Guide to Cesspool Maintenance

Cesspools accumulate sewage after a certain amount of time. Accumulation of sludge can be prevented through regular cesspool cleaning. The problem is it’s hard to figure out if the tank becomes full. It takes experienced professionals to do a check to find out if your cesspool is saturated. However, there are simple ways to find out if your cesspool is likely to be full without having to call for professional service.

Here are the signs:

1. Your toilet takes a longer time to drain completely upon flushing.

2. Water is regurgitating to the sinks, tubs, or toilets. This is an obvious sign.

3. Gurgling sound can be heard when flushing the toilet or turning the taps on.

4. The soil around the cesspool turns wet. Lush grasses may grow on the area. Leaking sewage may provide water and nutrients to the grasses or bushes.

5. The affected soil may sink. Look for unusual depressions in the ground over the sewer.

6. Foul odor leaks. It can be detected inside or outside the house.

Maintaining your septic tanks is the only way to keep it working properly. Much inconvenience results from neglecting maintenance tasks. Some delay regular maintenance because of the high cost it demands. At the same time, the clean-up can also be irksome. Because it is a dirty job, most homeowners ask other people to do it.

Regular maintenance involves primary cleaning of septic tanks, which serve as reservoir of solid waste matter. Septic tanks prevent passage of solid waste into the cesspools, whose purpose is to drain liquid waste into the surrounding soil. When solid waste matter leaks into the cesspool, unpleasant problems occur. Only regular maintenance of septic tanks keeps such leakages from happening.

How are septic tanks maintained?

1. Septic tanks are emptied by pumping out sludge that may otherwise build up at the bottom of tanks. The pumping out of sludge should be done once a year or once in two years.

2. The sludge on the baffles of septic tanks should be removed to avoid clogs that may build up along pipes.

3. Tank lids should be examined. If there are holes or slits, they should be sealed. Breaks on the lid may cause rainwater to seep into the tank, causing it to become full within a short time.

4. Ground surface under which the septic tank is laid should be surveyed from time to time. Check for unusual dampness or for sink holes. These are indications that the tank underneath must be checked.

5. Chemicals should not be flushed down the drain. Some chemicals are strong enough to corrode pipes and affect the durability of septic tanks and cesspools.

6. Rain gutters should be directed away from the septic tank, or else, the tank will easily fill with water. Rainwater can be directed to a water treatment system to make it usable.

7. Food leftovers, plastics, tissue paper, and other forms of garbage should not be flushed down the sink or flushed into the toilet. If these scraps don’t clog your pipes, they will end up in the sewers.

Maintenance is often conducted by professionals. Do not do the inspection on your own if you lack training. Accumulated gas in tanks can be hazardous.