Cesspool Maintenance Tips

A cesspool comprises of a simple covered pit that has its sides lined with masonry blocks that are laid up without mortar. The household sewer line discharges raw sewage straight into this so that the liquid portion may be disposed of by seeping, or leaching, into the surrounding soil. Solids go down to the bottom and are kept inside the pit.

Since they allow raw sewage to seep directly into the surrounding soil, cesspools can be used just in porous or sandy soils, not in swampy areas or in heavy clay soils. They should be situated at least 150 feet away

from wells and 15 or 20 feet away from building foundations. Some communities disallow cesspools

completely, while others restrict their depth and location. The local Health Department or Building Department will generally supply complete information on any limitations that should be abided by.

A cesspool starts to fill up and overflow once the openings in its masonry wall clog up with grease or other insoluble material. Emptying the cesspool might then give only temporary relief, because this doesn't always get rid of the clogging condition. As a result, the cesspool often refills rapidly. To do away with this, a completely new cesspool may have to be built, or a second one might be connected to the old one to take care of the overflow.

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