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Why Is Adding Water To Your RV Black Tank Important?

October 02, 2020

Why it's important to add water to your RV holding tanks. Unique Camping + Marine

If you’ve been reading our blogs for any length of time, you’ve probably heard about the importance of water usage in your black tank a thousand times. The reason we consistently harp on this topic is that it absolutely forms the bedrock of an all-inclusive wastewater treatment process. In fact, we recommend that you hold your flush pedal down for at least 10 full seconds with every flush!

There’s simply no way around it: if you want a smooth camping experience, adding ample amounts of water to your tank with every flush is crucial, and we’ll explore why in this article!

Adding water to your tank helps to slosh waste around inside your tank and keep it from solidifying into a clog

Water is incredibly powerful. It can carve out canyons, forge mountain basins, and keep the waste inside your black tank broken up! When you keep your black tank valve closed (which is important!), all the water you add to your tank will slosh around and prevent solid waste from solidifying. Without water in your black tank, waste will often form into a pyramid plug—a pyramid of poop that forms inside your tank

If you add plenty of water to your black tank every time you flush your toilet (while also keeping your black tank valve closed), the waste won’t be able to solidify as easily. It’s important to note that water won’t digest waste or completely break it down. It only makes it less likely to coagulate. To break down waste, you must use plenty of water and treat your tank with a high-quality waste digesting product (see below). 

Guide Continued Below

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Adding ample amounts of water to your tank helps your high-quality waste digester to work as effectively as possible

No RV black water tank treatment plan is complete without a waste digesting product to break down the solid waste in your tank. At Unique Camping + Marine, we highly suggest that you used a high-quality, bacteria-based holding tank treatment, like RV Digest-It, since this type of product works best to liquefy waste while also helping to keep odors under control. (To learn more about our product recommendations, check out our article on why you should use a high-quality waste digester!) 

But even top-notch waste-digesting products will fail if there isn’t enough water in your tank. Bacteria, the fundamental ingredient of high-quality waste digesters, need water to hydrate them. They will not efficiently digest waste if they do not have enough water. Even more than this, the bacteria will not be able to reach all the waste inside your tank if there is only minimal water. Not only does water help keep the waste from solidifying into a chunk by sloshing it around, it also acts as a transportation method for the bacteria, allowing them access to all the waste. 

Adding water to your tank will help suppress odors by creating a water barrier between you and the solid waste inside your tank

Water is a great sealant for odors and other airborne substances, and when used in your holding tank, it serves to cover your solid waste (which typically sinks to the bottom of your tank), making it more difficult for odors to seep into your RV. The same thing occurs in your home. Your home toilet contains a p-trap in the drainage line (a pipe shaped like a P). Water settles in the low point of this pipe, keeping odors from seeping up into your home from your sewer. When you use plenty of water in your RV holding tank, you’re simply applying the same concept.  

The Unique Method

Using ample amounts of water could be considered the cardinal rule of proper tank treatment, but it actually forms only one root component of proper holding tank care. 

That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves at Unique to develop The Unique Method, an innovative, simple, all-inclusive, and effective process to revolutionize your RV wastewater treatment. Rule #4 of The Unique Method addresses the topic of ample water usage, which we’ve summarized in this article. If you’re tired of frustrating and disgusting clogs, odors, or misreading sensors, we encourage you to check out The Unique Method. It will virtually eliminate all of these issues, letting you focus more on enjoying your camping trip and worry less about your holding tanks! 

Please let us know if you have any questions about the topic covered in this article! You can reach us at

Adopt The Unique Method

You bought your RV so you could enjoy life and spend time with family and friends. The last thing you want to do is waste precious time and money on fixing wastewater holding tank problems. Keeping your tanks in peak operating condition doesn’t have to be hard, confusing, or expensive if you follow our proven process: The Unique Method.

The Unique Method is a comprehensive tank care plan that we developed after years of conversations with real customers facing real problems. The Unique Method provides you with simple, preventative steps to stop odors, clogs, and sensor problems before they start so you can spend less time worrying about your holding tanks and more time enjoying the freedom and adventure of RVing. Try it yourself and see why thousands of campers trust their RVs with The Unique Method every day.

If you need more help with anything covered in this guide or simply have a comment, we’re here to help you anytime!

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