An obsolete method of sewage disposal consisting of a pond or pit into which sewage is dumped. It is occasionally still used in some low-income countries. It is malodorous and a potential nidus of fecal-oral disease transmission. Although some digestion of its contents does occur, there is no provision for outflow, such as with septic tanks or larger water-carried sewage disposal systems. Other health hazards of cesspools include overflow and flooding.
Subjects: Archaeology — Public Health and Epidemiology.