Residents of urban areas can benefit from public sewer systems, while rural populations sometimes have to depend on cesspools or septic tanks as a means to create their own private system. However, some homeowners don’t know the difference between the two options. Though they may tackle similar jobs, their inner mechanisms and associated maintenance needs and sewer solutions are unique.
Sewer Solutions: 4 Cesspool & Septic Tank FAQs
What Is a Cesspool?
Also known as leaching pools and dry wells, cesspools are pits made of concrete, brick, or cemented walls placed within the ground. Wastewater from home flows into the hole and drains into the soil through perforated walls. These systems are primarily for water, not solids, and the water is not treated before it seeps into the ground.
What Is a Septic Tank?
Septic tanks are modern versions of a cesspool. They are watertight boxes of precast concrete, concrete blocks, or reinforced fiberglass that acts as an on-site treatment and disposal system. The container is buried in the ground and contains two parts: the tank and absorption area (the land where treated wastewater drains). The system is aerobic, as bacteria quickly breaks down the wastewater before it passes into the ground.
Is a Cesspool Better than a Septic Tank?
Not necessarily. Cesspools are common in Hawaii, but they are considered outdated in comparison to septic tanks. However, they are cheap and easy to install. If a home has both systems, a cesspool can act as an overflow for septic tanks.
How Do You Maintain the Systems?
Tank inspection should occur yearly, while septic tank pumping should be scheduled at least once every three to five years, though this should increase in frequency for larger families. Also, cesspools are for liquids, so they tend to clog more often if solids get inside. They require multiple cleanings throughout the year. If the system fails, you may have to have an excavation done and purchase a newly constructed system.
As the plumbing experts of Hilo, HI, Sewer Solutions can provide you with additional information on cesspools and septic tanks. No matter what type of system your home has, they can handle all of your plumbing needs. Call today at (808) 430-2323 to speak to a friendly representative or visit their website to learn more about their services.