HL Bennett, Jr. Septic Systems has been covering  the state with quality since 1951. They serve the Lower Naugatuck  Valley, the Greater Waterbury and New Haven areas and surrounding towns  including Woodbury, Bethlehem, Roxbury and Washington.  


 Homer Bennett, Jr, one of Southbury’s  original entrepreneurs, is pictured circa 1951 and in the present day,  standing beside one of his company vehicles. The commercial property  developer and septic system expert is celebrating his 60-year  anniversary doing business from his namesake plaza on Main Street South. 

Southbury’s Quiet Entrepreneur Homer Bennett Celebrates 60 Years


During his post-World War II military service, Homer  Bennett sat in the precarious position of tail gunner in a fighter  bomber flying from what was at the time the largest ocean-going craft on  earth, the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt.

When he returned to his home town of Southbury, a  growing suburban community tucked into the southern fringe of the  Litchfield hills, he did what a lot of young returning veterans did —  bought a car and got himself a job to pay it off.

“I came back from military service and got a job at a  carpenter shop in Waterbury,” he told The Newtown Bee. “That lasted 18  months, until I paid off my car.”

From there, Mr Bennett switched to selling farm  supplies, becoming so adept that he was eventually tapped to train other  new salesmen. He even opened a wholesale supply operation, but  abandoned it almost as quickly.


“I didn’t like  that very much, so I took a job at Old Hundred Ice Cream and got into  garbage hauling a couple of days a week,” he recalled.

Mr Bennett bought  one of his first garbage collection routes in Oakdale Manor for $350,  but balked at the $1,300 price tag the seller fixed to his garbage  truck. Instead, he picked up a Model A Ford dump truck for $85 and began  acquiring other trash routes, eventually amassing routes throughout  Southbury and parts of Oxford.

“I’d deliver ice  cream Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday — and did garbage hauling for  a bunch of the lakeside summer cottages and other homes on Wednesday  and Thursday. I could do the whole town with one vehicle, but once I  picked up routes in Oxford I started hiring other people to help.”

Around that same  time, Mr Bennett started expanding his entrepreneurial pursuits by  building septic systems in his mother’s barn. He also bought a backhoe  and started installing the septic tanks he was fabricating in his spare  time. He called his business H.L. Bennett Jr, Inc.

For the next 13  years, he would supervise septic installations and garbage collections  by day, heading out on the road doing his ice cream deliveries at night.

“The ice cream  job was great because it provided me with medical insurance for my whole  family, and a company car they let me use for my other work during the  day,” he said. During this time he also bought and paid off a small home  on Main Street South, where Mr Bennett still resides for most of the  year. (He spends winters in Florida.)

“By the early  1960s, business was going well, so I quit the ice cream route. We were  making enough so I could cover our family’s medical insurance along with  paying for coverage for my workers,” he said. He also began acquiring  property around and behind his home, and began developing commercial  buildings.

His first was a  garage to house his growing fleet of trucks and heavy construction  equipment. But soon after he began building the commercial buildings  that would become Bennett’s Square.


Today, old and  new clients will encounter his daughter-in-law Alicia handling the front  end of his septic business, and his son Jay, who has been working by  his father’s side since high school, handling the bulk of the field work  on septic installations and repairs.

Mr Bennett’s  other son, Kevin, has taken over the role of company owner, but is  engaged in his own work as an architect and builder.

Long gone are the days when the Bennett family would manufacture the septic systems they would install.

“It’s much easier  and less expensive to buy the equipment from a vendor. Then they just  come and drop it in the hole we dig for the system,” he said.

He’s not an engineer by a long shot, but Mr Bennett prides himself on “learning by doing.”

“From day one I  kept an eye on developments in the septic industry. I asked a lot of  questions and studied engineering at night, pouring over system  blueprints to learn what I needed to know,” he said. “The designers may  be engineers, but I always knew a lot more about excavating and soil  than they did.”

As he watched a  burgeoning commercial district grow up around his small tidy home and  Bennett Square, Mr Bennett quietly proceeded to serve his growing  customer base. With 60 years under his belt, he’s also quietly earned a  unique position among the area’s most long-tenured local businesses.

“I guess when you  do something for 60 years, if you’re not the best,” Mr Bennett  observed, “there’s something wrong with that picture.”