What You Need to Know About Digesters

Despite what you may think, wastewater and the way it’s treated play an essential role in our everyday lives. If wastewater wasn’t treated, we’d all be susceptible to life-threatening diseases when we walk outside. For that reason, it’s good for everyone to know a little bit about wastewater treatment.

One of the most important steps in the wastewater treatment process is anaerobic digestion. This post will answer common questions about what anaerobic digestion is and how our team can help keep your facility in tip-top shape.

What is anaerobic digestion?

The anaerobic digestion process occurs in a large tank appropriately called a digester. In the tank, oxygen and bacteria break down solid waste into what’s commonly known as sludge. The sludge breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces the longer it sits in the digester, which makes disposing of solids and liquids much easier.

Why do digesters need to be cleaned?

Regular maintenance and cleaning are essential for all of your equipment—and this holds true for anaerobic digestion tanks. Failing to clean the tank leads to a thick buildup of sludge and other debris that restricts the tank’s capacity, thus hindering its usefulness. Routine cleaning also prolongs the unit’s lifespan, which will save you big bucks in replacement over the years.

How do you clean a digester?

The first thing to know about cleaning a digester is that it should always be performed by a professional. The second thing to know is that there are multiple ways to clean one. You may get a different response on how to clean a digester depending on the professional you speak with.

Using powerful cleaning chemicals is often the fastest and most cost-effective way to clean a digester, but they can also be hydroblasted to remove stuck-on debris. A professional may also use hydro excavation tools to remove firmly-compacted materials from the tank.

As long as you hire a reputable anaerobic digestion cleaning service, they’ll know the best cleaning tactic to take for your tank.

How often should digesters be cleaned?

The timetable for cleaning digesters varies from tank to tank. As you can imagine, tanks that get more use will need to be cleaned out more frequently. Similarly, smaller tanks fill up faster and need more frequent cleanings.

As a general rule, though, digesters should be professionally cleaned out every four to seven years. But the more frequently you have the tank cleaned, the better. We also recommend having your system inspected every year or so to ensure everything is in working order.

How is your digester holding up?

If you have an anaerobic digester on-site, hire our team to clean, inspect and maintain it. At Gullett Sanitation Services, Inc., we specialize in digester cleaning and upkeep. With nearly 80 years of industry experience, you can trust that our professionals know what they’re doing when we come to clean and service digesters.

Get in touch with our professionals today to learn more about how to clean a digester or to schedule a service appointment.