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Old 06-25-2013, 10:45 AM   #1
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Holding Tank Treatment

I've been following posts regarding sewer odors present inside the RV. Many have responded that they have no odor and do not add any treatment to their tanks. My question is not about the odors, but more about the treatment of the sewage. It seems that if you do not add any treatment that the tanks (gray and black) become a huge breeding ground for bacteria.

Think about it, hot days, raw sewage and multiple days in between dumping.
Why would you want this anywhere near your RV, or neighbors? It would seem that adding an enzyme or chemical treatment would be better to keep the bacteria down to safe levels. One spill, even a small amount would be an instant health hazard that would not be easy to eliminate.
Is it economic reasons, or do you think your stuff is not a bio-hazard?
Am I missing something?
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:52 AM   #2
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Actually the bacteria are good for the holding tank. They help to break down the sewage. It is strongly recommended to not use chemicals in your tanks that will kill the bacteria.

Here is an article on the process. Many such articles can be found by Googling RV Holding Tank Bacteria. Because you do not want to kill the bacteria that cause the odors, the products that assist in eliminating the odors without killing the bacteria are very popular.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:11 AM   #3
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See the Video link below. This is what I do only I use the Rid-X powder. I have had no problems and no smell.

HOW TO: Dump & Clean an RV Black Tank - YouTube
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Actually the bacteria are good for the holding tank. They help to break down the sewage. It is strongly recommended to not use chemicals in your tanks that will kill the bacteria.

Here is an article on the process. Many such articles can be found by Googling RV Holding Tank Bacteria. Because you do not want to kill the bacteria that cause the odors, the products that assist in eliminating the odors without killing the bacteria are very popular.
While I agree that some good bacteria breaks down the sewage, I am more concerned about e.coli, salmonella, parasites, etc. I read the referenced article and it concludes with the comment "Consider using only
enzyme-based or bacterial-based products." That seems to make sense to me as an ecological method to control the bacteria levels.

A while ago I was at a county run park and there was a leaking sewer hose. They called in haz-mat and taped off the entire spot for a few days. Treated the area with some sort of nasty smelling bleach product.

It just got me to wondering, how bad is this stuff?
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:49 AM   #5
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"Because you do not want to kill the bacteria that cause the odors, the products that assist in eliminating the odors without killing the bacteria are very popular." This is misleading.

Proliferation of anaerobic bacteria causes odor. You want to promote aerobic bacteria that kills anaerobic bacteria and breaks down waste. Happy Camper does this for about 53 cents per 40 gallons of blackwater tank capacity.

Blackwater tank material is sewage and should be handled as such. Wear gloves and use a disinfectant after operations.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Proliferation of anaerobic bacteria causes odor. You want to promote aerobic bacteria that kills anaerobic bacteria and breaks down waste. Happy Camper does this for about 53 cents per 40 gallons of blackwater tank capacity.

Blackwater tank material is sewage and should be handled as such. Wear gloves and use a disinfectant after operations.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:07 PM   #7
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Your black water holding tank is not intended to be a septic tank. It is a temporary holding tank for waste and it needs to be discarded on a regular basis. After dumping flush your toilet and let water build up in it so solids will not build up on the bottom of the tank. If you have a water cleaner use it after dumping. I usually shut the valve off after dumping and let the hose on the black water cleaner stay on for a while to refill it with some water. If you follow a regular routine you will not get odors and your tank will stay clean. Where it goes from your MH is the job of the city, county or whatever jurisdiction is in charge of sewage treatment. But, I do wear gloves!!
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:29 PM   #8
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I go further and flush the tank at least 2 or 3 times by adding water after dumping, then dumping again. After 2 or 3 flushes, I'm fairly confident the solids are gone. Every 2 dumps I add the anti odor fluids.
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:46 PM   #9
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Do both at the same time. Use the GEO method. No harsh chemicals, no phosphates. Helps keep tanks clean and when dumping the tank you should get more accurate readings of tank levels. In the summer here in Florida odor can be a problem especially if you are not using the RV every day. A good vent is needed that will let the tank breathe. I use one of those flat topped vent camps that lets pass through the vent helping remove odors and gasses. Some people also add a wee bit of something that smells good to them, however it really isn't needed. Safe travels.... ed
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:13 PM   #10
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X2 on the Happy Camper! Great Product!!

Happy Campers-Odorless-RV Holding Tank Treatment for Black and Grey Water Tanks
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:24 PM   #11
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YEP! Works great
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:01 PM   #12
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When it comes to the bacteria in the black tank, there is no "safe Level".. but as others have said, this is how the "Stuff" in the tank is broken down.. IN fact there are several products you can get to INCREASE the bacteria content. If you gonna add, that's the stuff to add (Biologicals, not chemicals)

One thing I have done,.... is tear out the floor under the toilet and replace it, that is a few hours work with the dump pipe, open, under my nose... Not nearly as bad as you think.

The gray tank is a problem though.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:28 AM   #13
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Thanks zipo, that was a very helpful video.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:45 AM   #14
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Another vote for Happy Campers-Odorless-RV Holding Tank Treatment for Black and Grey Water Tanks.
Over the years we have had quite a few different RV's and have always used their products. Never had a problem what so ever.
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