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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Nose Knows Holding Tank Stink

"I stink, therefore I am," says my philosopher. He lives under my RV, and travels everywhere with me. He is a rather nondescript fellow, about six feet tall, four feet wide, and a thin six inches thick. He seems to prefer a dark suit, in fact, every time I lay eyes on him, he's laying about, clad in the black skin of plastic suited to folks of his kind. Although he is never invited inside, from time to time he does--in an awful way--make his presence known. He is a windy fellow, and many of my associates simply state, "He's full of it." And so he is, for my friend the dark philosopher is a black water holding tank.

As much as I try and force him to keep his ideas to himself, he does on occasion air his opinions. Usually my better half, she with the more sensitive of noses, is the first to complain. "You've got to do something about this!" she'll yelp, making a rapid exodus from our little room of rest. It is perhaps the torture stake of the male species, this job of being resident problem-solver.
To keep my dark friend happy, I feed him a gruel of enzymes and bacteria, guaranteed to be "earth friendly," and to relieve my friend of unwanted odors. To be sure, when it doesn't work, I'm not sure who makes a bigger stink--my tank, or my wife.

Holding tank odors are a bane for RVers, but often they can be simply cured. First, we have not enough space to discuss the relative merits of holding tank chemistry--check a future blog for that--but if your tank "sits" for a long time without motion, say parked in an RV park for months on end--a sour tank is often a result.

I know I said I wouldn’t go into depth on holding tank chemistry, but I swear by the natural, enzyme and bacteria friendly variety. When my "green black water tank" goes sour, here’s the first fix: Dump the black water tank and refill with fresh water--and dump it again. Now chuck a pound box of baking soda down the toilet and again, REFILL the black tank with water. Let it sit overnight and dump it again. Now recharge the tank with your bacteria friendly treatment following the maker’s recommendations.

My philosopher friend urges that dogged determination may be required to track down and cure a smelly problem. At least that's what I translate--"When pesky pots pose proboscis problems, probably pointed poking will prevail." 'Nuf said.

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  • Use Laundry chemicals.

    By Blogger Mike A Schwab, at 7:02 AM  

  • If you read the link, be sure to follow all the discussion in the thread. Seems like some RVers really do believe in using laundry bleach--but it's a BAD IDEA. The thread in the discussion is nothing new; it is a pretty thorough discussion however. RD

    By Blogger Russ De Maris, at 2:05 PM  

  • I use 20 Mule Team Borax which is found in the laundry detergent area at Walmart. It is a natural product with no chemicals.

    By Blogger Barb, at 4:16 PM  

  • I think my instructor at a Life on Wheels conference said it best: It's exactly what it says it is... "a holding tank." NOT A SEPTIC SYSTEM, putting bacteria and enzymes in it is throwing money down the drain. The sewer/septic system you dump into will like you, but it don't do diddly for the black water holding tank. Treat it like you would a chamber pot, cause thats what it is, put something in it to make it smell nice until it gets dumped. It's not going to process like a septic tank, cause it ain't.

    By Blogger Ron, at 12:59 PM  

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