DIY: Cesspool Maintenance

Elijah Reno

Regular septic system maintenance is required for a cesspool to last long and perform optimally. This maintenance can be costly but if you are willing to put forth some physical effort and get a little messy, then you can save hundreds of dollars yearly and protect the life of your cesspool.

Eliminate septic overflow with regular maintenance.

Regular maintenance of a cesspool primarily focuses on the septic tank. This is because the septic tank's job is to keep the solids from entering the cesspool. The purpose of a cesspool is to drain the liquid waste into the ground under and around the cesspool. Problems occur when solids reach the cesspool. Therefore, a well maintained septic tank increases the life of the cesspool.

  1. Pump out the septic tank to remove the solid sludge that has accumulated at the base of the tank. Perform this every one to two years.

  2. Clear the sludge out of the front and rear septic tank baffles. Removing this excess residue eliminates the development of clogs in the septic system pipes.

  3. Inspect the tank lid for gaps and seal all of the gaps between the lid and the tank. Maintaining a proper seal will prevent rain and ground water from filling the tank, which results in the need for increased pumping of the tank.

  4. Inspect the surface of the grounds over the septic tank to ensure that no sink holes are forming. A sinkhole is often an indication that further professional attention is needed.

  5. Avoid flushing chemicals down the drain and into the tank as this directly affects the quality and longevity of the septic tank.

  6. Redirect the flow of any rain gutters away from the septic tank, as this adds unnecessary labor to the tank and can cause it to pre-maturely fill with water.

  7. Remove the use of garbage disposables, as this puts additional solids into the tank and often results in clogging.


For best results, have a professional pump out the tank because he has the equipment to remove the sludge buildup. Call a professional to inspect the system every two to three years.


Use caution when opening the septic tank due to the buildup of fumes within the tank.