Since the dawn of time, people have walked the earth. During this journey, people started to create communities to settle. Within each community we as people set up different systems to make life easier. One of the systems that we developed was the system of waste disposal. Waste disposal systems have evolved over time. One of the oldest forms of waste disposal systems is the cesspool. What is a cesspool system? What does it do and how does it function?
Long ago, cesspools were either handmade (made of brick or stone) or pre-cast (made of concrete). But during the ancient times, cesspools were just deep holes in the ground that people used. In medieval times, people used chamber pots. The contents of these chamber pots were just thrown from the resident’s windows. People just shouted to warn people that they would be throwing their wastes on the streets. This posed as a huge sanitation problem. Diseases became fatal and the living areas smelled terrible. A system was really needed to confine the household wastes and keep the people away from the filth. So developers created what is commonly known as a septic waste system.
The cesspool system has long been compared to the septic system. The only difference is that the cesspool doesn’t have the outflow pipes that distribute the treated effluent back into the surrounding environment. The cesspool has perforations that allow the clear liquid effluent to seep into the soil absorption system. This system is known to overflow much faster because of the slower dispersion of the effluent into the surrounding soil.
Of course, there has to be certain measures to ensure the proper maintenance of the cesspool system. Part of this is to know the age of the cesspool system. Knowing how old the cesspool is would really help you and your septic expert know what kind of maintenance should be applied to it and how long it would probably last. Here are some ways to know how to estimate the cesspool’s age:
1. Make sure that the home or the building is well inspected, especially the pipelines.
2. The service records should also be assessed so that you may have an idea what was performed on the cesspool system before you bought the property.
3. There should also be an inspection of the outer residential area. This would let you know of any evidence of any modifications or additions made on the cesspool.
4. Excavating the cesspool could also be performed but this depends on the characteristics of the soil, construction, size of the cesspool, or the number of people who live in it. With excavation, you would be able to know what materials were used to build the cesspool. If you see concrete blocks made with Sears kit, it could have been made in the 1930s. If the material is Orangeburg clay, it could have been made in the 1920s.
During cesspool system inspection, there are going to be maneuvers like poking or digging into the system. This could risk a collapse during inspection. You should hire a septic expert in doing this for you because if you try to do this alone (to save money), you could fall into your very own cesspool and suffer the fatal consequence. You should remember the following warnings when you go about attending to your cesspool system:
1. Never walk over the cesspool edges because the cesspool may collapse. Make sure that your pets or kids are kept away from this area. 2. There should also be a secure cover. The cesspool should not be covered by cardboards or thin plywood because if accidentally stepped on, that person could easily fall into the cesspool.
3. There should be added precautions during cesspool pump outs because a collapse may ensue.
4. Aerating the sludge could also lead to a collapse so this should be done with extreme care.
What is a cesspool system? The cesspool system is an indispensable part of so many households to this very day. Just be in constant contact with the septic expert in your area to maintain it the best way possible.