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Kristine
Kristine

Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:05pm

Post Subject: Waste tank odours

Our widebeam is 6 months old, with a 210 litre plastic waste tank. We are pumping out fortnightly, as the guage enters the red zone, and using 'Odourlos' as directed to treat the tank when it is empty. After about 4 or 5 days, we start to get unpleasant odour in the cabin where the tank is. We have tried adding a further dose of Odourlos, but this doesn't seem to make much difference. There are no obvious leaks. What is the most likely cause and solution?

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:16am

Post Subject: Waste tank odours

I am sorry but I have a horrible feeling that you may be asking this question about 18 months too late unless you are using domestic toilet cleaning products. Some of them contain chemicals like bleach that will destroy the aerobic microbes in the tank and leave the tougher anaerobic ones to breed. Its the aerobic bacteria that break down the waste with minimal smells. Likewise if you have recently changed from using conventional toilet blue that also destroys aerobic bacteria it will take a fair few pump-outs to get rid of the residual blue. In this case the situation should get better as time goes on providing everything else is OK. Aerobic bacteria require a plentiful supply of fresh air so the usual recommendation is that holding tanks should have TWO LARGE BORE BREATHERS, one towards each end. By large bore I mean 1" diameter or more. Often only one breather is fitted and that is often only about 1/2" in diameter. Some people with two breathers have rigged a bushless computer fan in a metal box to insert in one of the breather hoses and switched so before using the toilet the fan is operated and stays running for a fixed period. This may extract the foul smells before flushing. If this is a dump through toilet then many have an internal breather between the pedestal and the bowl. As long as you have adequate external tank breathers this can be blocked, come back if you want more info on this. Plastic, especially lower quality products can leach odours so you need to look at the materiel of the hoses, especially the pump out and any hose connecting the toilet to the tank to make sure it is of the best sanitary grade (see www.leesan.com) and also, most importantly, that it is routed so no affluent can sit in the hose. Finally you need to be very sure your plastic tank was made for sanitation purposes, if its a water tank it may be leaching smells through the materiel. Personally I would never use plastic for a holding tank preferring metal. I would also run as much of the pipework as I could in metal, especially it it is impossible to stop effluent sitting in the pipe. Some people use yoghurt to start the biological process while other swear by regular applications of yeast. I hope this helps but fear it may not.

Kristal
Kristal

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:01pm

Post Subject: Waste tank odours

Thanks, Tony. This is a new Vetus system, with sanitary grade tank and pipework. We do use a toilet cleaner suitable for septic tanks, but will try something simpler and see if that makes a difference. The yoghurt idea sounds like a good idea too. Many thanks again.

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:24pm

Post Subject: Waste tank odours

That sounds like a maccerator system so no smells should be able to get back out via the toilet. I would suspect effluent is lying in the hose between toilet and tank. If it has an adjustable flush time/volume try increasing it so you stand more chance of flushing the smelly parts into the tank and to also make sure there is sufficient liquid to ensure any solids are submerged in the tank.

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