The Septic Tank Man

A septic tanks resource for homeowners

A Comprehensive Guide to Cleaning and Washing Your Septic Tank Filter

A Comprehensive Guide to Cleaning and Washing Your Septic Tank Filter

Septic tank systems are a critical component of waste management in many homes. While the tank collects waste, the drain field serves as the final treatment and dispersal component for wastewater.

Ideally, only treated water should move to the drain field, but sometimes undesirable waste like hair, solid particles, and grit can also make their way there. This can lead to clogging and pollution, underlining the significance of a septic tank filter.

Understanding the Septic Tank Filter

The filter plays a vital role in trapping suspended solids from the wastewater before it moves to the drain field. Though durable and long-lasting, it also requires periodic maintenance.

Neglecting this can result in clogging and other related issues. As such, we highly advise checking the filter twice a year – before and after winter – and cleaning it whenever the tank is pumped.

How to Clean the Septic Tank Filter

Before beginning, make sure you’re wearing full-length pants and shirts, safety goggles, gloves, and boots for safety.

Once you’re ready, simply follow these tips:

  1. If the lid is above ground, this should be straightforward. If it’s buried, you may need to find it first.
  2. Hold it over the first manhole (where organic waste is treated) so that any dripping effluent is redirected back into the tank.
  3. Use a water hose to spray off any material clinging to the cartridge.
  4. If your filter has a built-in alarm that triggers when cleaning is needed, test it by lifting the float switch.
  5. Ensure they’re clear of debris. If you find any, spray it away with the hose.
  6. Insert it securely into the saddle holes.
  7. Clean any spillage around the area and close the septic tank lid.

Make sure to change your clothes and thoroughly wash and sanitize your hands once you’re done.

Keeping Your Septic System Clean

In order to maintain the cleanliness of your septic system, make sure you avoid flushing non-biodegradable items like wipes, cotton buds, or cigarette butts.

It’s also important to adhere to your jurisdiction’s guidelines on how often to pump your septic tank, even if it seems fine.


Proper maintenance of your septic tank filter is crucial for the system’s longevity and effectiveness. It’s advisable to clean the filter during your regular pumping schedule and to perform interim inspections twice a year.

For extra security, opt for a filter with an alarm feature to alert you when cleaning is due. With regular care and attention, your septic tank and its filter should function effectively for years to come.


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