# 1 Septic System Maintenance Tip
New Septic Systems and replacement septic tanks in Massachusetts are being constructed with a filter device that is inserted into the Septic tank outlet tee. There is supposed to be a cover to the finished ground surface (the cover is bolted down to avoid unauthorized access). There are multiple companies that manufacture these outlet filter devices. These filter devices are typically the same and serve the same basic function, which is to help prevent solids from leaving the Septic Tank and entering the leaching system. A premature failing of the leaching system can occur when soilds and grease are allowed into the leaching system. The filter is simply inserted into the outlet tee.
This filter must be cleaned as part of your septic system maintenance.
The Massachusetts Sanitary Code requires the installation of a manhole access cover extended to the final ground surface over the outlet of the Septic tank when an outlet filter is installed. This manhole cover eliminates the digging & searching for the Septic Tank outlet. For safety reasons, these manhole covers are bolted, so you will need a wrench to remove the bolts before opening the cover.
How to clean the Septic Tank outlet filter
The septic tank outlet filter should be cleaned at least once every year and when the septic tank is pumped.
To clean the septic tank outlet filter, you will need rubber gloves, tools to open the manhole cover and a garden hose.
WARNING: this maintenance work will expose you to sanitary waste, so if you have health issues, hire a sanitary pumping company to do this maintenance work. ALSO, do not touch your face or eye when you are doing this job.
Are you ready?
1. Put on the heavy rubber gloves and un-bolt the manhole cover. Remover the cover.
2. Reach into the septic tankand grab the handle of the filter.
3. Pull the filter up and out, keeping it above the open septic tank.
4. Use the garden hose to spray wash teh scum off the filter and back into the Septic Tank.
5. Reinsert the filter back into the outlet. BE SURE to have the arrow pointing toward the direction of the outlet pipe.
6. Put the manhole cover back on (align the bolt holes) and tighten the bolts (don’t over tighten them!).
7. Remove the rubber gloves (most people will throw them away and take them off by turning them inside-out to avoid touching the outside of the gloves). You should disinfect the end of the garden hose and then wash your hands with pleanty of soap & water
Why do I need to clean the outlet filter?
The Septic Tank outlet filter blocks material from flowing out of the tank and into the leaching system. Eventually the filter device will collect too much material and the filter will plug up with solids. When that happens, the effluent water is prevented from leaving the Septic tank. If the water can not leave the septic tank, it will back-up into the house. Depending on your home plumbing, a Septic Tank back-up could cause a nasty mess.
My #1 Septic System maintenance Top —- Be sure to clean your Septic Tank Outlet Filter every year!