A cesspool is a type of septic tank commonly found on rural properties that lack access to a city sewer system. Cesspools are well shaped and differ from the more modern septic tank in terms of their overall design and function. As cesspools are an older type of septic tank, it is chiefly found on older properties where the sewer system has not been updated.
If your property has a cesspool, it is still a perfectly functional way to manage your home waste disposal needs. However, maintenance and care are needed to ensure it continues to operate properly. Knowing how to maintain my cesspool is an important part of owning a home with one.
Cesspool Maintenance and Problems
A cesspool is an older type of septic system that is built like a well. The interior is made of stone, concrete, or other materials and has an equally sturdy lid made out of the same material. When waste is deposited in a cesspool, it is broken down by bacteria contained in the cesspool. Water seeps out of the cesspool through small holes in the side, and the solid waste slowly breaks down over time and collects at the bottom. While this is a relatively simple system, it does require maintenance to prevent issues.
- Regular Inspections: An important part of cesspool upkeep is regular inspections. Simply checking to see that your cesspool isn’t overflowing or having other performance issues can keep you aware of any repair or service needs. You should also hire a professional to inspect it every three years to ensure it is in good condition.
- Professional Maintenance: In addition to inspections every three years, professional pumping and waste removal must be performed to keep your cesspit free of clogs or blockages. Cesspools can easily become blocked due to issues with drainage such as blockages.
- Things You Should Not Put In Your Cesspool: a way you can help prevent clogging is to make sure harmful items do not go into your cesspool. Items to avoid include household cleaners that can kill the beneficial bacteria in your cesspit, grease, hygiene products, paper products, diapers, laundry detergent, bones, and other fatty food wastes. Such waste items can either directly lead to clogging or reduce your cesspool’s ability to break down waste, causing it to become full and backed up.
Septic tanks and other septic systems such as cesspools provide a vital service for your home in dealing with waste and breaking it down safely. With attentive care and regular professional assistance, you can keep your cesspool working as intended.