Truth in Advertising


First of all, my apologies to our followers for a delay in posting. A rough winter, mixed with illness and some necessary trainings have prevented me from paying attention to the world of blogging. Well, I’m back. Hello again blog world!

Below in the bordered area is a portion of an email blast I received just today… (I think some things need to be addressed)

Advertisement from Mark Riether with South Jersey Water Test:

Well Water & Septic Inspection
Perfect Together!

2 Vital Inspections
1 Reliable Source
1 Convenient Home Visit

Our inspectors are “certified” which means they have taken special septic inspection courses and passed exams (i.e., NJSMA & NAWT). Our work is covered by our Professional Liability Insurance policy. We do not do repair work on septic systems so you don’t have to concern yourself with our being motivated to find problems if they do not exist.

Mark J. Riether,
Certified Inspector NOF # 636
NAWT # NA79490WT

South Jersey Water Test, LLC



Let’s begin. While I am a fan of the saying “kill two birds with one stone”, (Please don’t infer that I am a fan of killing birds in any way) this email blast is fowl (I couldn’t help myself).  The highlighted section that starts with “We do not do repair work on septic systems…” implies that companies that DO perform repair work on septic systems either shouldn’t be trusted or have some hidden agenda.  Yet this same company who also performs water testing DOES do repair, replacement and installation work on water conditioning systems. Should we NOT trust them to do water testing?  Would you prefer a septic system expert to inspect your septic system?  Would I trust a licensed plumber to diagnose an issue with my car? I will leave the answers to those questions up to you!

Next, let’s discuss the highlighted “NJSMA” portion. NJSMA is an acronym for New Jersey Septage Management Association. This is an organization that does not exist anymore. They have NOT had any meetings for many years and they never provided TRAININGS. Not convinced? Google both NJSMA and New Jersey Septage Management Association.  You will likely find the same thing I did. “North Jersey School Music Association” God Bless this group! Both of my daughters were in band and their school orchestra in High School, but I digress. A New Jersey Septage Management Association search will find a link to PSMA or Pennsylvania Septage Management Association. This organization is alive and well but is no longer partnered with or associated with NJSMA.  PSMA ( ) , NAWT (National Association of Wastewater Technicians ) and NSF International (National Science Foundation ) are the only national or regional organizations who certify septic system inspectors with testing and all of these certifications expire which require either continuing education or re-certification classes.  NAWT’s certifications expire 2 years after being awarded.  They also changed their certification numbers 3 years ago. NAWT’s certification number no longer begins with “NA” or end with “WT” and they have not for 3 years. This is simple math.  The email goes on to show another certification # from NOF. Google that one as well and good luck! Unless someone can be certified to inspect septic systems from the National Osteoporosis Foundation or the Norsk Orkideforening (Norwegian Orchid Society) this appears to be an invalid certification.

All this took was less than 5 minutes of searching on the internet to find the inconsistencies and potentially misleading or worse, possibly false information in this email blast.  If you are going to send out emails to try to gain business please advertise what you do well.  Focus on the good you do! It looks bad on everyone in the industry to advertise negative thoughts or opinions.  And mostly don’t be hypocritical!  Bravo for performing 2000 inspections since 2003!  By the way, since April 1, 2012, if you do perform a septic inspection in the State of NJ the protocol states clearly that those inspection reports are to be submitted to the local Health Department (Administrative Authority) for review and record keeping! NJAC 7:9A Appendix F is the only correct form to submit.

Until next time,

Profile Pic

Joe Garner

General Manager, English Sewage Disposal, Inc



NJ Real Estate C.E. Instructor I1000325

PSMA Education Committee Member

PSMA/NOF Certified Advanced Inspector – 0210714219

NAWT Certified Professional Installer 8767WTS

NAWT Certified Inspector – 8767ITC

Home Improvement Contractor License#00181200

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