Since being founded by the late Frank Blow in 1953, Blow Bros. septic service has been a family affair. Anchored in Old Orchard Beach, the business was incorporated in 1970, expanding its services to include portable toilets. In 2000, the company merged with the Bestway solid waste service company owned by fellow Old Orchard Beach natives Archie and Paul St. Hilaire. Today, the two families run the business, including at satellite operations in Bangor, Belmont, N.H., and Brentwood, N.H. We recently spoke with James Blow, vice president of the Blow Bros.’ liquid waste division.

Q: Your business slogan or mantra is “We’re No. 1 in the No. 2 business.” Are you, in fact, number one in this business?

A: Yes, we are — at least in Maine and New Hampshire.

Q: The slogan must generate a lot of potty jokes.

A: Oh, it does. And, we’ve heard them all.

Q: What types of services does your company provide?

A: We offer liquid and solid waste service and disposal. On the liquid side, we clean septic tanks, sewers, drains and catch basins and do video pipe inspections. On the solid side, our rubbish company does curbside (collection) for towns and roll-off containers and cans for stores and businesses.

Q: When I think of Blow Brothers, I think of Porta Potties. Is that the largest part of your business?

A: Well, the rubbish side has gotten a lot larger. But we definitely have a huge line on the liquid waste side. We cover everything from the small portable toilets to high-end trailer units we call “comfort stations” or “crowd pleasers.” The nicest one we have is called the Presidential Series. You walk through the door and it looks like a regular bathroom. It has hardwood floors, marble sinks with running water, separate stalls with flush toilets, music, air conditioning and heat. They are beautiful and actually nicer than my own bathroom at home. We actually rented the presidential out to George W. Bush for a function he was having in Kennebunkport. They come in 16-, 24- and 36-foot lengths and have separate entrances for men and women. Each side has from one to four stalls, plus urinals for the men’s side.

Q: What are your rental fees?

A: Basic units range from $75 to $95 for weekend rentals and the trailer units cost from $500 to $2,000 per event.

Q: How many pumper trucks in your fleet?

A: We run five septic pump trucks and 12 trucks to deliver and service our portable toilets.

Q: Do you have to dig a hole when installing the portable toilets?

A: No. They are all self-contained.

Q: What’s a typical day like for your crew?

A: Each employee has a (dedicated) route each week, servicing between 30 to 70 portable toilets per day in Maine and New Hampshire. Most of them are placed at construction sites or are used for weekend parties and family or other large events. We service those once per week, pumping them out, cleaning them up, replenishing the chemical water in them and adding fresh toilet paper and waterless hand cleaner. But others (like at beaches or other public venues) are serviced two to three times per week.

Q: How many employees?

A: Over 100 in all operations.

Q: What’s the largest job you’ve ever done?

A: We supplied 300 (portable toilets) for the Nateva Festival – a three-day concert event in Oxford this summer. We had to keep a half-dozen guys and three to four (pumper) trucks on site to service the toilets a few times each day.

Q: How many of the portable units do you have?

A: Over 2,000.

Q: Ever sold out?

A: A few times. We usually have a few on hand but we recommend people reserve them in advance. Some book them a year in advance for a planned event.

Q: Are you subject to a lot of outhouse tipping or pranks in your line of business?

A: Sure. We secure (portable toilets) on site but have found some floating down the river or tipped over. And we found one on top of a school roof once. Someone put it up there as a prank.

Q: Regarding traditional septic system maintenance, how often should homeowners have their septic tank pumped? And what’s the fee?

A: We recommend pumping your septic tank every two to three years for a household of three to five people. Our average, the charge is $240 for a 1,000-gallon tank, including a disposal fee.