What is the difference between a Cesspool and Septic Tank

At Septic Tank Supplies we get asked daily what the difference is between a septic tank and a cesspool.

Simply put, a septic tank has an outlet and a cesspool does not. Cesspools store all the waste water within the tank and they need to be emptied regularly, about every 45 days. Septic tanks have an outlet which allow the waste water to leave the system to a drainage field where it discharges into the ground. Septic tanks do not need emptying as frequently, usually annually.


Septic tanks sizes start at 2,800L, going right up to 10's of thousands of litres for commercial tanks. Both septic tanks and cesspools come in different shapes, dependent on your application. Many people prefer a shallow dig tank as this allows for a shallower excavation and reduced installation costs compared to a spherical tank.

Conder Millennium Septic Tank Premier Tech Aqua

For domestic use, cesspools start at 18,000 litres. This size would cater for two people or a one bed room property and for every extra person another 6,800 litres needs to be added to size. Domestic cesspools are required to hold 45 days storage before requiring emptying. You can view our cesspool sizing guide to explain this further.

If you need any help with deciding which tank you need, please get in touch.



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