Have you noticed your drains lagging? Have you had water backing up into your drains? It may be time to clean your septic system filter. A dirty filter prevents wastewater from leaving your septic tank.
What is the Filter for, Anyway?
When wastewater (effluent) leaves your home, it collects in your septic tank. Solid waste falls to the bottom of the tank, and oils and grease float to the top.
T-shaped pipes called baffles are placed at the inlet and outlet of your tank. Also known as “tees,” baffles keep solid waste from exiting the septic tank. However, some solid waste can still escape.
Your septic system has a filter, usually in the outlet baffle, to collect the escaping solids. A septic system filter can lengthen the life of your septic system and drain field by preventing costly damage to your septic system. As the filter collects solids, though, it can cause slow drainage, or even cause water to back up into your house.
How Do I Clean the Filter?
A good time to clean your effluent filter is right after you have had your septic tank system pumped. In fact, most septic service companies will clean your filter for you when they are servicing your septic system. Your filter may need cleaning more often than you pump your tank.
You should turn off running water while you’re cleaning the filter. Before removing the filter, you also need to check the level of the waste in the septic tank. If it is unusually high, you should consider having it pumped.
To clean your filter you will need protective gear for yourself, a screwdriver, and a hose.
Use your screwdriver to remove the baffle covering and the filter. When you remove the filter, it will be full of solid waste (including feces). It is important to wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles to keep yourself safe from any pathogens that may be on the filter.
Hose off the filter, being sure to avoid spraying yourself or anyone else who may be nearby. Check the filter for damage and place it back into the baffle. Replace the baffle covering securely.
Of course, you can always have professionals perform this service for you. They are familiar with the process and can safely and easily keep your septic system in good running order.
To keep your septic system in running order, it is important to check your filter regularly and clean it at least once a year. Getting your septic tank pumped yearly will increase the life of your filter by reducing the amount of waste it has to collect.