Cleaning your effluent filter

If you have a septic, you should have an effluent filter. Older systems may not be outfitted with an effluent filter, but you can – and should – add one.

A plugged effluent filter, causing a back up in the home.

What is an effluent filter? It’s a filter in your septic tank that prevents solid waste (yep – it’s exactly what you think it is) from entering your septic bed. Here’s an example. It needs to be cleaned at least once per year, or more depending on the usage of the system.

One side of the filter is clogged. Note the clean side. The filter prevented solids from entering the septic bed.

So why is it so important to clean your effluent filter? If it gets clogged it cause a blockage (think constipation for your septic tank), which can cause sewage to back up into your house. That’s not something any home owner wants to deal with!

To clean your effluent filter, open the lid of your septic tank to access the filter. If the lid of your septic is covered in soil, you will need to locate it and expose it by carefully moving soil aside with a shovel.

Carefully rinse the filter off. Don’t splash yourself!

Wearing latex gloves, a face mask and eye protection, carefully remove the effluent filter from the tank. Spray the filter clean with a hose until any residue has been removed. Put the filter back into the filter cartridge inside your septic tank and replace the lid. Ensure pets and children are kept clear during the cleaning process for their safety.

When replacing the filter, note the direction on the top. “Out” should be pointing in the direction of the flow.

Regular maintenance of your septic system is essential for good functioning. Give us a call if you need assistance and be sure to check out the Septic Smart! Guide to understand your septic system.  

The effluent filter has been cleaned and replaced. Clean them every six months, or as needed.

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