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Entrepreneur Moves Once Seasonal Lake Orion Sanitation Company to Year-Long Business Model

LAKE ORION, Mich. -- When Darin Gross purchased Turner Sanitation in early 2020, he never imagined that re-shaping the business would take him through a pandemic and increased need for his services. But as the company has steered toward additional services and greater community needs, the once seasonal business has been transformed into a full-year operation.

"There were a lot of misnomers associated with our company for a long time. For instance, most people believed that we couldn't pump septic systems in the wintertime," said Gross. "Plus, in the new COVID world we live in right now, homes not only have more people living there, but the winter months are going to heighten their lack of ability to get out of the house. This is why it's important for people to know we can pump in the winter."

Turner Sanitation, a family-run company serving North Oakland County homes and businesses for decades, had originally built its revenue model around seasonal work from April to November, but has now become more agile in its ability to re-shape its service offerings, leading to no "down seasons" for the company, including the need for toilet rentals and cleaning services. One of the advantages of Turner's year-round business model is that its employees are also on a year-round schedule meaning no seasonal layoffs.

"Before I bought the company, most everyone was laid off during the offseason. This year, my goal is to keep our folks employed throughout the year," said Gross.

One Turner service that has become more robust, aligned with a large increase in home sales in 2020, is the company's ability to provide septic inspections (video scopes) quickly and effectively for real estate transactions. Macomb County, for instance, now requires a septic inspection before a home is sold, and in many communities where population growth and new large home construction has put a stress on the community infrastructure, septic inspections have become a must.

"It's a new service for us and it's probably one of the least expensive and most important decisions you can make before closing on a home," said Gross.

With state infrastructure becoming a main economic driver in Michigan, Gross has also gotten Turner ready with a major purchase of combination toilets and sinks for use in road construction activities and special events. Additionally, with winter's snow and ice on the horizon, Turner has become extremely adept at septic pumping services for all weather conditions.

"People don't think we can pump in the wintertime, but that's actually the most efficient time for homeowners and businesses," said Gross. "There's usually a real rush to get septic systems pumped in the summer and possibly pay higher prices so they can expedite the job. We don't have these issues in the winter, and we can find septic lids without a problem, no matter the weather."

You can contact Turner Sanitation at 248-693-0998 or learning more about the company at

Darin Gross
Turner Sanitation, Inc.

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Turner Sanitation Finds New Success Spurred on by COVID Realities

LAKE ORION, Mich. -- Darin Gross of Turner Sanitation is an entrepreneur who has spent his career finding the right companies to invest in at the right time. But when he bought a sanitation company at the beginning of 2020, he had no idea how the COVID pandemic would put him on a fast track to re-tool a business he was just beginning to learn.

Turner Sanitation is a 50-year-old family-based company based in Lake Orion, Michigan, specializing in septic tank cleaning and porta potties, and was ready to turn over operations to an entrepreneur like Gross, who saw potential beyond what Turner had successfully built over its half-century of operations. But Gross had no idea that a global pandemic was going to immediately change the way he, and the company, did business.

"Coming out of the transportation industry, I literally knew nothing about the sanitation business other than what the Turner family told me and provided me for information," said Gross. "All of a sudden we had to totally re-forecast all of our sales and equipment projections. It's been a challenge." For Gross and Turner, that challenge has turned into a 30-40% increase in revenue.

While many companies during COVID have been forced to shut down and/or lay off employees, Turner was forced to hire more drivers to serve the increasing and immediate needs of homeowners requiring their septic systems pumped because of the amount of family members forced to quarantine at homes across the area. That need replaced the sudden drop in portable toilet rentals with concerts, golf tournaments and local events being canceled.

Once Turner was able to increase its sewer pumping capabilities, seemingly half of the area decided to jump in an RV and hit local and state parks.

"It's been amazing how many RVs suddenly hit the road and headed for campsites. We've suddenly become the go-to for those parks to meet the needs of campers expecting clean, updated and additional bathroom facilities," said Gross. "County parks and their extensive DEQ regulations for wastewater, never mind increased cleaning caused by COVID, has made us very busy in an area I couldn't have ever expected, even as late as March of this year."

As for the future, Turner continues to beef up its supply of portable washing stations for businesses, executive toilets and a focus on making sure cleanliness is the number one goal for their portable rentals. And while COVID has certainly given Gross a crash course in running a sanitation company, he also feels that the experience has made Turner more nimble and ready to tackle the future.

"We're really looking forward to next year, but honestly, I can't wait to flush 2020." Fortunately for Gross and Turner Sanitation, that 'flush' has brought dividends to the company never before seen in its history.

Learn More About Turner Sanitation at

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As Campgrounds Begin to Open in Michigan Turner is Providing Post-COVID Peace of Mind

LAKE ORION, Mich. -- As the State of Michigan begins to allow the opening of its city, county, state and private parks and camping facilities, the biggest question people are asking post-COVID is "how safe are the bathroom facilities at these parks and campgrounds?" While Turner Sanitation can't answer that question for all re-opening parks and campgrounds, it CAN answer that question for those facilities using Turner portable facilities and sanitation services. That answer is a resounding "very safe and very clean!"

Most RV parks, campgrounds and government-sponsored parks have the need for outdoor facilities for RV and boat owners, as well as hikers and anyone using a facility for one day or for weeks. It's the only option available for people who use them, outside of RV holding tanks. But with everyone concerned about the cleanliness of outdoor bathroom facilities, especially now in the midst of our COVID crisis, Turner Sanitation is going the extra mile for its customers.

"We have always cleaned portable facilities more than has been previously required, but we've doubled down on our efforts to make sure we provide the very cleanest options for our clients," said Turner Sanitation owner Darin Gross. "We are extremely familiar with the state laws on bathroom cleanliness, but we will be making more frequent visits to clean and sanitize facilities to put our clients and the public at ease."

Many parks and RV parks are re-opening on a staggered basis because of the work that's needed to bring its facilities up to a post-COVID level. Cleaner bathrooms will also encourage people to come back to the parks and campgrounds, with some potential visitors concerned about the continued spreading of COVID. But for weeks now, Turner Sanitation has been sanitizing park and RV facilities enabling them to open quicker and give visitors peace of mind. "Our services have really put RV Park owners and those running government parks more at ease," said Gross. "If the openings aren't done properly and not meeting state guidelines, they can be heavily fined. That's where we come in."

Turner has been providing portable bathroom facilities in Michigan and has been called upon to clean RV park and campground facilities for more than 40 years.

To inquire about how you can benefit from Turner Sanitation's experience, call 248-693-0998 or go to

Turner Sanitation, 1149 Rhodes Road, Lake Orion, MI 48361.

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Darin Gross
Turner Sanitation, Inc.

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Washing Stations, Septic Services a Priority for Homes and Businesses Entering Michigan’s New Normal

LAKE ORION, Mich. -- As Michigan envisions a day soon when coming out of the COVID-19 crisis means seeking normal in a climate that is anything but, there will be a number of services and businesses in very high demand. But the crisis has thrust to the forefront some companies, like Turner Sanitation, whose role in our communities have been enhanced by the needs we'll have in Michigan's new normal.

"Sanitation is going to be a very big thing coming out of this. I think this state is going to be asking not only how are we going to stay clean but will allow us to come up with new protocols," said Turner Sanitation owner and entrepreneur Darin Gross, who purchased the family-owned company in January. "What we offer now is EPA environmentally-and solutions on a very high level."

Two of the demands coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic has already meant Turner Sanitation is trying to fast track new hand washing stations, because the entirety of Turner's inventory has been rented by Amazon in Shelby Township.

Another of Turner's offerings, septic services, are already seeing a large increase in home visits after months of families being home together during the state's stay-at-home order. The company has made numerous emergency service visits to fix potentially limit-pushing home septic tanks, which were not built for the amount of use they've seen.

The company's best-known offering, portable restrooms, is also expected to see increased demand because of Turner Sanitation's dedication to their cleanliness.

"I heard a lot of companies don't clean enough. That's certainly not our issue," said Gross. "I can definitely see, however, an increase in how many times per week we will be replenishing hand washing liquid and cleaning the facilities, probably two or three times more than we have in the past." As for reluctance by some to use portable facilities post-COVID-19, Gross says when it comes to locations Turner places its restrooms, people don't really have a choice such at places like outdoor events, festivals and recreational parks.

"We're a company with a great reputation and have employees who have been here for more than 20 years," said Gross. "I'm very proud to have the quality of people here at Turner and am confident we will continue to provide the high-quality services needed by our community."

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Darin Gross
Turner Sanitation

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