septic tank dirty filter



Septic Tank Filter Cleaning is one of the vital aspects of household maintenance, often best handled by professional septic tank services. Unfortunately, this critical task is frequently neglected until something goes wrong. Many homeowners are unaware of the significance of maintaining their septic system, as well as the potential consequences related to it. In this article, we shed light on this topic and explain why septic tank filter cleaning should not simply be seen as another routine task but as an essential component in maintaining the overall health of septic tanks.

Understanding the Septic System

Before diving in and addressing the specifics of septic tanking filter cleaning, it’s essential to gain an understanding of how a septic system operates. 

Septic Tank

Also referred to as a primary treatment facility, a septic tank temporarily stores wastewater. It allows heavy solids to settle to the bottom, while lighter solids such as fats and oils float to the surface, forming scum. Anaerobic processes then help break down these solids.

Components & Design

Tanks can be constructed of concrete, fiberglass or polyethene material. They typically feature an inlet pipe, an outlet pipe, and baffles/tees. Modern tanks might feature compartments to enhance treatment further. 

Drainfield (or Leach Field or Disposal Field)

This serves as a secondary treatment zone. Here, wastewater from the tank is further treated and purified using perforated pipes. These pipes allow effluent from the tank to slowly seep into the ground. In this stage, soil acts as a natural filter, eliminating harmful bacteria, viruses, and nutrients.


Septic tanks consist of perforated pipes laid in gravel-filled trenches or beds. Their size as well as type, depend upon soil percolation rate and property water use.

Septic Tank Filter

Its role is to protect against larger solids entering the drain field, thus reducing potential blockages.


This filter, usually installed at the tank’s outlet, helps prevent larger solids from entering the drain field and potentially blocking up drainage systems, thus reducing potential blockages.


Filters may come with mesh or screen structures, requiring periodic cleaning for optimal functioning and smooth flow.

Why Does Septic Tank Filter Cleaning Matter?

septic tank filter cleaning

Now, let’s discuss why it is essential to clean septic tank filters regularly.

Ensuring Proper Function

Flow Regulation: An uncleaned filter may obstruct effluent (liquid waste) from flowing freely out to its drain field and lead to overflow in your septic tank itself.

Solid Particle Filtration: One of the primary purposes of filters is to prevent larger solid particles from exiting the tank, and an ineffective or clogged filter cannot fulfil this role efficiently.

Prevention of System Failure

Avoiding Drain Field Clogs: Blocked filters increase the chances of solid particles reaching the drain field, increasing its chance of becoming clogged up – leading to costly repair bills for fixing it!

Reduce Wastewater Backups: Regular cleaning helps decrease the likelihood of wastewater backing up into household fixtures.

Economic Implications

Prevent Expensive Repairs: If your septic system has become nonfunctional, it could cost thousands in repairs or replacement – regular cleaning helps avoid these expensive expenses altogether.

Extended System Longevity: Regular maintenance and filter cleaning will increase the lifespan of any septic system.

Environmental Health and Safety

Groundwater Protection: If a filter becomes neglected, polluted run-off could reach the drain field and seep into groundwater resources and pollute them.

Preserving Ecosystems: Groundwater contamination can lead to ecological imbalances, affecting flora and fauna.

Detailed Cleaning Guide:

Safety First: For your own protection, wear protective gloves and eyewear before entering any confined spaces without proper ventilation.

Locate Your Septic Tank and Filter: Filters can usually be found near the outlet tee of a septic tank; for more assistance on this matter, consult a professional. 

Turn Off Any Pumps/Systems: Prior to commencing work on any connected pumps or systems, ensure they are all switched off.

Remove and Clean Filters: Carefully unclip the filter from its bracket, considering it may become quite dirty as you take this step. 

Cleaning: Rinse away debris using a garden hose. But if the filter is extensively dirty, replacing it will be the ideal option.

Check Filter and Tank: Carefully examine the filter for signs of wear or damage; if extensive signs exist, consider replacing it. 

Reinstall Filter Once Cleaned: Carefully place back the cleaned filter into its original location once your cleaning session is over.

Hiring Professionals:

Although DIY is cost-efficient, if you want expert-level cleaning, it is better to hire plumbing experts.

Expertise:  Their expertise allows them to identify problems that could go undetected by homeowners.

Professional Cleaning: Hiring professional plumbers can ensure a comprehensive cleaning process, which reduces risks associated with an inadequately cleaned filter.

Time Savings: Hiring professionals can save time and help to avoid potential mistakes.

Sustain Through Regular Maintenance

Regular system checks and mindful use can go a long way toward keeping systems in good working order; 

Routine Inspection: Regular professional assessments may help identify problems as soon as they appear.

Conscious Disposal: Be mindful about what goes down your drain; non-degradable items and harsh chemicals may wreak havoc with your system. 

Water Conservation: Overburdening the system shortens its lifespan – adopt water-saving practices for maximum system lifespan.

Conclusion: The Lasting Benefits of Regular Septic Tank Filter Maintenance

Regular maintenance and cleaning of filters ensure that the septic system functions optimally. It saves homeowners from expensive repairs and ensures the well-being of the surrounding environment.

Brock Mechanical offers a wide range of plumbing services in Living Stones and surrounding Counties. From residential to commercial plumbing, we deal in everything. Call or email us to know about our septic tank filter cleaning services!