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Operation and Maintenance

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Orenco O&M Tools

Orenco offers a variety of tools and resources for installers and service providers. These tools will help you to correctly install and maintain wastewater collection and treatment systems. If you’re a homeowner in need of a service provider, please use our Distributor Locator to find a local Orenco dealer who can recommend a service provider in your area.

Sludge Judge:

The “Sludge Judge” is used to measure the depth of sludge accumulations in primary, recirculation, dosing, and STEP tanks.

The proper way to use the Sludge Judge is as follows:

  • Slowly lower the tube into the septic tank until it touches the bottom of the tank.
  • As the device is slowly pulled out of the water, the check valve closes capturing a liquid/solid profile of the septic tank water. The thickness of the sludge layer can be measured.

Scum Measuring Utility Guage (SMUG)

SMUG stands for “Scum Measuring Utility Gauge.” This tool is used for measuring scum levels in tanks.

How to use a SMUG:

Select an area, as near the designated measuring locations as possible, that appears to best represent the average scum depth.

Then, gently push the utility gauge through the surface of the scum blanket until the gauge penetrates into the clear zone. Special care should be taken to maintain the structural integrity of the scum blanket while penetrating it. Some scum blankets will be very firm and crusty, while others will be loose like a soft, light floc.

Once the layer has been penetrated, rotate the utility gauge 90° and slowly raise it until a slight resistance from the bottom of the scum blanket is felt. With some practice, one acquires a “feel” for when the utility gauge has come in contact with the bottom of the scum layer. Usually no more than a 1/4 pound pull should be applied. A slight rise in the surface of the scum blanket should be noticeable.

Lower the utility gauge slightly, until the surface of the blanket is level again, and read the utility gauge scale directly to obtain the scum blanket depth. Depths to the nearest 1/4 inch are adequate.

Double-check the measurement by lowering the utility gauge, rotating it 90° or 180°, and repeating the procedure, as described above.

Lateral Brush Cleaning Kit:

This bottle-type brush is used to clean lateral lines in the AX treatment units, as well as cleaning pressurized lateral lines on RSFs and drainfields.


AdvanTex Cleaning Wand:

This tool is a type of spray bar that connects to a water hose. It helps wash between the filter sheets in an AdvanTex treatment system.

Biotube Brush:

This is a bottle-type brush used to clean Biotube filters. The brush handle is made of sectioned, threaded fiberglass for easy disassembly, and it’s great for cleaning laterals and manifolds.

Field Test Kit:

Orenco’s Field Test Kit is a pre-packaged test kit used to quickly gather information and measure the treatment efficiency of an AdvanTex Treatment System without the time and expense of laboratory testing. The Field Test kit is ideal for measuring constituents in wastewater to help maintain steady treatment system performance by identifying potential issues before they become a problem. It is not intended for regulatory compliance testing. The Field Test Kit includes equipment and supplies to test nine important characteristics used to determine AdvanTex Treatment System health and performance: pH, total alkalinity, ammonia (NH3-N), nitrate (NO3-N), nitrite (NO2-N), dissolved oxygen, chloride, turbidity, and temperature.

Biotube Cradle:

This cradle holds the Biotube filter over the tank riser inlet to help simplify the process of hosing off accumulated debris.

The Cradle is made out of rugged fiberglass, so it is durable and resistant to breakage. There is also a slotted handle for easy transport and a bolt hole in the support bracket for securing the cradle to the riser with a lid bolt during cleaning. In addition, the drain has been threaded to accept a 2-in. threaded fitting and flex hose — very handy when you’re draining the cradle back into a tank with a pump vault still in place, or back into a small-diameter tank opening.