Why does the loo pong?

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin: Experts -

QWhy do we get an aw­ful smell come back up when we use our pump-out toi­let.

BARRY3DOVE, from the CB web­site

ATONY REPLIES… The tech­ni­cal an­swer is be­cause you have let the anaer­o­bic bac­te­ria breed at the ex­pense of the aerobic ones. Both types break down the waste, but the aerobic cre­ate far less smell. An­other prob­lem that can oc­cur is that the tank does not hold enough liq­uid to sub­merge the solids.

As you do not spec­ify the type or model, by say­ing ‘come back up’ makes me think this is prob­a­bly a sim­ple dump-through. If you are us­ing con­ven­tional ‘blue’ it can kill the some­what weaker aerobic bac­te­ria, so change to a bi­o­log­i­cal hold­ing tank treat­ment.

You will need to give the tank a re­ally good flush and then put up with a pe­riod of smell while the re­main­ing blue is purged from the sys­tem and the aerobic bac­te­ria gets es­tab­lished. Choose a treat­ment that says it con­tains bac­te­ria and en­zymes.

You also need a flow of air over the ef­flu­ent. Ide­ally a breather at each end of the tank with an in­ter­nal di­am­e­ter of not less than one inch, but the larger the bet­ter. If you have a mac­er­a­tor or vac­uum toi­let you might also have a charcoal fil­ter on the breather. These can trap smells from the breather but stop air reach­ing the tank. In the sum­mer you might well have to pump out ev­ery week but in the cooler months I find I can go for weeks be­tween pump-outs.

Try putting some yo­ghurt down the toi­let when you first change from con­ven­tional blue to seed the bac­te­ria. Some peo­ple swear by just adding yeast to the tank, oth­ers use sep­tic tank treat­ment. Other ad­di­tives are Biomagic, Odour­loss and The New Blue Loo Com­pany.

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