Greetings! I’ve recently moved to a new house (I constructed it) that has a septic system. The thought has occurred to me that my septic system more than likely produces methane gas. As a result, I’ve been wondering if someone has developed some sort of a septic system methane digester — something that collects the gas and then compresses it so it can be stored and used. Thanks for any suggestions.
Guy Palmer, Lagunitas, California
Hello Guy, Folks frequently ask if the methane gas produced by a septic system can be harnessed. The short answer is no. The reason is that the design of a septic system does not foster the conditions that anaerobic organisms require in order to produce a significant amount of gas.
A septic tank is similar to a stagnant pond in your backyard. It will produce a tiny amount of methane gas, but not enough to be of practical use. Anaerobic organisms require three conditions to produce gas effectively: