Yellow grass over cesspit?

Garden parties are not really your thing. They just result to high level cleaning and more garden parties in the future. Your friends have been trying to talk you into having one for years because they wanted you to share your yard. It was one of the most beautiful in the neighborhood. However tempting it was, you just couldn’t imagine your lovely grass being trampled upon by guests and their pets. Your dogs even have a scheduled playtime in your yard so that the grass may not be that stressed.

You just came home from a neighbor’s barbeque and you noticed how dark green and wet a portion of her yard was. The grass was yellow over the cesspit. It was a bit nice to look at. It gave you the impression that they had just watered that part of the yard. You didn’t think much of it until you made it to your back yard for some play time with your pug and Maltese. The flowers were blooming and the grass was the greenest green you have ever seen. All was well but when you threw the ball to one corner, you noticed a patch of yellow on the ground. At first, you thought that maybe it was some sort of cloth. As you came closer, you discovered that it wasn’t some thin yellow cloth on the ground. It was a patch of yellow grass on your well-tended yard!

That was the probably one of the worst days of your domesticated life. You just stood there in disbelief when someone called out to your from behind. It was your cousin who helped you with the overall construction of the house. He was a septic expert and oversaw the design and installation of your cesspit. Your look of shock puzzled him. Then, he followed your gaze. He smiled at you and almost laughed because he knew that you loved your yard so much. He asked you to come inside with him and he will explain the yellow grass. You just had to make him some of your chocolate chip cookies and serve up some cold milk.

As he started nibbling your freshly baked cookies, he started to tell you that the cesspit is your very own wastewater treatment facility. It collects the wastewater from your household. The anaerobic bacteria at the bottom of the cesspit degrade the solid wastes when they settle so that the pre-treated effluent may enter the soil absorption system around it through the holes that surround it. Your cousin said that he made sure that there was only a thin layer of soil over the cesspit for the grass to grow on. The thin layer of soil has to be kept that way so that the effluent may evaporate quickly the moment the sun hits the ground. The drier the soil, the more oxygen there is for the aerobic bacteria that are present there to purify the effluent.

You said that you wanted to water the patch but your cousin advised against it because if you do that, the soil will not absorb the pre-treated effluent from the cesspit anymore. That will result to a back up of wastewater into your home and onto your yard. He also told you not to add more water onto the topsoil because the additional soil will retain more water and will lower the oxygen content for the aerobic bacteria. If the aerobic bacteria die off, then the effluent will not be rid of the pathogens and contaminants before it gets returned to the surrounding environment.

The yellow patch of grass over the cesspit was a good sign that your cesspit system was functioning optimally. It was telling everyone how you care for and maintain your cesspit the best way you could. You definitely had brownie points for that. Your cousin left with a small box of his favorite chocolate chip cookies that afternoon for telling you how responsible you are as a cesspit keeper.

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