Septic tanks are designed to retain solids that accumulate over time. Some of these solids are byproducts of the waste treatment process, while others are materials that may not be capable of being processed, such as human hair. It is important that the solids are retained in the septic tank and not released to the drain field. Excessive discharge of solids to the drain field can cause it to plug and lose efficiency in treatment and dispersal of the normal liquid flow. If the problem persists, the drain field may need to be replaced.
Septic tank effluent filters provide a relatively inexpensive way of preventing solids discharge into the septic field. They are usually installed at the outlet of the septic tank, collecting solids that may be discharged from the tank. If the septic tank is maintained properly, including frequent inspection for solids accumulation and removal, a filter may not be necessary.
If you are considering using a septic tank effluent filter, check with your local public health authority to find out the requirements governing their installation and use. Some authorities may require certification to NSF/ANSI 46:- Evaluation of Components and Devices Used in Wastewater Treatment Systems.