Septic covers, why are there multiple?
It is common to see three covers on a septic tank. One cover goes over the inlet side of the tank which is where all the water from your house flows into the septic tank. The second is in the middle, and then there is another one on the outlet side of the septic tank. The outlet is where the tank water leaves and heads toward the leach field or drain field. The middle tank cover is used for inspecting the main part of the tank or where the pumping pipe is inserted into the tank so your septic tank can be pumped clean and then inspected.
Should we be using a garbage disposal if we have a septic system on our house?
You probably shouldn't. When food particles enter the septic tank they do not end up breaking down very easy and this can cause clogs in your leach field if they float through your septic tank instead of sinking to the bottom like normal sludge. If you do decide to use your garbage disposal use it minimally and also place the smallest chunks into the disposal as possible. However, remember that it is better to not use the garbage disposal at all when you have a septic system.
When looking at the level of our septic tank, what is the proper working level it should be at?
When looking at the water level inside of your septic tank you really want it to be filled to the level of the outlet hole on the downstream side of your tank. Some call this the outlet T. When the water enters into your septic tank and it is at the proper level it will be pushing water out the outlet side as the new water is entering. After you have your septic pumped you shouldn't have to worry about getting it to it's proper level. A septic tank that is installed properly underground is designed to fill itself automatically to the right level and maintain that level over time as it is being used. The proper working level of the water is about one foot from the top of the tank and the depth of the water is going to depend on the size of the septic tank, meaning how much use it is going to see or the volume of the water inside the tank. The tanks job is to hold the liquids in place for the process of the liquids and solids to separate. The grey water, the liquid, should be the only part flowing out of the tank into the drain fields or leach fields pipes installed underground using excavation.
What is the purpose of a septic filter? What does it do exactly?
A septic filter is going to keep the grit, grime, hair, and other items from getting out into your leach field lines. The filter is part of your septic tank and it goes on the outlet side of your tank before the outlet tee. The filter's job is to act like a type of strainer which keeps the solid or larger particles inside the tank. We want the filter in place in order to keep the larger solid items out of your drain field. If the solid items get into your drain field they can cause problems and clogs can occur. If a clog occurs in your system you will have to call a septic service company in order to have a repair done. A repair in your drain field is going to cost some money but it is necessary to get this done in order to keep your system running properly.