Monday, March 23, 2009

So You Like Your Cesspool?

I was talking to a fellow from one of the southern coastal states today and he was curious about cesspools since he has one. What he wanted to know was why regulators or "government men" didn't like them as his had worked for 40 years. I told him I didn't know as they are fundamentally the same as a conventional septic system. In fact, a cesspool is a vertical disposal system and a conventional septic system is a horizontal disposal system.

The soils around a cesspool clog with biomat just like the soil around leach lines. This causes the cesspool to hold liquid like a tank. This allows for separation of solids just like in a septic tank. There just isn't as many square feet of absorption area for a cesspool as a leach line for a septic tank. The primary treatment is the same (separation, settling and sequestration of biosolids) but the disposal capabilities are much reduced in a cesspool. This translates into more maintenance and the potential to abandon the existing cesspool and moving it more frequently than replacing a leach field. Often the homeowner merely digs another cesspool to act as a seepage pit or disposal pit and doesn't bother to mention this to the local regulator. For shame. For some reason regulators don't like this lack of control over your toilet discharges. What all this means is the conventional septic system with leach lines is merely a horizontal cesspool.

In forested environments, a cesspool is actually less likely to have problems with roots than a conventional system with leach lines. The large volume of the cesspool doesn't clog with roots as does the distribution lines and the rock infill for the trench. But the regulators don't care about logic or good design. I had a debate once with a regulator in a county in southern California. I tried to reason with him about what seemed an illogical position he was taking. He stood up, looked over the short work space dividers and called out, "Hey Dave. This guy is trying to use logic on me". Dave and he both got a real laugh out of the situation. I retorted with, "I should have realized that I wasn't dealing with people with intelligence and beg your pardon". Needless to say I'm happily not a popular guy in that county.

The Pirana System can restore cesspool soils to proper function just like leach line soils. As I stated, they both fail from exactly the same cause. "Logic" dictates that if you can solve one problem caused by biomat, you can solve another caused by biomat by the same means. In math its stated that if A=B and B=C then A=C. Logical. If you have problems with your cesspool, you really should look into the Pirana. Installations are slightly different for a cesspool than for a septic tank but installation is not a problem. The Pirana can make your cesspool as "dependable" as a conventional septic system (I use the word dependable to mean as long lasting).

The idea of "upgrading" a septic system when its functioning properly, and if its not can be made to function properly again, doesn't make good sense to me. Upgrades from cesspools to conventional septic systems doesn't do a damned thing for pollution or doing a better job at disallowing water contaminated with human waste from entering the environment. We should all stand up and start to resist these arbitrary decisions by bureaucrats that cost a fortune and don't really have sound logic or a good argument to support them.

Thanks for stopping by


  1. I think Cesspool or septic vancouver wa both are the same thing. If we've a problem with Cesspool it means problem with septic tank we should have it checked soon.

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