Cess pit or septic tank?

Hi, we are after a bit of advice. After our cess pit collapsed, which had been put in by a builder to the side of our property, we have decided to start again.

We keep getting conflicting advice though. Some people say to install a cess pit, whilst others suggest a septic tank. Our house will be a 3 bed 2 bath once finished.

We have a completely new site now, well away from the house, but would welcome any suggestions as to which choice to make.

Many thanks in advance.

Karen and Kevin.

I can't imagine why anyone would recommend a cesspit over a septic tank in this day and age - unless they own a company which gets paid for coming on regular visits to empty the darned thing.  More likely, I suspect, is that they have no idea of the difference between them.

Firstly - are you sure that there is no mains sewage available wherever your house is?  Obviously that would be the optimum approach if it is already in situ.

If you have to rely on your own devices, then a septic tank is certainly the way to go.  Depending on how large it is - and how efficiently it's designed and implemented - you may not need it emptying for several years.  Be wary of the dodgy (and illegal) bodge-job of making holes in the bottom so that unprocessed liquids can drain away (and potentially pollute local aquifers that your neighbours may rely on for irrigation etc.)  When properly installed, the water leaving it is fairly pure and harmless.  Of course, a proper job will cost more money and cutting corners will always be tempting, especially when you'll be assured that "everyone else is doing it" - at the very least, being a foreigner you'll be first in line when something goes wrong and guilt has to be allocated.

As an indication, our house (with 3 bathrooms) shares a septic tank with a neighbour with a similar-sized house; with five permanent residents between us and numerous visitors staying up to a month at a time our septic tank hasn't needed emptying in the last 4 years.

JimJ thanks so much for your helpful advice. Our house is only in a small village and is off the beaten track so no mains sewerage is available.

Looks as if the septic tank is the way to go. We've been quoted between 3000 to 4000 lev for full installation so definately not cheap! 

Thanks again.

Be sure to get a written breakdown of exactly what is to be done and make sure you are on-site to ensure that that is what is actually happening.  It would be a good idea to get receipts for all payments as well, just in case you ever need to prove that the job was done properly, at least as far as you knew. I prefer to pay in stages and by bank transfers - against a written bill of what that payment covers.

Great advice. Thank you.

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