• I had my septic tanks pumped and they told me a “baffle” was missing. What is a baffle and is it important?
    Unfortunately, some of the system installers did not install one or more baffles in the systems as designed or a baffle may have fallen off. If your system was configured as expected, you have four baffles, two in each of your two tanks. Baffles in our systems, are simple devices that segregate solids in the tanks. They are essentially a T fitting with elongated ends that allows fluid intake below the floating solids layer and needed venting on the top side of the fitting. If missing, there is the potential for higher maintenance requirements/costs. Clogging potential is greater at the influent side of the system (entry point into tank 1) and solids that are supposed to remain in tank 1 will move into tank 2. Effluent from tank 2 then flows through your filter to the pump. A solids clogged filter can prematurely shorten pump life, cause system back-ups, alarms, and/or increase filter maintenance requirements.
    Baffle installation requires the tanks to be empty so there is a pumping cost. Baffles can be fabricated from a PVC T with two short sections of pipe as per the drawings cited above or may be available from plumbing suppliers like H.D. Fowler in Bremerton. Some configurations may require tank entry to make repairs. If so, correction becomes much more costly due to confined space safety protocols.