Water Changes With A Cesspool??

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cm11599ps, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. cm11599psWell Known MemberMember

    We have a cesspool buried in our front yard. That's where all the waste water from our house goes and bacteria in the cesspool actually break down the waste while the water should hopefully drain right through. We've been in the house for 2+ years now and have not had any problems so far, knock on wood.

    I used to be concerned about water changes in my 55 because it meant a lot of water being added to my cesspool on a weekly basis. I might drain 20 gallons of water for the change but who knows how much water is going down the drain since I'm using a python. This fear was pretty much put to rest last week when I dug a drywell. I ran a series of pipes in the ground from my gutters to a location about 15' from my house. At this spot I have a 5'+ deep hole that's about 4' wide. This drywell is lined with special concrete blocks and will have a concrete cover once I'm done. When I got to about 3.5-4' deep I started to dig up sand which is huge. The water just passes right through the sand. This is great because we have about a foot layer of clay before the sand that pretty much prevents the water from trickling down below and can cause flooding. I tunred my garden hose on full blast for 30 minutes and the well only filled about 1.5' high out of the 5'+ depth. Once the water was turned off the water level dropped about an inch a minute which is awesome so I'm no longer concerned about the water changes in my 55.

    Now that that's out of the way I turn to a saltwater question. Will a saltwater cahnge have any effect on my cesspool? Soaps and detergents can actually cause a film along the bottom of sides of your cesspool and may actually hinder water flow which is not good. Is it possible for salt to do the same thing? I can just picture the salt caking up on the sides and bottom of my cesspool causing it to backup.

    In the next few months I'll be converting my 55 to SW and those water changes will go in the cespool. A few years from now I'd like to get a 300-500 gallon SW setup and then my concerns really come out. If this idea ever launches then I will build a drywell strictly for my SW tank so it doesn't interfer with my regular house plumbing.

    Any ideas?
  2. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning Cm,

    I live in the boonies and we are on a septic system (cespool ) too. The only thing we have draining into the septic system is the toilet and the bathroom sink. The shower and the tub water is diverted into the Gray area and it doesn't pass through the septic system at all. Same for the kitchen sink.

    Maybe you have another sink that you can run your python from and avoid your septic system all together? I'm in a flood zone only 20 feet or so from the creek. Rainy days do not make for a happy septic system :)

    I understand your concerns about the salt build up. I wish I had a more professional answer for you. Hopefully someone with additional knowledge on these systems will respond before too long. Personally I would avoid draining your tank via your septic system all together. I have a feeling though that your system may be larger than ours and newer.

  3. cm11599psWell Known MemberMember

    Anyone have any ideas?
  4. harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    From what I understand, saltwater can kill the bacteria in your septic tank that help to break down waste. There was a thread about this on my local reef club site a while back... the general consensus was that you should NEVER dispose of saltwater into a septic tank.
  5. cm11599psWell Known MemberMember

    I actually found a lot of info about this topic and it all had one thing in common, don't put saltwater in the cesspool. The information was about saltwater from fish tanks as well as salt water that comes from water softeners.

    1) Saltwater will kill off the bacteria in your cesspools which break down the organic gases.

    2) Saltwater will block the exit areas where liquids drain into the soil. As a result the liquid won't drain and will backup eventually.

    3) Saltwater can corrode the concrete, especially if there are any metal reinforcing braces in tank.