RV black water tank odors are unpleasant in their mildest of forms. However, if left untreated, they can develop to become a pretty horrendous problem.

Often, this odor problem is caused by germs known as anaerobic bacteria. You should understand this germ differs from aerobic bacteria; these guys are capable of keeping your RV portable black water tank smelling fresh!

Anaerobic bacteria originate from the human body. Their job is to break down your food as part of the digestion process. As you are no doubt aware, the food you consume eventually results in a visit to the toilet. Therefore, at the same time, the anaerobic bacteria lingering within your gut finds its way to your RV portable black water tank.

Unpleasant odors escape from your tank in several ways, including the following:

Tank is full.
Blocked vents.
Leaking toilet.
Debris in the tank.

Foul smells emanate from your RV black water tank. This should not surprise you, considering the amount of waste going into the tank. The good news is you don’t have to avoid using your toilet to resolve this situation. As these situations are common in RVs or boats, many people have developed creative solutions.

6 Solutions To RV Black Water Tank Odors

1. Empty The RV Black Water Tank

Your first step towards removing odors from your RV portable black water tank, should be to empty the tank. Ensure you maintain a safe distance when you do this. Let’s face it, you only want to be as close to this horrible stuff as is necessary.

Also, consider emptying your RV portable black water tank before it is filled to the brim. Doing so will reduce the chance of overflowing. Emptying it frequently may be more crucial during warm weather when the unpleasant odors are more intense.

2. Sanitization

Having emptied your tank, your next step should be to sanitize it. Cleaning it thoroughly will ensure you eliminate odors at their source. Of course, this job is going to be unpleasant. However, you have got to get stuck in, and you’ll be glad you did.

3. Clean The Tank’s Vent

Something that will assist in removing unpleasant odors is cleaning the tank’s vent. These often get backed-up, blocking the vent’s ability to remove odors.

Start by inspecting the vent to see if it is clogged. If it cannot be viewed or is inaccessible, use a garden hose. Water flowing freely will indicate the vent is functioning adequately. If it is not, you’ll have to give it a clean.

4. Check The Toilet Seat

Inspect the toilet seat to check if the bowl is dry, indicating a potential leak. If it is, you may be able to rectify the issue by using petroleum jelly to seal the ball. However, this solution is only temporary.

For a permanent fix, you will need to replace the toilet, and you might want to consider a good-quality composting one. Spending a bit more on this type of toilet will reduce dryness and blockages occurring. Composting toilets do not produce odors because they do not use liquid. Therefore, they negate the need for a black water tank.

5. Keep the Toilet And Flapper Clean

Every time you empty the portable black water tank, you should clean the toilet and flapper. Doing this will remove any scum that has attached and contributes to odors. Also, such scum on a flapper can cause it to remain open, allowing odors to escape.

6. Removing Bacteria

As we mentioned earlier, anaerobic bacteria causes odors in portable black water tanks. Additionally, it encourages infestations of drain flies. A common improper practice is the use of chemicals. However, chemicals do not discriminate between harmful and useful bacteria. Also, you might end up replacing one unpleasant odor with an equally unpleasant chemical smell.

Alternatively, consider using aerobic bacteria. These helpful germs will break down your black water waste, naturally liquifying the tank’s contents.

Consider Prevention

When you find out what is causing clogging, you should take steps to prevent it. For instance, perhaps you discover a build-up of toilet paper. Clogging could occur if your toilet paper is not biodegradable, especially if you use a composting toilet. A definite indication of clogging is if you cannot empty the reservoir. If this happens, you will need to remove the clogging by hand.

Odor-Elimination In RV Black Water Tanks

Having taken care of any issues potentially causing odors, you should implement measures to maintain your RV black water tank as fresh as possible. These measures could include the following:

  • Use plenty of water when flushing.
  • Run water through the tank when you have emptied it.
  • Use petroleum jelly to seal the toilet seat.
  • Keep water in the tank to prevent it drying-up.

You can ignore many of life’s inconveniences and annoyances. However, it is challenging to escape the unpleasant smells that emit from an RV portable black water tank. The good news is there are plenty of things you can do to reduce or eliminate these. Hopefully, by reading this short article, you will now understand these. For more information, contact Atomic today.

Black Water Holding Tank