Septic Tanks and Cesspools
The dangers associated with abandoned septic tanks and cesspools may not be very prominent when it comes to news coverage, but informing ourselves of the risks of these decade old systems is extremely important. When these sewage systems are left in a yard for years, they start to deteriorate and can become a serious hazard by weakening the groundcover above. Due to the hidden dangers lurking below ground, it is highly recommended to decommission these out of service cisterns.
As a homeowner decommissioning an outdated cesspool may be required due to; the sale of your home, connecting to city sewer, adding an addition to your property, or a slight depression or sinkhole that starts to form in your yard.
As a potential buyer looking for an inactive septic tank during the inspection period is equally important. This can be accomplished during the; tank search, home inspection, calling the city or searching through city records.
Unfortunately, people have fallen in and died due to do these antiquated systems. Over the years, they can fill with rain water and soil, causing the eventual collapse and deadly void in a yard. With this information, EcoTech wants to provide current and potential homeowners with the tools to help shield themselves against these hidden threats.
Septic Tanks and Cesspools – Cesspool found and marked out for decommissioning
Septic Tanks and Cesspools – Septic tank baffle that has been exposed during the decommissioning process.
Many homes west of the Willamette River, prior to being hooked into a city sewer system, commonly had septic tanks and drainfields that processed the homes liquid waste and sewage. However, after the homes were connected to the city’s system, the septic tanks and drainfields were left abandoned within the yard.
These inactive tanks and fields not only degrade the ground cover from above, which can cause sinkholes, resulting in injuries or death. There is also the risk of odor and gas emissions from the breakdown of household waste which can pose a threat as well. Finally, if the tank has not been filled in properly, the lid or top is vulnerable to collapse or cave in.
Yet, through the process of decommissioning, an out of service septic tank can become a danger no more. By filling in the old system with sand and gravel and taking it permanently out of service, the safety hazard is then eliminated.
Our septic tank common questions page can address and answer questions concerning these deserted systems.
Septic Tanks – Septic tank exposed for decommissioning, this is full of water and solids and will be pumped prior to being filled.
Septic Tanks – Septic tank has now been pumped of all its water and solids and is ready to be filled in for decommissioning.
Since the majority of homes within the Portland Metro area are connected to a city sewer system, many residents are unaware these homes, at one time, may have been connected to a cesspool to store the homes liquid waste and sewage. Consequently, when the homes were hooked into the city’s system, the cesspools were left abandoned in place in the yards.
When cesspools are left forgotten, they age, and not in a good way. Many are built out of loose-fitting bricks or concrete rings, which after many years underground, tend to degrade. This deterioration leads to the surrounding ground cover to weaken, causing a serious threat to the homeowners.
However, once an old sewage system has been identified on the property, it can then be decommissioned. When the tank has been taken permanently out of service, by filling with sand and gravel, the threat from below is then diminished.
Our cesspool common questions page can address and answer questions concerning these long neglected and outdated systems.
Cesspools – Top of cesspool exposed during an excavation and decommissioning.