Cesspool Maintenance Basics

Since the Italian Renaissance, cesspools have existed to fulfill a basic function. Before the rediscovery or sewage disposal and the invention of septic tanks, cesspools acted as a means of handling human waste products. The result was a growth in a specialized field of cesspool maintenance. Long Island has several companies that perform this service.

Regular Cesspool Maintenance

A cesspool is a holding tank for liquid waste. It does not handle solids. Solids are part of a septic tank. In fact, the purpose of a septic tank is to prevent solids from entering into the cesspool. A cesspool drains the liquids into the ground. It is sometimes said to percolate it. If you have a septic system that includes a septic tank and a cesspool, cesspool maintenance involves mainly keeping the septic tank in order and operating correctly.

In Long Island and other parts of Suffolk County, the Department of Health recommends the cleaning of such a linked system occur from 3 to 5 years. If, however, if only a cesspool exists, maintenance or cleaning needs to occur more frequently.

Cesspool Maintenance Tasks

With systems that rely on a cesspool, maintenance tasks are required to prevent the build-up of solids. If solid waste matter such as grease, scum and oils of any sort is not removed, it will increase. The material will cling to the walls, preventing the waste water from leaching back into the soil as it is intended to do. The result is an overflowing of the material onto the surrounding area. It can also result in a backflow into the residence.

To prevent this, cleaning out the cesspool every 3 to 5 years is a necessity. The extra material is pumped out on a regular basis. This prevents overflowing. How frequently you will need to hire someone to pump your cesspool is not always easy to predict.  It actually will depend upon several factors. These include:

1. How many people are using the system
2. The size of the system
3. How much water is used
4. How much grease, oils and soap escapes into the system
5. Whether cesspool maintenance includes the addition of products capable of keeping the build up within the cesspool to an absolute minimum

Before you establish a routine, check with your department of health. They will let you know the regulations of your region. Talk to a company that regularly handles cesspool maintenance. On Long Island, you can find several professionals in the field. They should be able to provide you with some direction before you make a decision on a maintenance schedule.

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