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The common question most asked of a cesspool pumping service on Long Island, what is the difference between a cesspool and septic tank?This is similar to what is a difference between a modern HVAC system and the traditional boiler and air conditioning found in older homes.
A cesspool is a watertight tank that holds all effluent (liquid and solid) and has no outlet. It must be emptied frequently. A septic tank on the hand uses bacteria to breakdown effluent and discharges it to the surrounding area. This is a question that comes to mind when considering issues such as septic tank maintenance cost.
The advent of the water closet brought convenience for households when relieving themselves. However, this came with a challenge in that the effluent had to be deposited somewhere. In early days of settlements like long island, it was simply directed to the gutter. Public authorities quickly made the connection between this crude method and disease outbreaks.
Cesspools were invented to hold waste effluent. Early versions of cesspools were simple holes in the ground that held household waste until they filled up. Another hole would then be dug and so on. This was more hygienic but unsustainable for homes with small yards.
The septic tank was invented as a better way of handling waste in homes that had larger space. The septic tank worked by breaking down some of the waste while releasing the waste water in the leach field. While this method meant the septic tank needed to be emptied less frequently, it was dangerous for the water table as waste water was untreated before going into drainage. Homes also expanded fast without expansion of septic tanks necessitating replacement.
The modern system of handling waste involves having a septic tank which breaks down waste and filters waste water before releasing it to the drain field, while keeping the sludge for eventual septic tank pumping.
Types of cesspool systems
The cesspool has become more advanced, able to handle waste more efficiently and hygienically. Cesspools can be classified by the material they use or their method of handling waste. Cesspool maintenance cost will depend on the choice of what to use.
Types of material used include;
The methods of handling waste include;
- Drain fields
The main drawback of cesspool systems is the need for constant maintenance and pumping, driving up costs, as the waste fills up especially in a big household. It is recommended to install a cesspool only if there is no possibility of having a septic system or a treatment plant.
Septic tanks have become more preferred in homes in rural areas as it allows for better use of waste water and the biodegradable waste. Septic pumping costs are lower as they need evacuation of solid waste only once or twice per year.
Septic system designs have become advanced as to provide biogas fuel, fertilizer and recycled water. This is more economical in cost and greener for the environment. Only the non-biodegradable waste is eligible for cesspool pumping with the rest of the waste going to one use or the other. This makes a septic tank more sustainable for homes with heavy waste loads.