Taking a shower, flushing a toilet, running a load of laundry; a lot of homeowners take these everyday tasks for granted. However, when they find that their drains are backing up, their toilets are running slow, or they are standing in a pool of water while they are taking a shower, the harsh reality of a cesspool overflow is evident.
A cesspool is one of the most important elements of your home. All of the wastewater that’s flushed down your drains and toilets are collected in this underground container. Like everything else in your home, a cesspool needs to be maintained in order to ensure that it is working properly. However, even with regular maintenance, they can become damaged and issues can occur. The highest quality cesspools that have been installed by the most reputable cesspool installer are even prone to overflowing.
As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. Knowing how to care for your cesspool will help you avoid inconvenient and costly repairs.
Maintenance Must be a Top Priority
Lack of maintenance is one of the main causes of cesspool trouble. Tanks have a set capacity, and when wastewater exceeds that capacity, an overflow is unavoidable. Water isn’t the only thing that pours into a cesspool; solid waste also enters it. Heavier waste falls to the bottom and lighter waste floats to the top. In between both layers is wastewater. Over time, the waste at the top and bottom of the tank solidify and eventually join together. When this happens, the cesspool’s drain field becomes clogged and an overflow will occur. Add to all of this the fact that pipes can become clogged or damaged, as can the tank itself.
All of these factors make routine cesspool maintenance crucial. During maintenance, the tank is cleaned and pumped and all elements are inspected to ensure they are working properly. If you fail to have your cesspool maintained, a backup can most certainly be guaranteed.
Leaking faucets and running toilets will increase the chances of an overflow. Leaks can inundate the cesspool, causing it to exceed the capacity of the tank. If you have noticed any leaks or running toilets, make sure you have them repaired as soon as possible. The longer the water runs, the greater the likelihood of an overflow. Plus, repairing leaks will conserve water and save you money in the long run.
Consider Installing Low-Flow Fixtures
If it’s possible, you should seriously consider installing low-flow fixtures, such as showerheads, faucets, and toilets. There are even low-flow appliances available, including dishwashers and washing machines. Older toilets can use as much as 7 gallons per flush. If you have a large household or if the toilet is flushed frequently in a short period of time, the cesspool can easily become overwhelmed and overflow. Low-flow fixtures reduce the amount of water that you are consuming and putting into your cesspool, which will minimize the risk of a backup.
Keep Vehicles at Bay
Vehicles should never be allowed to park on top of or drive over a cesspool or its drain field. Their weight puts immense pressure on the system, which could cause cracks in pipes or the tank itself. The weight of a vehicle could also make a cesspool collapse. Should any of these issues occur, you will be looking at more than just an overflow; you could end up needing a complete cesspool installation.
Never Build On Top of the Cesspool
Building structures on top of a cesspool is a bad idea. The weight of the structure can damage the tank and the pipes and increase the risk of an overflow. Moreover, the cesspool will be inaccessible, which will make emergency services and maintenance extremely difficult.
To prevent issues, keep the cesspool and the drain field free and clear. Don’t build patios, walkways, driveways, sheds, garages, or anything else on top of them.
Have Trees Removed
Trees may be wonderful for a landscape, but they are horrible for a cesspool. As their roots grow, they can clog the pipes or grow directly into the tank, creating cracks and fractures. Tree roots not only increase the chances of a backup, but they can also damage the entire system. While a quality cesspool installer will certainly be able to handle the task of replacing a damaged system, the cost is high and the process is lengthy.
To prevent any problems, have any trees that are within close proximity to the cesspool removed.
Watch What You Flush
Too many homeowners flush random objects down their toilets and drains, never thinking about the repercussions. Unfortunately, doing this can almost guarantee an overflow.
Cesspools are only designed to break down biodegradable materials. If you are flushing items that the tank can’t break down, you will eventually have a big problem on your hands. Not only can certain items clog the pipes, but they can throw off the balance of the bacteria that break down organic waste.
Some of the things that you should avoid flushing down your toilets and drains include:
- Feminine hygiene products
- Disposable diapers
- Wipes of any nature
- Cigarette butts
- Motor oil
- Small animals (dead fish, for example)
- Harsh chemicals
- Powdered detergents
This isn’t a complete list of materials that shouldn’t be put into a cesspool, but it certainly gives you an idea of what type of items could be damaging.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can reduce the risk of cesspool overflow. If you live in East Norwich and you are in need of routine maintenance or you have an emergency, contact Long Island Cesspool at (631) 529-2149. We are a full-service residential and commercial cesspool company with more than 10 years of experience. We offer a variety of services and we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whether you are located near the Pine Hollow Country Club or the Tiffany Creek Preserve, our technicians will be at your location in no time and prepared to handle any and all of your cesspool troubles.