We want to help you.

Whether you’ve found indicators that your septic system is failing, need a new septic system installed, or need to know more about how to extend the life of an existing septic system—we can help. You have questions—we have answers, guaranteed.

After all, septic systems are a normal conversation topic for us every day of the week, so call us about yours: (260)-982-7111

We’re Thankful For Our Customers

Septic, drainage and excavation services

At Shankster Bros., we’re honored to offer a variety of septic, drainage, and excavation services to our local community.

We have the specific tools, knowledge and training to install a tile drainage system in your alfalfa field, measure and dig a basement for your new home, or trouble shoot, diagnose and solve a problem with your septic system. We specialize in the installation of both septic systems and artificial drainage systems, taking into consideration the unique layout of your property and the surrounding environment to make sure your new system operates properly and efficiently.

We repair existing septic and drainage systems, extending their life and function to save you money and provide a renewed peace of mind.

We operate the heavy machinery required to dig basements, tear down fences and demolish old buildings, always looking out for the safety of our customers and our employees. In all of these fields, we feel privileged to answer your questions and to lend you our expertise. We sincerely hope that, by doing our best work and putting your needs first, we can make your life a little easier and a little better than it was before you hired us.

Work that has to be done

In the rural community of northeastern Indiana, it’s probable that you’ll need one or more of our services at some time in your life: you’ll need your residential septic tank pumped sooner or later, if you’re a property owner, you’ll probably need help tearing down a structure or digging a basement someday, or if you’re a farmer, no doubt one day you’ll need maintenance for the drainage system in your fields.

Because every service we offer will eventually be a necessity for somebody, we get to meet all kinds of people, in all walks of life, from all sorts of different backgrounds. We don’t take this aspect of our work for granted—we see it as an opportunity to impact lives with our uncompromising integrity, strong work ethic and exceptional customer service.

Thankful for our customers

Giving back is an important concept to us. Honestly, one of the best ways we can give back on a daily basis is by making sure each of our customer’s needs is heard, understood and fulfilled. We love our customers!

Your business has enabled our families to support the things we believe in—like mission trips to Haiti—and has blessed us with the resources to fund the adoptions of our children, as well as to welcome foster children into our homes. We appreciate your business—we want to make sure that when you call Shanskter Bros., you get everything you need, and more.

You have enough on your mind already, and you shouldn’t have to worry about whether your local septic, drainage and excavation company is doing a good job or charging a fair price. We aren’t satisfied until you’re satisfied. We’d rather take a loss in transaction than to leave you unhappy.

While we stand by our service, our product, and our expertise, your opinion matters most. We are a company you can trust to solve your problems, not stopping until the job is complete, and you are happy with the end result. We’re professionals determined to make a difference in the lives of people, by doing a necessary work with integrity and a commitment to quality.

Our promise to our customers

Quality and integrity: that’s our promise to you. If you have a problem that needs solving in the realm of excavation, septic or drainage, not only can you trust us to solve it—you can also depend on a quick response, a thorough job, and an honest bill. We’re proud of our work, and we’re thankful for you.

Harvest Time: Maintenance and Repairs During Busy Season

harvest time

The harvest must go on

Anyone with the slightest background in agriculture knows that harvest season is the busiest time for farmers. In Indiana, we have a strong agriculture heritage known for supplying wheat, oats, rye, alfalfa, corn, and soybeans to the rest of our nation, and to remote parts of the world. Sleep is unheard of at harvest time—every waking moment is devoted to bringing the crops in on time.

Humidity levels, time of day, weather and proper operation of machinery and equipment are just a few of the factors that must be constantly monitored to harvest a crop at its peak. We understand the urgency that drives you during this time of year, and we know the last thing you have time for is a malfunction in your drainage system, a burst waterline or a backed-up septic tank at home.

Your crops keep growing, and the harvest must go on!

You can depend on Shankster Bros.

Unfortunate events often choose the worst possible time to present themselves. For a farmer, harvest season is that time. When you call us with a problem—be it farm drainage, pipes or septic—we respond quickly and work efficiently to get your harvest up and running again. We have enough agricultural experience to know that, sometimes, your very livelihood depends on it.

Maybe you’re in the middle of cutting alfalfa and your swather sinks where a new drainage system was installed just a few years ago. You need emergency maintenance service, and you need it now.

Maybe you’ve been in the field all day bringing in the wheat crop, and your wife calls to tell you she found flooding in the house basement. You need emergency septic service, ASAP.

Or, maybe you just got the last of the corn harvested before last night’s storm, but when you get up in the morning, you find that your great grandfather’s old rotting barn has blown over. Debris is blocking your driveway, and you need emergency demolition service, fast.

Don’t fret! Instead, call us with your problem. We’ll be there before you can say, “Busy season.”

SHANKSTER BROS. | (260)-982-7111Email us

New Home Buyers: What to Expect During a Septic System Inspection

new homebuyers

New Home Buyers: What to Expect During a Septic System Inspection

You’ve been house-hunting for a while and you’ve finally found the perfect home for your family. Your offer got accepted—now, it’s time to make sure that this new home really is as perfect as it seems, and your septic is functioning properly.

While it’s tempting to save a little money by skipping important inspections, we’d caution you otherwise. In fact, we think a septic system inspection should be an essential item on your home-buying “to do” list. But, what exactly is a septic system inspection?

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here is everything you’ll need to know, and exactly what you’ll get from a quality septic system inspection.

First, what is a septic system?

Almost all septic systems are made up of three parts: a septic tank, a distribution box, and a drainage field. Septic tanks are built of concrete, steel or fiberglass, generally hold up to 1,500 gallons of waste, and are buried a few feet under the ground’s surface.

One end of the tank connects to the main sewage line coming from the house, and the other end connects to the distribution box. Every tank has a covered opening, through which it can be accessed for pumping and cleaning.  In a functioning septic system, wastewater from the house flows through the sewage line and into the tank.  From there—as the liquid in the tank rises, —it flows into the distribution box, which distributes the waste into the drainage field by way of perforated plastic pipes (which are, of course, buried underground.).

You’ll know if your septic system works

Since septic tanks and drainage fields are buried underground, hidden from view, any problems present will not be immediately obvious. The sanitation of a septic system may be compromised, or its efficiency or it may not have been pumped for a decade. Just because the toilets flush and water drains down the sinks, doesn’t mean everything will be working as it should be next week—or several weeks after you’ve already bought the house. That’s why, as a potential homebuyer, it’s important that you know how a septic system works so you can make an educated decision when looking to buy a property with a septic system.

You’ll know if your septic system is compromised

Even a properly functioning septic system can be compromised by overuse—and compromised septic systems lead to disaster. Poor maintenance will also cause long-term problems. When looking to buy a property, the only way to really know the condition of its septic system is to find out as much information as you can about its maintenance and past owner(s), and to hire a professional to inspect the system for you.

By having your property’s septic system professionally inspected, you will save yourself time and money in the future, or the knowledge you gain from an inspection could steer you away from a bad investment.

At the very least, having the foresight to inspect the septic system of your would-be home could save you from an urgent phone call and an expensive bill later on. To put it in simple terms: some problems stink more than others, and not all of them can be flushed away.

For home septic systems in Northeastern Indiana

If your new home happens to have a bad septic system, you may want to think twice about purchasing. Give us a call before you make a final commitment, because as a family-owned company, we understand the standards a home septic system needs to meet.

At the end of the day, you need a safe and worry-free place to raise your family, and with families of our own, you can trust our knowledge and expertise to the fullest extent.

Reach us by phone at (260)-982-7111 or by e-mail at steven(at)shanksterbros(dot)net—and we’ll help you make sure the “perfect” house is perfect, after all.

Spring Septic System Maintenance: What Everyone Ought to Know

Trees are budding, flowers are blooming, and your farmer’s market is loaded with fresh produce and baked goods. As every local knows, spring has arrived in northeast Indiana.

Preparing your septic system for spring

If you’re a farmer, or you live in a rural area, you know that the sights and sounds of a long-awaited spring cannot distract you from your responsibilities as caretaker of your land and home. Anyone who lives in the country knows that their lifestyle requires regular upkeep in order to maintain the long-term health and vitality of the property they live on. So while you’re busy making a routine “spring cleaning” list, don’t forget to include septic tank maintenance.

Anyone who lives in a rural area should consider routine septic tank cleaning a priority. Proper care prolongs your septic system’s life and function, and a lack of maintenance will cost more money and a lot of inconvenience in the long run.

Routine springtime septic tank maintenance is a must. Ground conditions are optimal and you’ll prevent a potential spring flooding disaster.

A helping hand you can trust

It’s springtime in Indiana, and you know that cleaning your septic system is something you can’t do yourself. We also know that finding a professional you can trust isn’t an easy task.

At Shankster Bros., we are licensed and experienced in routine septic system maintenance. We know how to locate, diagnose, and solve your septic problems with skill and precision. What really sets us apart, though, is our honesty, integrity, and thoroughness. You can trust us to know what we’re doing, and do it well.

Come to us with your questions

We have a “next door neighbor” mentality, meaning, the health and condition of your property is as important to us as it is to you.

If you have questions about your septic system’s maintenance, regardless of the season or issue, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re always happy to answer your questions, talk with you about your concerns, or lend you advice.

That’s what good neighbors do, after all.

Call Shankster Bros. today

Contact us by calling (260) 982-7111 or Contact us. Help for your septic, drainage, and excavation needs is just a phone call (or a click) away.

Septic Tank Life: How to Extend the Life of Your Septic System

Here’s a riddle for you: while you’re eating your dinner, while you’re sleeping in your bed, while you’re on vacation in Hawaii with your family—what never stops working?

The answer is not your mailman (he gets the holidays off). The answer is your septic system.

Long life for your septic

You probably don’t spend a lot of time pondering what happens to the waste that goes down your drain—you probably don’t think about it at all.  Yet day and night, rain or shine, weekday through weekend your septic system continues to do its job.  If you’re like most homeowners, you rely on your septic system for many of your daily and weekly routines—showers, laundry, running the garbage disposal—the list goes on.  The sheer volume of continual use a septic system undergoes will eventually take its toll. That’s the bad news. The good news is, with proper care and maintenance, your septic system should have a lifetime of at least 25 to 30 years.

So, what can you do to make sure you get the most septic tank life out of your home’s septic system?

Inspect your septic system

We recommend having your system professionally inspected annually.  There are several reasons for this, but the most important is a bad septic system, if not discovered in time, is very expensive to repair or replace. By making it a routine to have your septic system inspected on an annual basis, you’ll save yourself money, and you may also save yourself from the unfortunate predicament of a failing septic system (foul odors and a soggy lawn, anyone?). An inspection of your septic will tell you the condition of the baffles and tees if there are any cracks in the pipes or the walls of the tank if your plumbing is all going to the septic and working correctly, and when you should have the tank pumped.

You need to leave these tasks to a septic tank pumping professional—not only because they know what to look for and how to fix any problems discovered—but also because toxic gases produced by the natural treatment processes in septic tanks can be life-threatening.

Protecting the environment

You may already know by having your septic pump system annually inspected isn’t just important for its life and function—it’s also important for the health of your family, your property, and the community you live in.

If your system fails, it can cause a host of problems. Household wastewater from a failed septic can seep into the surrounding environment and, if untreated, may contaminate other wells, groundwater, and drinking water sources. This can pose a serious threat to the public and to the environment, as contact with untreated human waste is dangerous to human health, and drainage from a failed septic can pollute local rivers, lakes, and shorelines.

Shankster Bros can help

Don’t let your septic system reach the point of no return! Contact us today and make an appointment. We want to help you keep your home, your family, and your community clean and safe by doing what we do best—keeping your septic system working the way it should be: day and night, rain or shine, weekday through the weekend.

Contact us by phone at (260)-982-7111 or by e-mail, and go ahead and take that vacation in Hawaii—your septic system is on the job. And we’ll make sure it stays that way.

Preparing for Winter Weather

winter weather

Winter is here

Winter weather is here, and it seems like there’s always more we could do to keep our farms and homes snug and dry during these cold and wet months.

The good news is, you probably don’t have to do anything to keep your septic system working this winter, if it’s properly installed and insulated.

(If you’re concerned about the installation or insulation of your septic system, give us a call and we’re happy to give advice or take a look at it.)

Things to keep in mind during winter

It is wise to avoid driving maintenance vehicles over the septic tank or drain field in the winter. Keep in mind that something like a snow plow could damage your drain pipes or detrimentally compact the soil during wet seasons.

Also, many people travel during winter months, and so remember not to have your septic tank pumped right before you leave for a trip. Even a concrete septic tank can float if it’s empty, so if there’s an unseasonable flood or other high water table event, that empty tank can become a problem.

Don’t let mud get you down

Drainage DitchIn addition to septic services, we also offer excavation and drainage expertise, particularly in a rural setting.

We all know that mud creates an unhealthy environment for your livestock, such as horses, so we regularly help create healthier paddocks and pastures for your animals. Mud harbors bacteria and pathogens that can cause health problems – some are easily treatable but some can be fatal, especially to young animals.

Maintaining good drainage during the winter and keeping mud at a minimum is not only important for your land quality, property value and the health of humans and livestock, but for nearby wildlife and water health as well. Poor soil management and lack of quality drainage can create unhealthy runoff patterns which feed into local water sources. Rivers and lakes can suffer from the pollutants from nearby farms, so it’s important that we manage runoff, to keep our farms and our local water sources in good condition.

Keep your farm healthy and happy

We can help you create diversion ditches, drain lines and wells for your property, ensuring that your farm and surrounding area is as healthy and clean as possible.

If you already have drainage systems in place, don’t forget to closely observe your ditches and other systems after any major storms or thaws. After you check out your culverts and other drainage features, and if you aren’t sure of the best way to solve a drainage problem, please give us a call. We’re always happy to stop by and give you some advice on your drainage or how our excavating services can help your farm perform better.

Here to help

Even though winter is technically an offseason, we all know that in rural communities there’s never a truly slow time of year. Let us help you maintain your property, keep your home safe and dry and keep your farm in good working order over the winter.

Call us today at (260) 982-7111 – we’re happy to help you with any drainage, excavation or septic problem, no matter the weather.

Our Values and Services

Carl Shankster started Shankster Farm Drainage in 1981 and in 1999, his sons, Steven and Simeon, took over and changed the name to Shankster Bros. We now offer septic system design, installation and maintenance, as well as inspections, line cleaning, repairs and septic tank pumping. We also provide construction services, emergency assistance and farm drainage services. We promise that all of these services will be done right, by someone you can trust.

Our company is based in Silver Lake, Indiana and service the areas of Kosciusko County, Whitley County and North Manchester. You’ve probably seen our white pump truck (with signature blue logo) and billboards around the area!

We’re a local company and are dedicated to serving our community with integrity, expertise and friendliness.

Our entire team – from owners to crew to office staff – takes great pride in establishing personal relationships with you, our clients. We want to become “more than a vendor” to you, we want to hear from you with any problem, day or night. In rural communities, we know what it’s like to rely on our neighbors, and we extend that neighborliness to everyone we do business with.

We believe that our services not only serve the people of Northeastern Indiana, but the agricultural infrastructure, environment and natural beauty that we are so proud of in our state. By being wise stewards of our natural resources and caring for our farmland with integrity, we can ensure this way of life is preserved for generations to come.

As a family business, Shankster Bros understands the needs of residential clients, large corporate farms and everything in-between.

Every single customer is treated with respect and we do our best at every job, every day. We love what we do and we love our customers; join the Shankster family today by giving us a call or dropping a line here.

We hope to hear from you soon, and in the meantime, say hi next time you see our truck around town. We’ve always got time to chat with a neighbor.