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Old 08-20-2017, 11:38 AM   #61
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Have a 56 foot Carver docked next to me and boy did his blackwater tank stink. I said something to him about the oder on the dock and he seemed dumbfounded. The next day he mentioned he put bleach down the toilet to kill the odor. And the oder did stop.... Now over a month later the oder is still gone. So, I would think the bleach killed the bacteria that was stinking, but got me to thinking once the bacteria was dead how long would it take for the smelly bacteria to return? Also once the smelly bacteria is dead what should he do to grow the good (not smelly) bacteria? Was his solution a good or bad idea?


Understand I'm not advocating his solution (bleach) just wonder if it ever makes sense to kill the tank and then pump out and basically start over from scratch. Then reestablish the aerobics bacteria you want to thrive in the tank?
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:00 PM   #62
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Understand I'm not advocating his solution (bleach) just wonder if it ever makes sense to kill the tank and then pump out and basically start over from scratch. Then reestablish the aerobics bacteria you want to thrive in the tank?

Don't need to worry about killing anything with a carbon filter
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Old 08-20-2017, 05:00 PM   #63
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Old 08-20-2017, 06:27 PM   #64
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First I've seen of this thread, actually.

His solution is horrible idea...bleach is corrosive and destructive to the rubber parts in toilets. Once, maybe even 2-3x in an emergency, ok...but bleach has no place anywhere on a boat.

As for why it worked...Bacteria are only active as long as they have a food source (waste in the tank), so if his tank was near empty when he poured bleach down the toilet AND he didn't use the boat--or at least didn't use the toilet--for a while, it's possible there'd be no odor--but only for a short time. There'd be enough air above the surface at first to allow anaerobic conditions...but unless he did something else--added a filter or began using a product that works, it will return if it hasn't already.

...just wonder if it ever makes sense to kill the tank and then pump out and basically start over from scratch. Then reestablish the aerobics bacteria you want to thrive in the tank?

No need to kill the tank...just pump out and thoroughly rinse out to start from scratch.

And as for filters...they actually help to create the problem they're sold to solve (if only I'd developed a product that does that!) because they impede the exchange of air with the gasses in the tank that's necessary to PREVENT odor from forming in the first place. Increase the ventilation to the tank to allow it to function aerobically... use a product that works with nature instead of against it and you won't need a filter. The first step: straighten and shorten the vent line and replace the vent thru-hull fitting (that's actually designed to keep sea water out of fuel and water tanks, it's the wrong type for use on holding tanks, but boat builders just use the same thing on all tanks 'cuz it's cheaper to buy one type in bulk) with an open "bulkhead" or "mushroom" thru-hull--the kind you can stick your finger into. On a lot of boats, that may be all you need to do.
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Old 08-20-2017, 06:41 PM   #65
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My boat's vent line is too long and too small. It also has the wrong type of thruhull that Peggie referenced above. One of these days, I'll change it. However, what I should do is get a bigger vent line installed which is a lot of work and I'm pretty lazy when it comes down to it.
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Old 08-20-2017, 06:49 PM   #66
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My boat's vent line is too long and too small. It also has the wrong type of thruhull that Peggie referenced above. One of these days, I'll change it. However, what I should do is get a bigger vent line installed which is a lot of work and I'm pretty lazy when it comes down to it.
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I have the same situation...nearly impossible to do it correctly.
Previous boat it was easy to do what Peggy recommends re second / larger vents and it solved the odor problem.

On current boat I added a fish tank bubbler and started using Noflex. The combo has worked great.
Details on website linked in my signature.
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Old 08-20-2017, 06:57 PM   #67
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If you are not able to replace the vent with 2 large vents, one to each side of the boat so you get air flowing through the tank, then look at a Groco Sweetank. It pumps air into the bottom of the holding tank and the air bubbles up through the poop and oxygenates it. We had the exact situation and followed Peggy's advice as to introducing air into the tank and it worked beautifully. We never added any chemicals for the following 8 years that we owned the boat.
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Old 08-20-2017, 07:01 PM   #68
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Dave
I have the same situation...nearly impossible to do it correctly.
Previous boat it was easy to do what Peggy recommends re second / larger vents and it solved the odor problem.

On current boat I added a fish tank bubbler and started using Noflex. The combo has worked great.
Details on website linked in my signature.

Yup. So far with my boat holding tank odor hasn't really been a problem. I do use No-Flex and it has been great. I also make it a practice to completely flush the holding tank a couple times whenever I empty the tank.

However, I think a bubbler like you describe is a good solution. We had a Sweet Tank Bubbler on our Catalina 36 and it worked really well. Catalina had this "great idea" to use a holding tank vent incorporated in a lifeline stanchion. The problem was that it didn't really allow much air exchange.

For my boat, if installing a bubbler is as much work as a new vent line, the bubbler would likely work better.
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Old 08-20-2017, 07:24 PM   #69
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I am totally confused. Bubblers, bleach, empty tank with "proper" flushing, Groco Sweetank. I imagine the list will go on for additional contraptions and additives.

My solution along with the solution sold for vent stink by West Marine, Defender and numerous unnamed marine stores is carbon. I used a fresh water filter assembly that accommodates a carbon filter. It harms nothing, nada, ziltch in the tank but it sure does eliminate STINK! So why are so many making life difficult for themselves and those nearby fighting STINK? The stink was so bad from my boat's vent that would make one's eyes water before I installed a carbon filter.

Some can call a tank's gas an odor. That is being too kind, it should be called what it really is, STINK!
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Old 08-20-2017, 07:37 PM   #70
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Read Peggy's post above about vent filters. It is right on the mark.
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Old 08-20-2017, 07:40 PM   #71
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Read Peggy's post above about vent filters. It is right on the mark.
Agree
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Old 08-20-2017, 08:08 PM   #72
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Old 08-20-2017, 08:40 PM   #73
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Read Peggy's post above about vent filters. It is right on the mark.

Now really

From Peggy: "And as for filters...they actually help to create the problem they're sold to solve (if only I'd developed a product that does that!) because they impede the exchange of air with the gasses in the tank that's necessary to PREVENT odor from forming in the first place. "


Who should care there is stink in a septic holding tank??? I care about STINK OUTSIDE the tank. Charcoal filters work whether Peggy likes it or not.

How to make friends at anchor or dock by explaining your boat's STINK is the result of free poop gasses in your boat's tank doing their thing. There are those who propose animals be born free but born free STINK? Thank you very much! Ridiculous
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Old 08-20-2017, 08:45 PM   #74
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Be thankful the smell has gone. ... It is hard to believe someone can detect the odor of another boat's black tank unless they had dumped their waste overboard.
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Old 08-20-2017, 09:21 PM   #75
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Now really

From Peggy: "And as for filters...they actually help to create the problem they're sold to solve (if only I'd developed a product that does that!) because they impede the exchange of air with the gasses in the tank that's necessary to PREVENT odor from forming in the first place. "


Who should care there is stink in a septic holding tank??? I care about STINK OUTSIDE the tank. Charcoal filters work whether Peggy likes it or not.

How to make friends at anchor or dock by explaining your boat's STINK is the result of free poop gasses in your boat's tank doing their thing. There are those who propose animals be born free but born free STINK? Thank you very much! Ridiculous


A filter will reduce the amount of odor coming from a holding tank.

However, a holding tank that has enough O2 and whose aerobic bacteria aren't being killed by germicidal tank treatments, will have no offending odor.

So I think the issue is that you fail to understand that there is an effective alternative to killing and filtering. I am glad that what you are using is working for you.
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:05 PM   #76
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Me too!
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:57 PM   #77
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I know next to nothing but am learning. I take what Peggy is saying as the filter is treating the symptom not the disease. Cure the disease then no symptom. Happyyour solution is working for you though. Well, not as happy as the guy in the next skip from you but still....pretty happy.
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Old 08-21-2017, 06:22 AM   #78
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"It is hard to believe someone can detect the odor of another boat's black tank unless they had dumped their waste overboard."

In the Med the big charter buckets (30-50Meters $$$$ thousands a day) sit side be side stern too a sea wall.

They mostly pump air into the holding tanks to kill the stench.

For $25K a day black tank aroma is very unwanted.
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Old 08-21-2017, 07:41 AM   #79
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Holding tank waste is not the same as fine wine, it is sewage. Here in Massachusetts it is nearly impossible to do a legal waste discharge because most waters are designated no discharge areas. No discharge zones continues to expand as other states follow suit. People complain, self included about the no discharge expansion and being law abiding citizens, we comply.

Now back to septic holding tanks. They contain septic effluent, not anti-septic matter that here in the States eventually finds its way back to a municipal sewage system. There is no need to cuddle the pollutant in a septic holding tank. Personally, I wish that on board waste processing systems were accepted by environmentalists instead of their taking radical positions. If such systems were approved I would install one but not until such treated waste can be legally discharged.

My carbon filter works and I will continue to use them in the future. Others do whatever they want, just don't park a stinky boat near us and we will do the same for them.
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Old 08-21-2017, 09:13 AM   #80
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"It is hard to believe someone can detect the odor of another boat's black tank unless they had dumped their waste overboard."

In the Med the big charter buckets (30-50Meters $$$$ thousands a day) sit side be side stern too a sea wall.

They mostly pump air into the holding tanks to kill the stench.

For $25K a day black tank aroma is very unwanted.
Don't worry a lot of the big boys buy Noflex to keep the smells down
Their biggest problem is the sludge build up
Once it does the systems performance drops
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