Tank Deterioration Discussion Continues to Baffle Me

Tank Deterioration Discussion Continues to Baffle Me
A precast tank from 1979 with no air space above the baffles and no sign of hydrogen sulfide deterioration.

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To the editor:

In the January issue of Onsite Installer, Jim Anderson and David Gustafson stated in their Basic Training article entitled “We Have an Answer for This Baffling Question” that “there must be air clearance of at least 1 inch between the top of the baffles and tank cover to provide for movement of gases and proper venting. Without the clearance, there will be excessive corrosion and deterioration due to accumulation of gases around the outlet baffles.”

The authors have yet to present any scientific evidence that validates their open-baffle and 1-inch clearance theories. On the other hand, I have hundreds of photos documenting baffles in septic tanks from the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘80s and ‘90s that are completely closed off by design to any air space, and there is no evidence of corrosion in the tank and no complaints from homeowners about septic odors.

Furthermore — and I have made this point in numerous presentations at multiple venues — most effluent filters are closed at the top, thus preventing any venting and impeding the movement of gases from the drainfield back to the septic tank via its outlet.

I look forward to discussing my documentation with the person responsible for the open-baffle theory and comparing it with his/her documentation.

Dawn Long
American Septic Service
Sierra Vista, Arizona


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