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Signs That a Cesspool Needs to Be Cleaned Out

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If you have just purchased an older home, then you may have a cesspool on your property in addition to or instead of a septic tank. These systems do work similar to septic tanks, but with a few distinct exceptions. And, due to their slight differences, there are a few unique signs that the cesspool is in need of a cleaning. Keep reading to learn what they are.

Green Grass Around the Pool

Cesspools work a bit differently than septic tanks when it comes to the removal of the fluid from the tank. With a septic tank, the water is drawn away to a separate field and the water is released over a wide area. With a cesspool, there are one or two holding tanks that are perforated, allowing water to seep into the ground deep underneath the tank. 

If the tank is full, then the water will start to release closer to the surface. And, sometimes the fluid will leak from around the top of the tank cover. In this case, the fluid may be a mixture of solid waste and water. The waste will often act as a fertilizer, and you may then notice grass that is green and lush around the cover.

Since the cover of the cesspool is often not supported by much more than a layer of dirt and grass, it is best to have a cleaning and inspection performed as soon as possible as there is a risk of the cover dislodging and earth falling into the opening. This can cause a collapse issue, and since cesspools are typically not rebuilt, you will then need to invest in a traditional septic system. 

Water Backing Up

Like a septic tank, there is only so much space in the cesspool. And, since water is escaping directly from the tank, a slow release of water is necessary to ensure the health of the tank. If the tank fills up too quickly and water starts to release too quick, then the ground around the tank can become saturated. Saturation issues will typically cause a backup in the system where water starts to back up into the home. 

So, if you are using the same amount of water that you always have and you notice slow and sluggish drainage, then this is a sign that a cleaning must be performed. And, unlike a septic tank that will still allow water to leach away from the system, the cesspool will often backup completely within a short period of time. This means that there is a possibility of fecal matter backflowing into your home. 

For more information, reach out to a cesspool cleaning service.


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