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What is a septic tank baffle?

Baffles are installed at the inlet of the septic tank and referred to as the inlet baffle. There is also a second baffle installed at the outlet of the septic tank; referred to as the outlet baffle.

What is the purpose of the inlet baffle? It directs the wastewater entering the tank down in the tank, giving the waste a longer path and time in the tank for it to process. The outlet baffle keeps solids from leaving the septic tank and entering the drain/leech field.

These baffles can be of 2 different styles. Many older septic tanks made of concrete materials, have wall baffles. Wall baffles were made as part of the tank and of concrete. Over periods of time the corrosive gases in the septic tank cause the concrete baffles to deteriorate.


PVC baffles are found in many of the newer septic systems. PVC baffles are also used as replacement to repair deteriorated baffles.


Routine septic maintenance pumpouts can help catch deteriorating or missing baffles. Failure to properly maintain your septic system could eventually lead to repair or replacement of the entire system that could cost in excess of $15,000-$30.000 or more.

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