What Causes a Cesspool to Overflow?

As you walk through your yard, you notice that there is a pool of water near the cesspool accompanied by a foul odor; or, you see waste coming back up in your toilet or coming up through the drains of your sink. These two scenarios are surefire signs that your cesspool is overflowing. While you know you have to have the problem treated immediately, you can’t help but wonder what caused the problem.

Here’s a look at some of the most common causes of an overflowing cesspool.

Poor Maintenance

To ensure a cesspool operates properly, maintenance is vital. As waste is processed through the tank, materials that aren’t biodegradable settle directly on the bottom of the tank, and some solid biodegradable materials can also settle there, too. As waste settles on the bottom of the tank, it builds up. As waste material builds up, it will eventually push out of the cesspool, causing not only the materials that have built up to poor out, but the materials that are sitting on top to push out, too.

In order to avoid this buildup, it’s important to have a cesspool cleaned every three to five years. Failure to do so will eventually cause the cesspool to overflow.

Bacterial Issues

Natural bacterium is good for a new cesspool installation. Natural bacterium helps to break down the waste, allowing it to pass through the drain field more efficiently. If the levels of good bacteria are low, waste won’t break down as efficiently as it needs to, which can result in a build up, and eventually, an overflow.

To prevent an imbalance in good bacteria, avoid putting items in your toilets or down your drains that could harm them. Items like bleach, disinfectants and cleansers can kill the good bacteria, thus causing an overflow to occur.

Damaged Pipes

A septic system contains a series of pipes. As waste is broken down, it passes through these pipes. If the pipes are clogged or damaged, the waste cannot pass through them. As a result, an overflow can happen. Common causes of clogged or damaged pipes include tree roots growing through them, or items being flushed down the pipes or drains that do not breakdown, such as cotton swabs, feminine hygiene products and cigarette butts.

To prevent a clog, make sure that you are only flushing biodegradable items down the toilet or drains. If your emergency cesspool is located near tree roots, you may have to have the tree removed to prevent the roots from growing into the pipes and damaging them.

Poor Design

A septic system must be properly designed in order to ensure waste will flow through it. The pipes and other components need to be laid and connected properly so that waste can flow through them smoothly. If the septic system is poorly designed, a cesspool overflow is almost guaranteed.

If you notice any signs that indicate your cesspool is overflowing, contact us today! Our professionals will assess the situation and repair the problem that is causing the overflow to ensure your system will operate smoothly.

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