The cesspool is a relatively obsolete system for processing household waste. Although no longer installed in new construction many are still in use in older homes.
The cesspool acts as both septic tank and absorption field. Soil surrounding the pit absorbs and processes the liquid portion of the waste while naturally occurring bacteria digest some of the solids. Cesspools should be pumped annually to avoid failure.
An old cesspool should not be abandoned without first having it filled with soil or gravel.