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Tel: 631.392.4100 (631) 392-4100 24-Hour Emergency Service Servicing Nassau & Suffolk

Tel: 631-392-4100 631-392-4100 24-Hour Emergency Service Servicing Nassau & Suffolk

Cesspool & Septic Systems Explained

What is a Septic System?
A cesspool / is a home's waste disposal method, when the home is not connected to a municipal sewage system. The waste from sinks, dishwashers, clothes washers and toilets is sent to the cesspool or septic system. Depending on the age of your home, septic systems on Long Island usually consist of a primary receiver (septic tank) and a drainage area (cesspool or drainage field). The system consists of a septic tank for large sediment and channels lined with stone known as leach pools for distributing liquid waste. According to an environmental group, the Woodstock Conservation Commission, homeowners should have their septic system or cesspool cleaned every two years.

How Do Cesspools and Septic Systems Work?
Wastewater leaves your home though a pipeline called the mainline, then enters the septic tank or primary receive. The septic tank holds the waste for primary treatment where solids and liquids are separated by gravity. The heavy digested solids form a layer called "sludge" that accumulates at the bottom of the tank. The lighter materials, form a "scum" layer that floats to the top of the tank. Natural bacteria generated by the solid waste partially decomposes the waste in the cesspool and septic tank and reduces the amount of solid material by as much as 60 percent. The septic tank, only one part of your, is designed to remove solids from your wastewater as shown, prior to the wastewater entering the cesspool (drainage area). Solids and sludge should be pumped from the tank every 2 years by a licensed septic contractor. This service frequency will prevent solid material overloading the septic tank and more importantly from entering and clogging the cesspool. Homeowners who routinely maintain the cesspool / septic tank will avoid costly repairs to the cesspool drainage area commonly referred to as the overflow.

Why do Septic Systems Fail?
It is important to understand how your system works in order to properly diagnose problems. Generally, systems fail due to lack of maintenance. When a septic tank or cesspool is not pumped regularly, it will become overloaded with solid waste. This solid waste can prevent proper flow through the tank and allow solid waste to enter the cesspool. Solid waste entering the cesspool or septic tank will clog the surrounding soil, preventing proper drainage. This will cause the system to overfill leading to the possibility of waste backing up into the household.