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Baffles: What are they and how do they work?

Do you know what baffles are, how they work, and why they are so important? There are two baffles on your septic tank; one at the inlet side (where the waste water comes into the tank from your house) and one at the outlet side (where the waste water goes out into your drain field). The baffles are there to direct the flow of water so your system works properly. The inlet baffle directs the flow of water to the bottom of your tank so the water does not exit the tank too quickly and to give the waste a longer time to separate from the waste water. The outlet baffle helps keeps the solids from exiting the tank and not flowing into the drain field or leach lines. This is very important as it prolongs the life of your drain field which can be very costly to fix or replace. When you have your tank serviced / pumped, it is important to inspect the baffles to make sure they are functioning properly. In newer installed septic systems, the baffles are made out of PVC which is durable and tends to last a long time. However, in older built homes, they used concrete for the baffles. After years of use, concrete baffles tend to deteriorate which causes them to be less effective. If this is the case with your system, it is very important to get the baffles replaced. Maintaining your baffles could make the difference in spending thousands of dollars on drain field repairs, extensions, or replacements. It is a common misconception that if you are not experiencing and problems with your septic, that there is not need to get your tank pumped. However, sometimes if the baffles have deteriorated, the waste from your septic tank will flow into your drain field which will make it seem like you are not having issues because the tank won’t fill up with waste, but in reality this will cause much bigger issues in the future. So, even if you are not experiencing problems, you should always get your septic system serviced at least every 3-5 years.


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