Septic systems are installed in those areas where there is no municipal sewer service or available. A septic system has many components and the baffle is one of them that is important to overall function. What is a septic system baffle? Baffles are important for safe and proper operation of septic system. It prevent solids from spilling over to the drainage areas such as those found in a cesspool or leach field.
Each septic system has an inlet and outlet pipe coming and going out in different directions. The baffle is found just beyond the piping, inside the tank and is designed in such a way that it sets below the water level in the tank, stopping large particles or solids from traveling outside of the tank system.
The baffle is in the shape of a “T”, which helps it to allow the intake and outlet to work in the correct way. If there is any damage to the baffle due to corrosion, erosion or decay, the solids will be allowed to escape and since the drainage areas are not designed to break down such solids. If this happens then problems usually follow shortly thereafter.
A healthy septic system should not release a great deal of odor and if you are experience odors or smells, this may be the result of a defective or missing baffle. Most septic tank baffles are made of metal and are attached on the wall, hanging down inside of the tank. While fiberglass, plastic and PVC are sometimes used, almost all baffle designs are similar and perform a set function. Whenever the system is emptied or pumped out, inspection of the baffle is critical since the loss of one can deteriorate a drain field within a matter of months. If the septic tank lacks baffles, life of the drain field will shorten drastically and as a result, the life of the entire septic system will also shorten.
In the case of a damaged or missing baffle, replacements can be purchased or made. Most replacement baffles are made of PVC that should just be able to be inserted into the outflow line of the tank. This new design of baffle makes installation and replacement easy and convenient. This design allows the water to flow and to help the solid and sludge remain in the bottom of the septic tank.
Baffles also help in retain semi-sludge into the tank, assuring clearer liquids enter the field areas. The baffle is critical for proper septic functionality. If you suspect that your system may have an issue, start with a full pump-out and be sure to inspect the important baffle.