If you have a septic system you are probably familiar with its major components such as the septic tank and drain field. However, you may also want to educate yourself on the baffles of your septic system. The inlet and outlet baffles, or tees, play an important role in the function of your septic system. This device is responsible for directing the flow of wastewater in and out of your septic tank. A baffle can be made from clay, concrete or PVC pipe. If your baffles are missing or damaged, your septic system will suffer significantly.
During a routine septic inspection, the inlet and outlet baffles should be examined thoroughly. Here is a closer look at what each of your baffles do:
- The Inlet Baffle
- The inlet baffle guides wastewater into your septic tank, creating a longer detention time to allow settling of solids and prevent the scum layer in the tank from being disturbed. The inlet baffle also helps solids from backing up toward your house if for some reason your septic system begins to backup.
- The Outlet Baffle
- The outlet baffle is extremely important for your system to function properly. It directs the effluent from the septic tank to the drain field. The outlet baffle is what stops the scum layer from flowing out of the tank and into the outlet pipe, which would result in clogged drain lines and premature system failure.
- A professional septic inspector will look to be sure your tank has three separate layers in the tank: floating scum, a layer of clear water, and sludge on the bottom. If these distinct layers are not present, this could mean that the one or both of the septic tank baffles are missing or damaged.
Metro Septic professionals are happy to educate clients on the specific parts of their septic system and what to look for if one of these parts is damaged or missing. Even if your inspection reveals the need to replace or repair one of your baffles, the cost will be far less than a major septic system failure or backup when a problem is ignored. Call a septic expert if you notice a foul odor in your home or around your drain field area especially.