Frequently asked questions

What is a septic system and what does it do?

Usually found in rural areas that don’t have public sewer systems, septic systems are underground wastewater treatment facilities. A septic system consists of a drainage pipe, a septic tank, and a drain field. When you have a septic system, waste runs out of your toilet from one main drainage pipe into a septic tank. The tank separates solids, oils, and grease from the wastewater. Then, the liquid wastewater goes through underground pipes into the drain field. The soil in the drain field filters the wastewater, and it eventually discharges into the groundwater. The solids usually have to be pumped from traditional septic systems. Traditional systems can be expensive and complicated to install, and expensive to repair.

How is a CITIJAL biodigester septic system different?

CITIJAL biodigesters take advantage of the natural presence of anaerobic bacteria in excretia and encourage the organic breakdown of materials into inert, treated water, gas and phosphorus. The water can be released into a drainage field of gravel and sand, the gas is vented through the top of the tank, and the solids become phosphorus that, after drying in a secondary tank, can be used as fertilizer in the garden.

Do I need to be connected to a municipal services to have a biodigester?

No! CITIJAL biodigesters are perfect for remote, off-grid locations. They do not need to be connected to city water, sewer or power and they do not need to be pumped. They only need to be cleaned once a year and can be emptied with a turn of a faucet. This makes them ideal for trails, campsites, and remote or island living.

Do CITIJAL biodigester septic systems need to be pumped?

Nope! The dual tank system of CITIJAL biodigesters means water comes out treated well enough to be released into a drainage field, and solids can be emptied annually into the secondary tank with the turn of a faucet. From there, after two short months of drying out, the solids are reduced to primarily phosphorus. Mix in a little garden lime to turn this waste into a potent fertilizer.

How safe are biodigester septic systems? Is it safe for fields, gardens and watersheds?

CITIJAL biodigesters are very safe and organic. They use anaerobic bacteria to break down waste into phosphorus, methane and water. The methane gas, or Biogas, is produced in very small amounts and released through small vents. Liquids are separated and filtered before being drained into the surrounding field. It is very rich in nitrogen therefore great for irrigation purposes. Solids are digested by the bacteria until they become phosphorus and can be used as garden fertilizer.

How does the biodigester work?

It lets the existing bacteria in the waste do what it would naturally do: break down excreta. Learn more on our page about how it works.

How do I know what size of septic system I need?

It depends how many people are in your household or will be using the system. Learn more about sizes and how to find the right size of CITIJAL biodigester septic system for you from our page about sizes.

Can I have a technician assess my septic system needs?

Absolutely! Contact us to set up a date and time.

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