Understanding Cesspools and Their Maintenance

What is a Cesspool?

A cesspool is an underground retention tank that is designed to receive and store wastewater and sewage from homes or businesses. Unlike a septic tank, which separates solid waste from liquids, cesspools simply collect all waste in one tank. Cesspools are usually located close to the home or business they serve and are emptied by a cesspool pumping service on a regular basis.

How do Cesspools Work?

As wastewater and sewage enter the cesspool, they begin to separate. Solids settle to the bottom while liquids rise to the top. As more and more waste enters the tank, the liquid level rises until it reaches the overflow pipe. This pipe allows excess liquid to flow out of the tank and into an absorption field, where it is then absorbed into the surrounding soil.

What are the Benefits of a Cesspool?

Cesspools are often preferred over septic systems because they are cheaper to install and require less maintenance. Unlike septic systems, which require periodic pumping of the solids, cesspools only require pumping of the liquid layer. Additionally, cesspools are more adaptable to sites with high groundwater or shallow soils.

What are the Risks of Cesspools?

While cesspools offer many benefits, they also come with risks. Because cesspools do not separate solids from liquids, the entire contents of the tank must be pumped out. If the cesspool is not pumped often enough, solids can accumulate and overflow into the absorption field, causing clogs and backups. Cesspools can also become damaged or collapse over time, which can result in soil contamination and costly repairs.

How do you Maintain a Cesspool?

Maintaining a cesspool requires regular pumping by a professional pumping service. The frequency of pumping depends on the size of the tank and the number of people using the system. Most cesspools should be pumped every 3-5 years, but some may require more frequent pumping. In addition to pumping, it is important to avoid flushing non-biodegradable materials such as wipes, tampons, and sanitary napkins, as these can clog the system. It is also important to avoid pouring grease, oil, and chemicals down the drain, as these can kill the beneficial bacteria that help break down waste in the tank.

What are the Signs of a Failing Cesspool?

Signs of a failing cesspool include slow draining fixtures, gurgling sounds coming from drains, foul odors coming from the ground, and sewage backups in the home or business. If any of these signs are present, it is important to have the system inspected by a professional. In some cases, the system may need to be repaired or replaced. Visit this suggested external site and uncover fresh information and viewpoints on the subject covered in this article. We’re always seeking to enrich your learning experience with us. cesspool companies Huntington New York.


Cesspools are an effective and affordable option for wastewater and sewage storage, but they do require regular maintenance to prevent clogs and backups. By understanding how cesspools work and how to properly maintain them, homeowners and businesses can ensure their system functions properly and avoids costly repairs.

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Understanding Cesspools and Their Maintenance 1