Sewage Digester Systems for Homes

Kelly Banaski-Sons

Every inhabitable dwelling must have a sewage disposal system. Sewage is made up of animal waste products and other wastewater from washing machines, dishwashers, bath tubs and sinks. According to the Ohio State University Agricultural Center, wastewater is 99 percent water.

septic waste

The rest is dissolved and floating solid waste. You can dispose of sewage in a home in three basic ways.

Anaerobic System

An anaerobic system uses bacteria called anarobes to dissolve the waste particles in sewage. The bacteria and other organisms digest the waste in the water over a period that's dependent on the waste and the size of the septic tank. These microorganisms can not withstand large amounts of oxygen. Instead they take the oxygen they need to survive from the digestion process of the wastewater. The septic tank is sealed to prevent oxygen from entering the tank and disrupting the digestion process. The anaerobic septic system is the most commonly used in households. The entire system includes the septic tank, a leach field and a storage box. While easily maintained, a septic system can become clogged if nonbiodegradable objects are flushed through toilets.

Aerobic Systems

Aerobic systems use an opposite process as anaerobic systems. Fresh oxygen is required for the treatment of wastewater. As with anaerobic septic tanks, these are sealed but instead of keeping out fresh air the purpose is to keep fresh air in. A compressor pumps air into the tank, allowing microorganisms that thrive on oxygen to dismantle and digest the solid and liquefied waste matter. This type of wastewater disposal system is faster than anaerobic system and diffuses fewer acrid smells. Aerobic systems are used in remote areas where a municipal septic facility is not available. However, some areas might have health codes restricting this type of wastewater disposal system.


Hybrid systems are the least used type of wastewater disposal system. A blend of anaerobic and aerobic concepts are used. Like the anaerobic system, hybrid systems consist of a tank and a leach field. However, the tank contains mechanisms that rotate and blend the waste inside to exacerbate the disintegration process. This process takes longer than the other two and is most often used in rural areas where the soil is not conducive to absorption field septic systems.