Most RVers, even those who are relatively new to the RVing world, know that they should be using some type of holding tank treatment that digests solid waste. In fact, there’s no shortage of holding tank treatment products out there, promising to break down your waste and get rid of odors.
But not all treatment products are created equal. Some products use dangerous chemicals or ineffective ingredients, ultimately causing more issues than they solve! In this article, we’ll examine why you should use a high-quality waste digester and what can happen if you don’t.
The main purpose of a waste digester is in its name: to digest waste inside your black tank! By digesting waste inside your tank, you will help prevent clogs like pyramid plugs and compacted tanks. (See this article for more on these clogs.) A waste digester typically uses bacteria, enzymes, or bacteria + enzymes to break down waste.
In the case of enzyme-only treatments, they often don’t fully eliminate the solid waste inside the tank. They can break down waste, but unlike bacteria, enzymes are not living creatures and will only break larger pieces of waste down into smaller pieces (not to mention that they don’t do anything for odors—see below). On the other hand, bacteria will completely digest waste. But it’s a little more complicated than this. Different holding tank treatment products often use different types of bacteria. Some products contain cheap strains of bacteria. These bacteria are often ineffective at breaking down the waste inside your tank, which can lead to clogs.
A high-quality waste digesting product will use both bacteria and enzymes. Non-living enzymes help to break larger pieces of waste into smaller sizes, allowing the bacteria to fully digest the waste. During this process, the bacteria will produce more enzymes, helping the process to continue. All this will equal top-notch waste digestion, meaning no more clogs!
There are two basic types of bacteria: anaerobic bacteria and aerobic bacteria. Some products contain anaerobic bacteria—the same kind of bacteria found in your stomach. But a high-quality waste digester will use the best strains of aerobic bacteria. Unlike anaerobic bacteria, which produce smelly hydrogen sulfide gas, aerobic bacteria are odorless, emitting only carbon dioxide and water as they break down waste. By using a product with aerobic bacteria, you will force out the anaerobic bacteria causing disgusting smells in your tank. To top it off, aerobic bacteria are often preferred for breaking down waste over anaerobic bacteria due to their ability to prevent odors and breakdown solid waste.
(Read more about anaerobic and aerobic bacteria in our article, Eliminating Holding Tank Odors in Your RV.)
A high-quality waste digester that uses the best strains of aerobic bacteria to effectively break down waste and eliminate odors is also your best bet to maintain properly functioning black tank sensors. Waste, toilet paper, and waste residue can easily build up on your black tank sensors during regular RV use. Regular use of a high-quality waste digester will ensure that this waste, toilet paper, and waste residue gets digested, helping your sensors to stay in proper working order.
(In addition to regularly using a high-quality waste digester, periodically deep cleaning your tank is also important to proper holding tank care and maintaining working sensors. We’ve written articles that cover both deep cleaning and the process for cleaning sensors!)
Like we said earlier, not all waste digesters are created equal. Many “old school” treatments use ineffective ingredients or even dangerous chemicals! Some treatments, for example, rely on powerful fragrances to mask odors (but these fragrances are often worse than the poop smell from your tank!) and are not effective at breaking down waste. Other treatments are even worse: they use dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde or bronopol (which are banned in some states)!
In contrast to these chemical products, a high-quality, bacteria + enzyme holding tank product that uses aerobic bacteria to eliminate odors (instead of disgusting fragrances) is not only more effective at breaking down waste, but it’s also completely safe!
When all is said and done, the qualifications for a truly high-quality waste digester narrows your options quite a bit, but we believe it’s worth it! While there are several products out there that use bacteria + enzymes, we’re obviously a little biased toward our own product. RV Digest-It is quite honestly the most effective holding tank treatment on the market today. RV Digest-It uses only the best strains of aerobic bacteria + enzymes to effectively break down waste and eliminate odors. It contains no caustic chemicals or additives.
RV Digest-It is specifically formulated to work with our holding tank treatments and comprehensive maintenance guide, The Unique Method. In fact, the question we have answered today is rule #2 of The Unique Method: Always treat your holding tanks with a high-quality bacteria + enzyme treatment.
If you’re sick and tired of holding tank issues like clogs, nasty odors, or misreading sensors, The Unique Method is your solution!
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help you!