The Importance of Effluent Filters in Septic Systems

Your Septic System:

 A septic tank is a large concrete or plastic container that is installed underground to hold and treat wastewater.

A leach field is made one of many different technologies installed after the septic tank to remove contaminants from the liquids exiting the septic tank.

An effluent filter is a slotted cylindrical piece that is fitted into a vertical pipe that is attached to the outlet of a septic system.  It is designed to prevent solids in your septic tank from exiting into your leach field.

Benefits of an Effluent Filter:

An effluent filter is an affordable and effective tool to prevent homeowners from incurring costly repairs on failed septic systems.  Waste that pipes through a home or business into a septic system contains solid material.  As solid material decomposes in the septic tank it will settle at the bottom, forming what is called a sludge layer.  Lighter materials form what is called a scum layer.

As a septic tanks fills, liquid will reach a point where it will exit the septic tank through a piece of pipe installed in the outlet hole.  While the majority of the material exiting the tank is liquid, there will also be solids moving through the pipe.  The effluent filter is an inexpensive option to prevent excessive amounts of solids from exiting the system.

The effluent filter, made of slotted plastic, allows the liquid to pass through.  The slots, however, are small enough that larger solids will not pass through.  If too much solid material passes through the outlet of the septic tank, there is a higher chance of the leach field becoming clogged, which could result in a failed system.  On average, a septic system failure can cost a homeowner more than $25,000.00.  A failed leach field causes serious health concerns as well.  Not only are disease-causing bacteria released into the ground, but water can be contaminated, and the plants that grow in that area can be infected.  Both animals and humans can contract serious diseases from the bacteria released into a failed septic leach field.  The effects of a failed leach field are far-reaching and have a massive impact on the health of every living being in the area.

The main benefits of an effluent filter are as follows:

  • Prevents solids from clogging leach fields (also known as drain fields)
  • Keeps non-biodegradable objects from exiting the septic tank
  • Requires little maintenance
  • Can be installed into existing tanks
  • Cost-effective

Polylok manufactures more than twenty different filters.  When choosing the appropriate filter for your system, it is important to know the gallons per day that will be moving into the septic tank, and what size slot is appropriate.  The typical residential septic tank system uses an effluent filter with a 1/16th filtration slot size.  Contact a local septic tank installer to assist with the assessment of your needs.

It is recommended that your effluent filter be cleaned at least every time your system is pumped; however, increased cleanings may be necessary.  Each septic system is unique, and will require maintenance specific to that system.

More information can be found at in the wastewater/effluent filter section.


One thought on “The Importance of Effluent Filters in Septic Systems”

  1. I want to make sure that I get the right septic tank. It makes sense that I would want to get a professional’s help! They could figure out what kind of filters I need to put in.

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