Why cesspool systems overflow?

This article will cover why cesspool systems overflow? Through the years, the wonders of the cesspool system cannot be denied. With it, diseases were controlled and sanitation was moved to a higher level. Many homes used cesspool systems and until now, old American homes still use them. There are new homeowners who just want to “grandfather” the cesspools of the property that they bought. They wait for the system to deteriorate and then in comes the new, modern septic system to replace it. Only a few could afford to do that these days. The recession has brought the spark of practicality back into the people. As a result, they make do with what they have and maximize it. They learn to take better care of their cesspool system. Part of this effort is to know why cesspool systems overflow.

This kind of information is valuable because it makes you aware of what goes on underneath your property. The cesspool is a living system that is functional because of the bacteria that digest the solid wastes in the wastewater that your household produces. It is a very indispensable system that separates your household from the detrimental substances in the effluent. Foul cesspool odors are also kept underneath the ground if the system functions optimally. Proper care and maintenance of the cesspool system is needed. Start with understanding the following reasons why cesspool systems overflow:


  1. Water overload

Water content of the cesspool system can definitely overload. This is primarily because water consumption may be greater than the set capacity of the cesspool and because of heavy rains. The cesspool is designed to accommodate the number of people in your home. It is also built to handle just a fair amount of grey water. If the household uses both washing machine and dishwasher at the same time, the grey water will flow in great amounts. This will not give the bacteria enough time to break down the solid waste inside the cesspool at the time and it will get all stirred up and clog the system. This will make the system overflow. When heavy rains occur, too much rain water and floodwater will enter the system, making all the untreated effluent overflow. There should be a dry well to help collect the grey water from the dishwasher and washing machine. The gutter should be moved to a direction away from  the system.

  1. Skipped pump outs

Make sure that the sludge in the cesspool is regularly pumped out. This would make sure that the solid waste will be eliminated to provide enough space for the wastewater to be treated. If there is n pump out performed on a regular basis, the sludge will take up the space in the tank and the incoming wastewater will overflow.

  1. Clogging by rootsShrubs and trees have complex root systems that go and search for water and nutrients. They do this by going deeper and deeper into the soil. During the process, they occupy the  cesspool and use up the space that’s meant for wastewater treatment. This will prevent the incoming effluent from moving forward to be treated properly. Instead, it will back up and overflow into the entire property and surrounding areas.
  2. Failure to use sinks, drains, and toilets the right wayMany households are guilty of treating their sinks, drains, and toilets like garbage cans. They just throw in practically anything from pen caps to dead fish. The non-biodegradable materials, grease, and paint will not be deteriorated by the resident bacteria. They will just stay there and occupy the space meant for effluent treatment. Strong chemicals should not be thrown in as well because they kill the bacteria and corrode the system.


Finding out why cesspool systems clog takes great responsibility. This would mean that you are up and ready to face the coming challenges in owning a cesspool and a home. Work with your septic expert so that you can maximize the lifespan of your cesspool system.