01st November 2020
A Cesspool is simply a single-chamber storage tank with no outlet.
The tank is usually very large (as it has to contain all waste water & sewage) and often made from concrete, brick or GRP. The only way to dispose of the waste is by hiring a licensed sewage contractor to remove the sewage for off-site disposal.
The use of Cesspools is no longer an option in most instances and are banned in Scotland.
We're not going to dress it up: cesspools are just storage tanks, often underground, that hold untreated sewage. Nothing more, nothing less.
As there's no treatment process in the tank they're generally used as a last resort. For example, when it's not possible to pump to a mains sewer, or the ground conditions aren't suitable for the effluent to soak away, or where there's no watercourse for treated waste to be discharged to.
They do have their merits though. They can be good option on temporary sites or those that don't produce much waste. And because they're completely sealed, they're also good for environmentally sensitive sites, where even treated effluent could be a pollution problem.
Waste needs to be tankered away regularly, which is where we come in. Your job is simply to check the sewage levels and give us a call when the tank's almost full. We recommend you check your tank at least once a fortnight, or take advantage of technology and get a high-level alarm fitted, meaning the tank will tell you when it needs attention.
Obviously, if a full tank isn't emptied it will overflow. You'll notice unpleasant smells, drains backing up and pools of waste appearing around manhole covers. This kind of pollution can lead to prosecution and hefty fines - best avoided all round.