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What’s the Difference Between a Septic Tank, Cesspit & Klargester?

Updated: May 29

If you are looking for or own a domestic sewage system that isn’t connected to the mains sewage line for whatever reason, then you’ll probably hear a few different terms being thrown around. For example, here at R & A Cleansing, we offer cesspit emptying, septic tank emptying and Klargester emptying - but, what’s the difference between each of these?

In this blog, we’ll define each and explain their differences to you, so that you can understand how they work and are better able to identify which waste management system you either currently have or would benefit from.

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A cesspit is a securely sealed, private system that collects wastewater and sewage from your property. It does not treat the sewage it stores in any way, rather it simply collects and holds it until it needs emptying.

How regular a cesspit needs emptying is dependent on the size of the property and the number of occupants. With that said, they need to be emptied somewhat frequently in order to avoid the build-up of solids and prevent any possibility of overflowing. Considering the amount of waste it’s likely to see, this could be as frequent as quarterly, bi-annually or yearly emptying.

Septic Tank

Like cesspits, septic tanks also collect wastewater and sewage from your property, however they also use a simple treatment process to treat this waste and feature an outlet to allow treated wastewater to drain away.

Waste is kept in the tank long enough that it begins to separate into three different layers. The layer that sits at the top of the septic tank is called the ‘scum’ - this is any oils and grease that float above all the waste. The bottom layer is known as ‘sludge’ - this consists of particles that are heavier than water and sink to the bottom. Wastewater then sits in the middle.

Bacteria present inside the tank are able to break down the solid waste so that the liquid wastewater is able to separate and drain away more easily. It drains out an outlet into the surrounding soil, known as the drainage field.

Since the wastewater drains out of a septic tank, it does not need to be emptied as frequently as a cesspit. However, it is a requirement that they are emptied and cleaned annually to remove the layer of sludge at the bottom of the tank, which will prolong the lifespan of the septic tank and ensure that it continues to work properly and hygienically at all times.


The last type of sewage system you may have heard of is a Klargester, however this isn’t referring to a particular type of sewage system, rather it is a popular septic tank manufacturer.

The most notable Klargester tank on the market at the moment is the Klargester BioDisc domestic sewage treatment plant. This works as any other septic tanks would, however biological treatment is encouraged in two separate stages through the help of rotating biological contractors.

Just as with any other septic tank, these also require annual emptying.

Get in Touch

Whether you own a cesspit, septic tank or Klargester sewage system, our services have you covered here at R & A Cleansing. We offer a liquid waste disposal, along with cleaning and maintenance services for your private sewage system.

Get in touch with us today to discuss what we can do for you.

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