Care of the cesspool at the summer cottage. The main problems of such structures, the rules and technologies for their repair, recommendations for insulation and the elimination of freezing holes in the winter. Cesspool care is a set of measures aimed at maintaining an autonomous sewage system in working order. We will tell you how to clean up and fix the most common building problems in this article.
The main problems of cesspools
If the filter cesspool began to fill up with drains faster than usual, this indicates a decrease in its efficiency. The most common cause of this problem is sedimentation of the bottom or fatty deposits on the walls of the structure. If there are a lot of them, insoluble fat fills the pores of the soil and counteracts the filtration of the liquid fraction of the effluent into the soil. A thick sludge crust at the bottom of the tank has a similar effect.
Another problem is bad smell. It should not be there if the cesspool is equipped technologically correctly: there is a ventilation outlet, and on top there is a sealed cover.
The third problem is mechanical damage to the walls of the cesspool. This happens when the material for the construction of such a structure was chosen incorrectly, for example, silicate or aerated concrete blocks. It should not be forgotten that the sewage in the cesspool is a chemically aggressive medium. Therefore, a more suitable material for such a structure is concrete or clay brick.
If the silting of the pit occurs as a result of the penetration of oils and grease into the drains, it is recommended to equip the kitchen sink with a grease filter. Although the ideal option would be to install a septic tank between the drainage pit and the sewer riser of the house. Wastewater entering the septic tank containing fats and soap wastes can be purified up to 95%, and then drained into the soil, no longer posing a threat to the natural environment.
General rules for the repair of cesspools
The special conditions in which the cesspool works, sooner or later lead to the need for its repair. If the structure has mechanical defects, the first thing to do is:
- Call a sewer truck and pump out its contents from the pit;
- Carefully inspect the walls and bottom of the structure for damage;
- Calculate the costs required for renovation work;
- Select the contractors for the restoration of the structure, depending on the degree of its damage.
In the process of repairing a cesspool, it is necessary to check the integrity of the entire sewage system, including pipes and filters, choose reliable materials for work, excluding cinder blocks, silicate bricks and other porous or chemically unstable products.
Sump repair technologies
Now we will consider the most common damage to cesspools and methods for eliminating their defects.
Repair of a concrete pit
If the walls of the sink are made of old barrels, stone blocks, plastic or car tires, in each of these cases the material can be replaced with concrete rings. This procedure is called a major overhaul.
To implement it, you will need a truck crane. Elements of a damaged or decayed structure must be dismantled, the walls of the earthen pit must be leveled, and then concrete rings and a cover with a hatch must be installed. The supply pipe must be installed during the installation of the rings. The bottom of the pit can be made filtering or airtight.
If a break is found in the concrete ring, it can be repaired. To do this, it is necessary to free the pit from the outside from the ground to the bottom of the problem area. After that, the damaged area should be cleaned of sludge and fat deposits using a hammer, chisel, steel bristle brush and solvent. It is important that after cleaning the damaged concrete has good adhesion to the cement mortar. If this was achieved, the gap can be closed with brickwork, and then plaster it.
In the case when the old pit is so silted that its cleaning is not economically feasible, you can install a second receiver of concrete rings next to it, and then connect both tanks with an overflow pipe. When calculating the distance between structures, you need to take into account the recommendations of SNiP.
Repair of PVC septic tank
The main type of damage to a plastic tank is cracks. It is unlikely that it will be possible to eliminate such a defect on your own. In such cases, the application of a seam made by means of bar welding, that is, hot air, to the split crack helps. However, such equipment is usually not available in the household. Therefore, the best solution may be to call specialists. They will not close the crack, but they will change the tank.
Before dismantling the old container, it is advisable to find out from them which model will be installed instead. It is recommended to choose a septic tank with an additional sedimentation tank and purification system. This model allows you to collect water, which can then be used for technical needs, for example, for irrigation. Modern septic tanks use biological products that neutralize sewage and produce clean water.
It is important to pay attention to the declared lifetime of the tank and its environmental safety. Typically, the service life of a high-quality septic tank, for example "Astra", is 50 years.
Features of maintenance of the cesspool
The cesspool is not particularly difficult to care for, but for normal operation over a long period, it needs periodic maintenance. It includes timely cleaning of the container, elimination of unpleasant odors and preparation for winter. Let's take a closer look at each of these activities.
Sludge removal from the structure
Silting up the waste tank leads to its accelerated filling with waste.Gradually settling to the bottom and walls of the pit, the solid fractions of the waste liquid create an impermeable layer on the surface, which prevents the drainage of water into the ground and reduces the internal volume of the tank.
You can clean the cesspool yourself or with the help of specialists. The easiest way is to empty the tank from the drains by pouring them into another pit. Then you need to clean the surface and finish the procedure by pouring clean water. This method gives quite tangible results.
It is recommended to carry out the work in the following order:
- Install a submersible fecal pump in the waste tank. The hose from its outlet must be taken out into a separate pit. Structurally, it can be an ordinary foundation pit dug into the ground. The distance from the residential building should be no closer than 50 m. The end of the hose must be equipped with a filter that will prevent large liquid inclusions that cannot be absorbed into the soil from entering the excavation pit. Several cubes of the liquid fraction of the effluent can completely go into the soil in a couple of days.
- After pumping out the sewage from the cesspool into the pit, it is necessary to go down into the structure and remove the sludge build-up on the contaminated surface with the help of tools. Steel bristle brushes can be used to work in a concrete container. If the tank is steel or plastic, it is more convenient to use polyurethane combs. Before descending into the tank, it is imperative to wear a special suit, a construction helmet and suitable footwear.
- After removing the sediment from the walls and bottom, clean water should be pumped into the cesspool with a conventional electric pump, and then the tank should be drained again. If necessary, the procedure can be repeated again.
It may happen that the above described pit cleaning option will not work for you. Then you can contact a specialized company for help. However, there is a certain catch here: the sewage equipment removes only liquid waste, taking them out of the territory. And silt outgrowths are not included in this category. Therefore, one way or another, before the arrival of the sewers, the pit with the drains will have to be prepared.
The order of work will be as follows:
- To remove silt deposits from a pit filled with drains, you need to prepare a special pole. It is a kind of modernized brush. The length of the pole should correspond to the depth of the cesspool, and the pole should be strong and rigid. You need to install a disk at its end. This can be a metal plate, for example, to which a "pile" of nails is welded.
- Above the pit, scaffolding must be made, although you can also stand on solid wide boards. But in this case, in order to comply with the rules of safe work, you will need insurance in the person of a partner.
- To clean the container from silt, the brush should be moved along the walls with translational movements, repeating the procedure several times. The bottom of the tank can be cleaned by rotating the disc around its axis.
- Periodically, the brush should be lifted to the surface, scraped off sludge removed from it, and the tool should be checked for serviceability.
After such preparation, most of the solid waste will become a suspension, which the sewers can easily pump out along with the wastewater.
Elimination of odor from a cesspool
Almost all cesspools are accompanied by extremely unpleasant odors. If the ventilation is working, the spread of odors in the area becomes less, but does not disappear at all. The main cause of this problem is the deposition of insoluble sludge inside the sump. Therefore, first of all, it is necessary to clean the silted reservoir, and then carry out preventive procedures.
Quite good reviews have microbiological preparations specially designed for the disinfection of sewage tanks. These substances not only remove sludge residues, but also effectively eliminate odors. However, they are not suitable for pits with chlorinated and soapy drains.
Chemicals for cleaning sedimentation tanks are universal. They eliminate the bad smell of cesspools under all conditions. But here, too, there are limitations: chemical compounds can disrupt the integrity of plastic and metal containers. Therefore, such means for the care of cesspools are used only in concrete structures.
Winter cesspool care
With the right approach to work, the walls of the cesspool should be insulated at the stage of its construction. Expanded clay, polystyrene foam, mineral wool and other heat-insulating materials can be used as insulation. But if this work has not been performed, you can try to minimize the risk of freezing of the tank by installing an insulated cover on it. It should be of sufficient thickness and slightly overlap the interior of the container. Styrofoam is suitable for insulating the lid.
A more reliable way is to install a clay box. To do this, you need to make a formwork on the lid of the container and fill it with clay. The resulting sarcophagus will not allow cold air to penetrate inside. This method can only be used if the tank was cleaned and inspected for damage in the fall.
If the cesspool is still frozen in winter, you can try to warm it up using a step-down transformer. In the absence of experience in heating pipes with electric conductors, it is not recommended to use a welding machine as a heat carrier. For a beginner, this is dangerous.
A cesspool made of a steel barrel can be heated in the following way:
- The sewer pipe leaving the house must be tightly wrapped with a heating cable. The other end of the wire leading to the waste tank should be connected to the mains phase. This system does not need to be grounded, as the residual current takes up the ground due to its conductivity.
- If there are voltage drops after plugging the cable into the network, this means an overload: too much current is absorbed by the ground. In this case, the heating process must be stopped.
If the hole is frozen to the bottom, a steel pin should be driven into its center. You need to attach the bare end of the cable to it, and plug the other end into an outlet.It will take a lot of time to warm up - from 12 hours to a day, but the effect will be.
Advice! It is more difficult to drive a pin into a hole that is frozen than into ice. Therefore, it is recommended to slightly warm the frozen contents of the container from above with a blowtorch. How to care for a cesspool - watch the video:
We hope that our information on repairing cesspools and caring for them on a suburban area turned out to be very useful to you. Good luck!