Cesspools and Cesspits Advice

Cesspools or cesspits is simply a holding tank for untreated sewage.  Unlike septic tanks there is very little treatment taking place and they do not drain to a soakaway.  Consequently they need emptying very frequently, perhaps every six weeks or so.

A cessoit would be installed, perhaps as a temporary solution, where there is no mains drainage or where discharging into a soakaway is not possible due to unsuitable ground conditions.  Examples would also include campsites to handle chemical toilet waste, which would negate the treatment processes that take place in a septic tank or sewage treatment plant.

Cesspools are available in a range of sizes to suit most needs.

Cesspit and Cesspool Problems

A cesspit can give off powerful odours, as it has to be vented to allow the excess sewage gases to leave the tank. Ity should have an alarm fitted to warn that the tank needs emptying.  You should NEVER lift the lid to check the level in the cesspit, as the toxic gases can quickly overcome you.

The cesspit can overflow or may leak.  Allowing a cesspit to overflow is an offence under the 1936 Public Health Act.  If it is allowed to pollute a water course, the Environment Agency may take legal action under the Water Resources Act 1991. This can carry a fine of up to £20,000 and 3 months imprisonment.

If the cesspit leaks you should call out a qualified engineer to remove the waste and clear up the sewage. The cause of the leak should, of course be found and remedied.

Great care should be taken to avoid walking or driving over the top of cesspits.  They can cover a very large area under the ground, making them weak as they deteriorate and they can collapse.

Emptying cesspits and cesspools

Cesspits can only be emptied by a licensed waste disposal contractor.  Never use anyone, e.g. a farmer, who isn't licensed. There are fines for illegal emptying of a cesspool.

Finally, a cesspit should be installed only when no other system such as a septic tank or sewage treatment plant is possible.

Contact Us

Bates Environmental Ltd

58-64 Station Street
PE11 4UJ

Tel: 0800 043-37-11
Fax: 01775 822-983

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