Zillow Advice: Home Improvement - Cesspool vs Septic http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ Zillow Advice | Zillow Real Estate In response to your question ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ In response to your question "What is a Cesspool? &nbsp;In the early 30's we used a cesspool to store the waste water from our house, &nbsp;It was merely a big, wide hole in the ground, deep enough to hold several gallons of waste. My husband built a cover of lumber, leaving a man-hole in the center &nbsp;Solids settled to the bottom of the cesspool, but we often used a special pump to remove some of the water --- until it filled up again! &nbsp;Today, we use a Septic Tank made of cement, with a draining system, several rows of tile buried slightly under ground. &nbsp;Chemicals destroy the solids in a Septic tank, but occasionally, we have to have i&nbsp;cleaned".<br/>&nbsp; Sat, 02 Aug 2014 02:31:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ 2014-08-02T02:31:00Z Pasadenan, that is brillant! ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ Pasadenan, that is brillant! What about a composting toilet? Here on the West coast they are becoming somewhat trendy in certain areas. I think they range in cost, but I did see one for about $1500. The biggest problem that I have heard about with them is getting the proper permits and finding an inspector that is familiar enough with the installation to sign off your plumbing permit. You also have to use slightly different toilet paper that breaks down better, but they supposedly have no smell is installed properly. They are also very eco friendly. You would still need a septic or cesspool system for your sink/shower/grey water, but I would think that would significantly reduce issues for overflow or soil contamination. It might be worth calling your local County/City/Township code official to find out whether they allow them in your area. It also might be much cheaper than replacing the old cesspool and even more functional. Mon, 25 Aug 2008 17:19:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ 2008-08-25T17:19:00Z By the way, most realtors ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ <p>By the way, most <a href="http://www.zillow.com/directory/real-estate-agents/">realtors</a> use terms very loosely, so I wouldn't put too much weight on what someone else said it was... I would probably either check it myself or have it be one of the items for a home inspector to check out when reviewing the property.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> Sun, 24 Aug 2008 22:33:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ 2008-08-24T22:33:00Z I've heard a lot about composting ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ <p>I've heard a lot about composting toilets used in certain parts of Mexico.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>It is a much more environmentally friendly alternative, but you probably couldn't get a permit for one here.&nbsp; I don't think you can get a permit for a cesspool either, so it looks as if upgrading may be required, depending on condition and when grandfathered in.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Most urban areas in the United States now have sewer systems where sewage is treated in bulk by a county, other government agency, or utility.&nbsp; Though local treatment and reuse of sewage may be more ecologically sound, there is a high risk of contamination of the ground water, thus is usually not allowed in densly populated areas.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> Sun, 24 Aug 2008 22:30:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ 2008-08-24T22:30:00Z IMO, septic systems are also ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ <p>IMO, septic systems are also a huge potential source of expensive problems, don't last forever, &amp; when they need to be replaced, cost $10's of&nbsp; thousands. So you should do as much research on septic systems as possible before buying a house with one.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I'm no expert, but a cesspoolsounds way more awful. Unless: You can negotiate the price of the house down so&nbsp; you can afford to have a new septic system put in.&nbsp; Buying a house with a 20-30 y.o. septic system: well, I'd also want to budget for the worst case......</p> Fri, 22 Aug 2008 23:00:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ 2008-08-22T23:00:00Z Thanks guys, from the sound ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ <p>Thanks guys, from the sound of it, (from posts and links)&nbsp; a cesspool is not a good idea.&nbsp; Its a shame bc there is a new house(old house rebuilt from foundation up) that is for sale at a decent price, but that is the only draw back.&nbsp; Time to keep on looking.</p> Fri, 22 Aug 2008 17:39:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ 2008-08-22T17:39:00Z Mike,&nbsp;Try this link:&nbsp;http://www.plumbing-basics.com/cesspool-septic-tanks.htm.&nbsp;Also, ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ <p>Mike,</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Try this link:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.plumbing-basics.com/cesspool-septic-tanks.htm" rel="nofollow">http://www.plumbing-basics.com/cesspool-septic-tanks.htm</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Also, if you just google on "cesspool septic", there are a ton of links.</p> Fri, 22 Aug 2008 14:52:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ 2008-08-22T14:52:00Z while I can tell you all ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ <p>while I can tell you all about a spetic system , how they work , and how they are built I will admit I couldnt tell you a single thing about a cesspool&nbsp;&nbsp; other than to wager a guess similar to sunnviews.</p> Fri, 22 Aug 2008 01:13:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ 2008-08-22T01:13:00Z Someone else may be able ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ Someone else may be able to provide more info, but I thought that a cesspool was more of an open dry filtering system without a holding tank. "a cesspool is a dry well for the disposal of sewage. Liquids leach out promptly if soil conditions allow. Some solids decay and are leached out after some time. Some solids accumulate, eventually blocking the escape of liquids, causing the familiar cesspool failure or overflow."<br/><br/>A septic system is a where "sewerwater enters the first chamber of the tank, allowing solids to settle and scum to float. The settled solids are anaerobically digested reducing the volume of solids. The liquid component flows through the dividing wall into the second chamber where further settlement takes place with the excess liquid then draining in a relatively clear condition from the outlet into the leach field, also referred to as a drain field, or seepage field."<br/><br/>I believe that the main difference is that septic systems have more than one stage to them unlike the older cesspit or cesspool. They hold the waste longer to give the solids a chance to break down more so that there is less risk of contamination/overflow.<br/><br/>Wiki describes the two types in detail, but hopefully someone will be able to answer from experience. Thu, 21 Aug 2008 21:34:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Cesspool-vs-Septic/40829/ 2008-08-21T21:34:00Z