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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Bay Area – Septic Services CATEGORY

Blaine Cristando is owner of Environmental Pump Services, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 785-6584 or by email.

Blaine Cristando

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Blaine Cristando: Pumped

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter

HEALDSBURG — After a decade in the waste removal business, Blaine Cristando had grown tired of working for big companies that didn’t care about customer service. So, when a friend suggested they go into business together, he was pumped about the idea. “My business partner, Eric, and I met while working for Waste Management,” he recounts. “Later, after we’d both moved on to other companies, he approached me about starting our own business. In an industry dominated by large corporations, we knew there was potential for a smaller company that provided quality work and customer service, so we founded Environmental Pump Services in 2008.”

Blaine and Eric started out small, but with steady effort, they were able to build a positive reputation and a loyal customer base. “We grew the grease trap side of our business by going door-to-door to restaurants and grocery stores, and we relied on phone book advertising and word of mouth for the residential septic side,” explains Blaine. “Ultimately, I think it was our commitment to quality service that drove our business to where it is today.”

Today, as owner of Environmental Pump Services, Inc., Blaine says his favorite part of his job is educating his customers. “One thing we do that our competitors don’t is explain to our clients how their systems work. Whether it’s a septic system or grease trap, we tell them all the do’s and don’ts so they can avoid problems in the future. It makes me feel good to leave our customers feeling cared for and better informed.”

A resident of Healdsburg (where he lives with his wife, Cindy), Blaine expresses his appreciation for life in Sonoma County. “The way I look at it, we live in paradise,” he says. “We have the best weather you could ask for; there’s always something going on in the community; and we’re just a short drive away from the ocean, the mountains, and San Francisco.”

Outside of work, Blaine spends the bulk of his time with his family, which includes his and Cindy’s sons Tanner (20) and Austin (18). “Being a small business owner, a lot of my time goes to my business, so when I’m not working, I’m usually with my family,” he says. “We’re all very active and enjoy sports, as well as going to San Francisco to hang out and explore.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Blaine says he’d go on an extended vacation. “It’s hard to imagine myself retired, but I suppose I’d start by doing some traveling. I’m Italian, so maybe I’d go to Italy and try to trace some of my ancestry.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco 49ers.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Music.

Q: What was your first concert?
A: Bryan Adams, during his 1984 “Reckless” tour.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Potato chips.

Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: Playing nose guard and defensive tackle on the football team.

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Basic Septic System Maintenance

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HEALDSBURG — Due to a case of “out of sight, out of mind,” residential septic systems are often neglected. In some cases, homeowners will go for two or three decades without having their systems serviced, which is comparable to driving… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Maintaining Your Septic System

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Complete Video Transcription:

HEALDSBURG — Host, Sarah Rutan: A septic system may be easy to ignore, but neglecting maintenance can result in adverse and expensive consequences. To learn more,… Read more

Jin Lee is a veteran of the plumbing industry and owner of Smart Plumbers, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2005. He can be reached at (408) 247-2288 or by email.

Jin Lee

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Jin Lee: Plumbing Smarts

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SANTA CLARA — Jin Lee has always possessed a mechanical mind, so it only made sense for him to enter a field where he could utilize its full potential. “As a child, I was fascinated with how things worked and was always taking things apart and putting them back together,” he remembers. “Not surprisingly, plumbing was something that really interested me. Later, while working in furniture manufacturing, I did plumbing on the side as a hobby. When I came to the United States in 1995, I finally got a chance to pursue plumbing as a career, and in 2002, I started my own business.”

Today, as owner of Smart Plumbers, Inc., Jin says his favorite part of his job is bailing customers out of bad situations. “When someone is without water or can’t use their toilet, it’s not just an inconvenience—it’s an emergency. When I’m able to fix the problem and restore their plumbing system, they tend to be extra appreciative, which is very rewarding.”

Originally from South Korea, Jin now resides in Santa Clara with his wife, Sylvia. Outside of work, his favorite hobby is playing golf. “I try to golf at least once a week” he affirms. “Sometimes I don’t have time, but I do my best to make it happen.” Jin also enjoys following professional sports like football and soccer, as well as spending time with his children and grandchildren.

In regard to his professional career, Jin emphasizes the foundational importance of sanitation. “Modern plumbing originated because of a need for sanitation, and that’s still one of its most important aspects,” he explains. “Unfortunately, some plumbers and handymen neglect this, which can lead to unsanitary conditions and consequent health hazards. As far as my company is concerned, sanitation is a top priority—we always make sure our customers’ plumbing is clean, safe and secure.”

When asked what his life might look like if he retired tomorrow, Jin says he would spend more time doing the things he currently enjoys. “I would definitely play more golf—I’d probably go from playing once a week to playing every other day. And, of course, I’d spend more time with my wife, kids and grandkids.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco 49ers.

Q: Coffee or tea?
A: Coffee.

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?
A: Sizzler.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: A night owl.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Music.

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Locating Your Water Shut-Off Valve

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SANTA CLARA —One thing every homeowner should know is the location of their water shut-off valve. Since this valve controls the flow of water to the entire house, knowing where it is and how to use it can minimize water… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Locating Your Water Shut-Off Valve

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Complete Video Transcription:

SANTA CLARA — Host, Sarah Rutan: In the event of a major water leak, knowing the location of your home’s water shut-off valve can help you minimize… Read more

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