Just when you were about to go out for an espresso smoothie and cheesecake with your cocker spaniel, the mailman dropped by and gave you a post card. It was from your cousin. She just moved to another state and wanted you to visit her. At the end of the message she wrote, Help! My cesspool failed within weeks of moving into my new home! You didn’t know if you should laugh or feel sorry for her. But it was definitely not a joke. You decided to get your smoothie and cheesecake that afternoon and the next day, you would drive with your dog to see your cousin.
The next day, you arrived at your cousin’s new home. There were septic experts working on her cesspool already. It was a crisis for your cousin because she kept on blaming herself for buying a piece of crap property. You told her that she didn’t do such a thing. It just so happened that the cesspool failed. But at the back of your mind, there were so many possible reasons as to why the cesspool might have failed that early.
1. A thorough cesspool inspection may not have been performed at all. There were house inspectors who usually did inspections but that was all that they did—inspect. If a full-service septic expert stepped in to do the inspection on the cesspool, then the real assessment and even the necessary repairs could have been made before the purchase. If this was done and placed in black and white, your cousin would’ve remained happy as the day she was when she first stepped into the house.
2. The cesspool might have been very old and did not meet the code requirements. Cesspools are regularly upgraded to suit the needs and safety of the household. If the previous owner didn’t bother to do this, then the real estate agent should have made sure that the cesspool was kept up-to-date before your cousin bought it.
3. The water load of the cesspool might have been too much. This may be caused by over usage of water from laundry, bathing, and dishwashing altogether. When this happens, the anaerobic bacteria can’t decompose the solid materials efficiently anymore. The sludge even gets stirred up and gets to enter the soil absorption system. This leads to blockage and inevitable failure.
4. The previous owner must have neglected to keep the pump out and treatment schedules. This results to too much sludge in the cesspool, leading to clogs and failure. My cesspool failed within weeks of moving into my new home was the new owners response.
5. Antibacterial and very harsh solutions could have been used in cleaning and were dumped into the sinks, toilets, and drains. These kill off the bacterial population in the cesspool. As a result, the solid materials are not broken down anymore. The solid waste materials block the soil absorption system or cause an overflow and failure of the cesspool.
6. There could be hard wood roots, typically from trees or shrubs that were planted over the cesspool area. These invasive roots might have penetrated the cesspool and caused damage or blockage in the cesspool.
7. The gutter could have always directed rain water over the cesspool area. This might have caused an overflow and failure of the cesspool.
8. There may have been vehicles and construction placed over the cesspool. The weight may have caused damage to the cesspool.
It was a very expensive and difficult time for your cousin and she definitely needed moral support. The real estate agent just arrived and of course, you stepped in gave him a piece of your mind. Help! My cesspool failed within weeks of moving into my new home! It was definitely heartbreaking to see someone who has worked so hard at getting a house of her own and was made to believe that it was in perfect, inhabitable condition. The agent apologized and said that the repairs would be shouldered by the septic company. The agent admitted that the cesspool was not properly inspected by a full service septic contractor. Your cousin mellowed a bit and so did you. But you told the agent that you would not leave the property unless everything was settled. Your cocker spaniel agreed to this and fiercely barked at the agent, who was shaken up as he nodded. All was well. Lessons were definitely learned.