Call us: (510) 886-4455 | Serving East Bay, North Bay, South Bay, West Bay & The Greater San Francisco Bay Area

Septic System Guide - A Complete Overview for Homeowners

Septic System Guide – A Complete Overview for Homeowners

A septic system is a vital part of your home. It is an underground chamber that holds wastewater for basic treatment and sanitation. This system varies in size and design from one neighborhood to another, brought by factors such as household size, soil type, lot size, weather conditions, and local codes. But for the most part, it consists of a tank that serves the same purpose, whether a septic tank, chamber system, constructed wetland system, or cluster system.

What You Should Know About Your Septic System - A Homeowner's Septic System Guide

In this septic system guide, we’ll cover what you need to know about a septic system for your residential property.

1. What to know about the distribution box

The first thing you should know in our septic system guide is all about your tank and its drainage. A vital facet of a septic system is a distribution box. It is typically a 2x2 foot cement box with two to three holes called the leach field lines. This box serves to dispose of the wastewater out from the tank via the leach field lines.

Each leach field essentially consists of a group of pipes that are 20 to 40 feet long, extending out from the box. Each has small holes along its sides that leach liquid from your septic—hence, the name.

The pipes are said to layover dirt and gravel for the natural infiltration process. As the liquid leaks out, it seeps into the ground. That is how a septic system ultimately works.

2. Primary causes of septic system issues

Our septic system guide tip #2 involves understanding common problems with your system. There are a handful of reasons your septic system is faced with some issues over time. Below are some of these:

  • Taking your septic for granted: Some homeowners tend to neglect their system thinking that it is designed to last forever. Some even think this system doesn’t exist at all. What they fail to realize is that it requires regular maintenance to ensure it’s in top shape and working order.
  • Improper garbage disposal: Some households aren’t mindful of what they flush down their drains, whether in the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry. Over time, the drains get clogged due to a massive buildup that can settle in the septic tank or distribution box.

3. Proper septic system maintenance

Our final vital piece of information in this septic system guide is all about maintenance. Every homeowner relying on septic will need to have some level of recurring maintenance performed on their waste system. Here are some of these:

  • Regulating water consumption: Be sure to control and cut down on your water usage at home. Not only does it reduce your monthly water bills, but it will also protect your septic system.
  • Proper disposal of wastes: Be sure to not throw anything down the toilet, sinks, or drains that mustn’t end up in the septic system. For your kitchen drains, avoid pouring down grease and throwing food leftovers. As for your bathrooms, prevent the accumulation of soap, hair strands, and other debris. Also, only three things are allowed to be flushed down your toilet: pee, poo, and (toilet) paper.
  • Routine maintenance: It’s important to have regular upkeep of your septic system. Be sure to get in touch with the professionals for pumping services every 3-5 years. Here at A1 Tank, we provide septic inspection and maintenance services. We want to ensure that your system is in top shape and working condition. Get in touch with us for our 24/7 on-call service!


At this point, we've covered a broad overview of information in this septic system guide and you should have learned more about what a septic system entails. Be wary of the leading causes of system issues and observe proper maintenance as outlined above. With all these in mind, you can protect your septic system and ensure it will last for as long as possible for the benefit of your home!

Are you looking for septic system services? You’ve come to the right place! As a septic company, we provide septic and non-hazardous pumping services to residences in San Francisco County and the surrounding areas. Whether installation, septic inspection, or 24-hour emergency services, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!


Scroll to Top