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Cesspool Vs Septic Tank

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

When you don’t have access to a public sewer system, the choice between a cesspool and a septic system can be critical.

If you have a lot of property, dealing with the sewage situation by yourself is an excellent idea.

Utilizing a septic tank or cesspool instead of linking to the sewer lines can save a lot of money in these situations.

People frequently confuse septic tanks and cesspools, but they relate to two separate entities.

The difference between a cesspool and a septic tank is significant.

If you’re wondering whether you have a cesspool or a septic tank, keep reading.

This article will help you figure out whether a septic tank or cesspool is superior for your needs.

What Is A Cesspool?

A cesspool is among the earliest methods of human waste disposal. A cesspool is a shallow subterranean facility for disposal of wastewater, according to the definition.

A cesspool is typically made up of cement walls including an open bottom and perforated edges.

Through a drain pipe, wastewater passes the cesspool and percolates away.

It’s vital to note that cesspools collect but will not treat sanitary waste.

Cesspools come in a variety of shapes and sizes:

  • Large-Capacity Cesspool – A cesspool that serves more than 20 people each day.
  • Residential Cesspool – A cesspool that serves a number of residential units.
  • Cesspools In A Non-Residential Location – These cesspools are usually protected from public access by structural obstacles.
  • Mixed And Non-Residential Cesspools – These cesspools accept sewage from both a dwelling and a business.
  • Cesspools That Receive Non-Sanitary Waste – Such as that generated by business or sanitary procedures.

Some governments and states have outlawed large-capacity cesspools because untreated effluent from cesspools can pollute soil and groundwater.

This indicates that nitrate and coliform bacteria levels in drinking water will be greater.

As a result, cesspools are not really an environmentally friendly approach to wastewater issues, especially if they are huge.

Cesspool vs Septic Tank

It could be the most cost-effective way to dispose of wastewater, but it has a detrimental influence in the long run.

Groundwater contamination has an impact both on human health and the environment.

Tips To Maintain A Cesspool

  • Be Careful With Household Chemicals – Household chemicals, particularly ammonia or antibacterial cleaners, kill germs and prevent sewage from breaking down.
  • Don’t Flush Certain Materials – Diapers, paper and hygiene consumables are not meant to be flushed and can cause blockages. These products may linger in the septic tank until the next scheduled pumping because they aren’t made to break down as fast as toilet roll.
  • Clear Out Dirt And Sludge From Your Septic Tank Regularly – Grease has sticky properties and solidifies when it cools. Hairs and other material will attach to it, but grease can also cover pipe walls, eventually causing a blockage.
  • Don’t Put Insoluble Liquids In The Garbage Disposal – Do not dump bones or vegetables down the garbage disposal. Grease, fat, and other insoluble liquids may be released into the septic system as a result.
  • Only Use Liquid Detergents – Powdered laundry detergents include an insoluble clay that might clog the drain. As a result, wherever feasible, use only liquid detergents.

What Is A Septic Tank?

A septic tank is a wastewater treatment system that is located underground.

Wastewater is collected and treated in these tanks via toilets, kitchens drains, and household appliances.

Septic tanks are only one component of entire septic systems. A drainfield is also present, in which treated wastewater is absorbed by.

Organic material is processed and divided into floatable matter, relatively clean wastewater, and solids inside the septic tank. 

Through a succession of perforated pipes, the effluent or liquid is dumped into the drainfield. Slowly, the effluent is released into the earth.

Septic systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with some filtering sewage using sand or other material.

The goal is to get rid of impurities like germs and other pollutants. 

Some modern systems can cleanse wastewater before releasing it into the environment.

The bacteria causes wastewater to disintegrate inside septic systems. They leave pure water that can percolate into the ground without contaminating it. 

Gravel is used to surround pipes so that water may flow into the soil and oxygen can reach microbes.

Tips To Maintain Septic System

Cesspool vs Septic Tank

You must take a few measures and not abuse your septic system if you want it to perform properly:

  • Regularly Clean The Septic Tank – Clearing the scum and muck out of the tank on a regular basis.
  • Be Careful What You Flush – Only flush human excrement and toilet roll, as other objects take too long to degrade or can block the system.
  • Only Use Certain Household Chemicals – Antibacterial soap and strong chemicals should be avoided because they kill germs in the septic system.
  • Don’t Drive Or Park On The Drain Field – Driving or parking on the drain field should be avoided since compacted dirt deprives germs of oxygen.
  • Don’t Plant Trees Or Plants On The Drainfield – Roots can harm pipes if trees and plants are planted above the drainfield.

What Are The Differences Between A Cesspool And A Septic Tank?

A cesspool collects wastewater and discharges it onto the surrounding soil untreated.

A septic tank, on the other side, processes wastewater and protects groundwater from contamination.

A septic system requires a bit more effort because drainage pipes must be installed.

Treatment of wastewater, on the other hand, is worthwhile because it ensures a healthier and safer atmosphere around your property.

So, is a septic tank or a cesspool generally better?

In the debate between a cesspool and a septic tank, the latter is clearly the winner.

Why Should You Use A Septic Tank?

You should probably use a cesspool if you have an older residence and aren’t linked to the public sewer lines.Changing to a septic system and establishing a septic system has a number of benefits:

  • Beneficial To The Rnvironment – It keeps raw sewage from leaking into the soil and contaminating the environment, lowering the cost of municipal water bills.
  • Low Maintenance – It will require pumping once per 3 years or sometimes more, requiring less maintenance.
  • Good Lifespan – A well maintained and high-quality septic tank can endure anywhere from 20 to 40 years.
  • Fast Problem Resolution – rather than relying on water companies, you can contact a septic plumbing business.
  • Tax Benefits – Homeowners in some locations may be eligible for tax benefits should they decide to construct a septic system.

What Are The Disadvantages Of A Septic Tank?

There are, however, some disadvantages when using a septic tank which you should be mindful of:

  • Antibiotics – Antibiotics have the potential to kill germs in your septic tank. Antibiotics are excreted in human excrement and eventually hit your septic tank.
  • Tree Roots – Tree roots can infiltrate into your septic system. If a root clogs the drain, you may have backflow into your home, as well as the inability to flush anything other than human excrement and toilet roll.

Switching to a septic tank is a great decision all around, particularly when there are tax advantages.

In terms of caring for the environment, a septic system is unquestionably more valuable than a cesspool.

What About A Sewage Treatment Plant?

Cesspool vs Septic Tank

A sewage plant is a better septic system than a septic tank. A septic system differs from a treatment plant in that the former circulates air to promote the growth of bacteria.

Sewage is therefore degraded more effectively, and the output is cleaner and less harmful to the environment.

A second chamber with an air pump is installed in sewage treatment plants. 

This circulates air throughout the chamber, promoting aerobic bacteria growth.

Water toxins are broken down by more and healthier bacteria, and you do not contaminate the environment.

Many facilities also include an extra tank where the final solids are settled.

After the final phase, sewage can be discharged without worrying about soil contamination.

Tips For Saving Water

Think about installing water-saving devices – such as double toilet facilities, water butts, faucet flow controls, and low-flow shower heads. To avoid wasting water, have any leaks or drips repaired as soon as feasible.

  • Replace Appliances – You should upgrade your dishwasher or washing machine with products that are water efficient – these goods were created to assist you in saving money, energy, and water.
  • Limit Baths – take a shower instead as long as you keep it under five minutes, you’ll save water and money. Alternatively, purchase a bath with a lower capacity.

Final Thoughts

The debate between a cesspool and a septic tank is a hot topic among homeowners.

If you wish to take care of the environment, choosing between the two options is simple.

A septic tank releases cleaned water into the earth over time.

In contrast, a cesspool will infect the ground with germs and harmful compounds. 

If you want to cultivate your own fruits and veggies in your yard, you’ll need clean, nutritious soil.

Pools of water on your property can also be avoided by use of a dependable septic system.

author avatar
Anthony Barnes
Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age


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Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases. When it comes to dealing with clogged drains, many homeowners turn