Victorian Cesspit

Sorry to sound obsessed with sh!t at the moment. Just trying to sort out some waste issues!

Got this old brick built cesspit which must be Victorian. Its pretty much never been emptied so it must not be concrete lined on the bottom. It was working ok but there is a little pre chamber that has slumped and broken down and sewage and loo roll is gathering there. I'm not even sure what this pre chamber is for, the only think I can think is for another flow of muck from somewhere, or some anomaly.

Anyway I was all set to fit a sewage treatment plant but its got a bit more complicated now. I'm thinking if I break the old pre chamber and just pipe the waste directly into the existing victorian cesspit it may be ok again to run the waste from the house straight into cesspool. It appears to be able to cope with level of poo directed at it at the moment

Do many of you still have a system like this? How polluting is it likely to be? The cesspool is contained in a 1/2 acre walled garden so not super close to other dwellings, but I have no idea how its mean to work.
 

Fordson1

Member
Location
Wexford, Ireland
Could the pre chamber have been some sort of early grease trap? Maybe not if the toilet waste is going in. If the whole setup has been working well for so long I'd be slow to change it. I put a settlement system after our septic tank using three x 2ft concrete pipes side by side on their ends with the waste going from one to the next before going to the percolating drain. Could you use a single concrete pipe to replicate the pre chamber?
The modern septic tanks have 2 chambers. Ours doesn't and yours probably not either so a 2nd chamber does seem like a good idea.
 

chaffcutter

Moderator
Arable Farmer
Location
S. Staffs
If its like the original one to our old farmhouse it was just a brick chamber but how it was emptied without modern pumps I have no idea, we put in a main sewer connection before we moved in, had the tank emptied and forgot about it! Where is the outfall from yours at present?
It might pay you to put in a new system while you are at it, will be a lasting improvement.
 

Paddington

Member
Location
Soggy Shropshire
Sounds like our brick built septic tank, the first smaller chamber tends to gather scale as we have very hard water and as a trap if people put non organic things down the loo ! Ours is emptied once a year, probably the original design was for a family that bathed once a week, didn't have a washing machine or mains water, so the tank would go for years without maintenance.
A cesspit just fills until it is full as there is no soakaway, you would need to empty it, in less developed parts of the world they move the outhouse from over the top of it to another empty pit.
 

curlietailz

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Sedgefield
If its like the original one to our old farmhouse it was just a brick chamber but how it was emptied without modern pumps I have no idea, we put in a main sewer connection before we moved in, had the tank emptied and forgot about it! Where is the outfall from yours at present?
It might pay you to put in a new system while you are at it, will be a lasting improvement.
we had this on our home farm
There was a huge “spoon” to spoon it out
A bowl shaped metal spoon bowl with about 12 feet of shaft/handle

lovely job I’m sure
 

Bongodog

Member
You are lucky. Our handle is only 3 feet.

I think old septic tanks had 2 chambers. The first would fill up then the solids float over a weir to degrade more in the second. Water then discharges into a gravel channel and eventually to a burn by seepage
Thats my thoughts on them, my practical experience was using them to dispose of surplus earth helping my Dad when he was connecting houses to the mains sewer. Somewhere I've got his brickwork theory books that show how they used to build septic tanks. Washing machines and daily baths were the death of septic tanks, they just couldn't cope with the added water volume.
 

puppet

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
sw scotland
I could go and take a picture of our brick one circa 1945 if you like?
3 kids, showers, dishwasher and washing machine would have tested it but got it doubled in size. Kids gone so lot less now. Only emptied every 4 years
 

tomlad

Member
Location
nr. preston
Had a brick lined in my garden.
Gave no trouble for probably the 50 , 80 year it being in .
We'd run a klargester on its outfall years ago .
Worked of a fashion.
The i totally removed the pit other year so souly on the klar now with no issues with either tbh .
It not that far from one of my lakes so preventative maintenance

When i removed the brick one i was struck by what good condition it was , in good order and probably not leaking at all.
Two skin of hand made red brick.
 
Had a brick lined in my garden.
Gave no trouble for probably the 50 , 80 year it being in .
We'd run a klargester on its outfall years ago .
Worked of a fashion.
The i totally removed the pit other year so souly on the klar now with no issues with either tbh .
It not that far from one of my lakes so preventative maintenance

When i removed the brick one i was struck by what good condition it was , in good order and probably not leaking at all.
Two skin of hand made red brick.
You could've resused the bricks!
 

davedb

Member
Location
Staffordshire
We’ve got one with two chambers first has a tipping bucket in it that the waste fills thrn tips out onto stone bacteria is supposed to break it down then it makes its way into the second chamber which you empty it works really well and probably hasn’t been emptied for 5 years
 

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Firefighters douse tractor ‘well alight in a field’

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Written by Agriland Team

Firefighters were called in to extinguish a tractor which was “well alight in a field” in Somerset, England, this week.

The incident occurred yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, July 29, on Chilton Road, Chilton Polden, Bridgwater, in the English county, local firefighters confirmed.

In a brief report on the matter, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: “Fire control received calls to a tractor on fire at Chilton Polden, Bridgwater.

“Fire control sent two fire engines from Bridgwater, one fire engine from Street and one water bowser from Yeovil.

Once the crew got in attendance the officer in charge confirmed one tractor well alight in a field...
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