Frequently Asked Questions
Please call our office representative on receipt of the shut-off notice to make an appointment to review your account to see if a payment arrangement will help in your situation.
Fixed costs are those related expenses that generally do not vary with the volume of water used. The components included in the fixed service charge include:
- Source of Supply – obtaining and storing our raw water supply.
- Water Transmission – costs for the Agency’s untreated water transmission system including canals and major pipelines
- Water Treatment – costs for treatment plant operators, State Health Fees, debt service for plant upgrades.
- Water Distribution – costs associated to distribute the treated water including storage, pumping, distribution pipelines.
- Customer Expense – costs associated with serving customers, including reading meters and billing, customer service, Board expenses, insurances and other activities
Fixed costs include salaries and benefits to perform all the above activities by Agency personnel. System O&M costs, debt service and fixed assets.
Variable Costs (Commodity Charge) are variable costs that vary with the amount of actual water consumption. The components included in the variable commodity include:
- Energy costs for pumping
- Chemicals used for water treatment and general plant maintenance.
When the Amador Water Agency notifies you of a need for maintenance, have the work completed in a timely manner. Delays in maintenance will only cause damage to your septic system, possible backups into your home or business and possibly cause damage to the community system. Whether it be cleaning a filter or screen, or having your tank pumped, avoid unnecessary future costs and have the work done promptly.
Typically, septic tanks are made of pre-cast concrete. Often these tanks are composed of three or more parts: access lids, internal baffles, and filter screens. The baffles, or tees must be in good condition to keep the floating scum and grease from leaving the tank and plugging the soil in the leachfield. ln addition to the floating scum, the tanks also contain liquid sewage, which eventually flows to the leachfield. Over a period of time, a sludge layer forms in the bottom of the tank. The sludge consists of the solids that remain after the anaerobic bacteria in the tank break down the solid wastes. The natural process of anaerobic digestion normally does quite well on its own, so no chemicals, enzymes, yeast or other additives should be routinely fed into the tanks.
There are several conditions that can hinder the efficiency and life of your septic system.
- Monitor sludge and scum levels in the septic tank on an annual basis. (This is done by the Amador Water Agency)
- Clean the screen or filter cartridge every six-months. (This can be done by a septic specialist or the homeowner)
- Minimize the amounts of grease, solids from garbage disposals, chemicals and other materials from entering the septic system. To the extent possible, throw as much as you can in the trash. Allow cooking oils and fats to cool and solidify before placing them in the trash (an old coffee can or crock works well ).
- Reduce water flow into your septic system. Never empty water from downspouts into the septic tank. Direct surface water away from the leachfield.
- Plant grass over the septic tank to reduce erosion and to absorb moisture. However, do not place plants or structures over tank lids.
- Avoiding traffic or wheel loads over the septic tank area. Do not put driveways over septic lines or tanks.
- Removing trees from the septic area to avoid tree root invasion.
- Get help when you suspect a problem.
Items that you should not put into the garbage disposal, rinse down the drain, or flush down the toilet:
- Coffee grounds, egg shells and seafood shell,s high-fat foods (cheeses, ice cream, cookie dough and batters, meats)
- fruit and vegetable skins
- cooking fats – this includes butter, oil, grease, and lard
- fat trimmings and skin from meats
- automotive oils and grease
- hair and wax
- feminine-hygiene products and condoms
- diapers, baby wipes, Q-tips and cotton balls
- paper towels
- toilet paper that is not septic-friendly
- flushable facial tissues and wipes
- cigarette butts
- harsh chemicals, paints and varnishes
Some types of POE’s are:
- Particulate filters: these remove most of the rust and manganese particles. Adsorption filters: commonly called charcoal or activated charcoal, these are not filters at all. The charcoal attracts organic chemicals and binds them.
- Oxidation/filtration systems: these will help with iron and rotten egg odors. Water softening/ion exchange: Exchange ions that cause hardness for some that don’t. Reverse osmosis: remove nitrates, metals, and hardness ions. Produce small quantities of water.
- Distillation units: boil the water and condense the steam. Remove inorganic and organic chemicals, fluoride, etc. Takes a lot of energy to make a little water.
Amador Water System = Soft CAWP Systems= Soft La Mel = Slightly Hard CSA3 Well 6 (73) Moderately Hard CSA3 Well 9 (55) Slightly Hard CSA3 Well 12A (63) Moderately Hard
- Artesian: Water that came from an aquifer that is overlain with rock stratum that is not an aquifer, causing the water to rise in the well.
- Groundwater: water form an aquifer not under the influence of surface water; water found on ground surface such as a creek, stream, or lake.
- Aquifer: Water yielding rock formations or strata.
- Mineral water: Water having not less than 250 milligrams per liter total dissolved solids, originating from a well.
- Purified or demineralized: Water that has undergone dome treatment to remove contaminants.
- Sparkling water: carbonation added.
- Spring water: surface water emanating directly from a groundwater source.