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The Complete Guide To Your Orinda CA Septic System

June 16, 2023
Sewer Services

The Complete Guide To Your Orinda, CA, Septic System

Know The Parts Of The System & How To Maintain Them

If you are like most Orinda, CA, homeowners, you know your septic system is crucial to your home. But understanding how it works can help you recognize potential issues before they become significant problems. We’ve compiled an easy-to-understand guide to help you keep your septic system running smoothly.

When people hear the term “septic system,” they often only think of the septic tank, not the many other parts that make the entire system function.

Understanding how your septic system works in the East Bay Area can help you maintain it more easily. Plus, it is a great way to grasp how everything works inside your home – an essential trait for homeownership.

With this being said, check out the moving components encompassing your septic system and learn how to maintain it!

The Parts Of Your Septic System: A Glossary Of Terms

Many terms are associated with the septic system in your Orinda home, and each term has a specific job in ensuring your septic system is performing at its best.

Septic Tank

The septic tank is a watertight structure where all the waste and wastewater are pumped and buried beneath the ground near your home. The entire tank contains natural bacteria that will break down organic solids over time.

You will find sludge, scum, gas, and liquid sewage inside the tank. The sludge is waste that goes to the bottom, while the scum usually comprises fats and grease floating on top of the wastewater.

The gas escapes through the sewer pipe and out the house vent of your East Bay Area home while the liquid sewage flows into the seepage field.

Sewer Line

A sewer line is your home’s drain line to the septic tank. It may be referred to as the main drain line, as it transfers all water from sinks and tubs to the tank while handling the toilet flushing, washing machine water, and dishwasher water.

Access Riser

The access riser  is not found on all septic systems in the Orinda area. However, our experts recommend including it in all our installations or having it added later. The pumping cover will allow a plumber easy access to your septic tank to pump out the sludge and matter.

Inlet Cover

The inlet cover provides access to the septic tank for cleanings and inspections. Many people refer to this as an “inspection pipe,” and it helps facilitate efficient service.

Inlet Baffle

The inlet baffle is located at the start of the septic tank and the sewer line; the input baffle slows the flow of the waste coming into the septic tank. Slowing the waste and water allows the debris to settle at the bottom.

Outlet Baffle

The outlet baffle is located before the water goes to the drain field. The outlet baffle blocks solids and waste from leaving the tank, only allowing wastewater through.

Seepage Field Or Seepage Pit

Also referred to as a “leach field” or “drain field,” this is made up of perforated pipes or tiles that are set into the ground away from your home and buried deep enough for cold weather not to be an issue. The wastewater enters the area and is slowly absorbed over the area.

A seepage pit is an option that many people have in addition to the seepage field. The hole is a concrete holding for gray water from the septic tank, also known as wastewater. The pit is meant to hold the water if the seepage field is backed up. 

Grease Trap

The job of the grease trap is to limit the grease that can make its way into the septic tank. While the grease trap is not found on all septic tank systems, it is highly recommended by most professional plumbers.

Distribution Box

Another part that is extremely useful but only sometimes found on septic tank systems is the distribution box, which helps to get the wastewater evenly throughout the seepage field.

How To Maintain Your Septic System

Now that you have a better understanding of the parts that make up your system, let’s take a look at how you can maintain your septic system. Through using these tips, you can ensure you are doing your best to keep your septic system running satisfactorily:

  1. If any plumbing fixture in your home is broken, it needs to be fixed. The plumbing fixtures work hand in hand with your septic tank system.
  2. Try to stagger laundry, baths, showers, and running the dishwasher so that the septic system is not having periods of heavy demand.
  3. Overusing chemicals can be a massive issue for your septic system as it upsets the natural bacterial action in the tank. Be careful with bleach, drain openers, and even toilet bowl cleaners.
  4. Avoid pouring fats and cooking oils down the drain. It will not only cause your main sewer line to become clogged, but it can cause more scum to form in the tank.
  5. Remember to have the tank routinely pumped out to avoid waste seeping into the ground. Every two to three years is how often most Orinda households have their septic tank pumped, but it depends on the number of people in the home.
  6. Avoid flushing items that should not be flushed, such as baby wipes, diapers, feminine hygiene products, etc.
  7. When flushing toilet paper, use a septic system-safe toilet paper, as it breaks down more easily.
  8. Never allow anyone to drive over the seepage field or where the tank is located. The weight of vehicles can easily cause damage, making it harder for the seepage field to work as it should.
  9. Avoid planting trees or bushes with large roots near the sewer line, septic tank, or seepage field. The roots can destroy the function of the entire system.

Free Quotes For Septic Tank Replacement In Orinda, CA

If your septic tank is not functioning as it should in Orinda, CA, we are here to help. We offer septic tank services, which include septic tank replacements.

Avalon works hand in hand with every customer to find the best solution for the unique situation, as no two septic issues are the same. And we are here to work with you to find any septic issue and a solution.