How to Choose the Right Type of Cesspool or Septic System for Your Property

Understanding Cesspools and Septic Systems

Cesspools and septic systems are wastewater treatment options that are commonly used for properties not connected to public sewers. Both systems function by disposing of the waste into the soil. The difference lies in their mechanisms.

A cesspool is a watertight container that collects wastewater from a property. In a cesspool, the wastewater is stored and undergoes anaerobic digestion, a process where bacteria breaks down organic matter. The purified water then drains into the surrounding soil through small perforations. In contrast, a septic system consists of a tank and a drainage field. The wastewater flows into the tank and separates into three layers, with solids settling at the bottom forming sludge, effluent in the middle, and scum at the top. The effluent then flows in the drainage field and is purified by the soil.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Between Cesspool and Septic Systems

Property Size and Soil Type

Property size and soil type are crucial factors in determining which system to choose. A cesspool needs less space for installation and can be an option for smaller properties. Additionally, if the property has high groundwater, a cesspool may be more appropriate. On the other hand, septic systems require much more space, and the soil structure and texture is critical as it determines the absorption rate of the effluent. Properties with fine-textured soil like clay, for example, may need to install alternative systems such as Sand filters.

Waste Production and Usage

The number of persons using the property and their habits of usage will determine the size of the tank and the frequency of pumping. Cesspools require frequent pumping, usually every 2 to 3 years, and can pose a health hazard in case of overflow. Septic systems can accommodate a larger volume of waste, and pumping is done every 3 to 5 years. However, septic systems have more components, and the maintenance cost might be higher.

Local Regulations and Permits

Local regulations and the necessary permits can vary depending on the area you live in. Before installing a new system, it’s essential to research local regulations and get the necessary permits. Some areas limit the use of cesspools due to groundwater pollution concerns.

Cost and Accessibility

The cost of installation, maintenance, and eventual replacement should be factored in when choosing a system. Cesspools usually cost less initially, but the maintenance costs can be significant if frequent pumping is necessary. In contrast, septic systems may have higher installation costs, but they typically have lower maintenance expenses.

Accessibility for service and repairs should also be considered before choosing a system. Cesspools can be easier to access since they only require digging within the area, while septic systems may require more significant excavation work. We’re always working to provide a complete educational experience. That’s why we recommend this external resource with additional information about the subject. best cesspool company on Long Island, immerse yourself further in the subject!


Choosing the right type of wastewater treatment system for your property is crucial and requires a careful analysis of multiple factors. Understanding the differences between cesspools and septic systems and evaluating factors such as property size and soil type, waste production and usage, local regulations and permits, cost, and accessibility can help you determine which system works best for you. Proper installation and maintenance of the system will also ensure its longevity and optimal performance.

How to Choose the Right Type of Cesspool or Septic System for Your Property 1

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