Holding Tanks
What can you do to help eliminate the foul odor

Fuel Tanks

Boat Accessories - Fuel Tanks

Eliminate the foul odor: Most boats will have a filter. To eliminate the odor you want to install a filter if you do not have one or replace the old filter or already installed.

Holding Tanks care - Boat Fuel Tanks and Systems

Holding tank smell

What can you do to help eliminate the foul odor


At First, eliminate the source of the odor.

Check the vent hose it's a small diameter. Check for leaks in any areas of the system. Check the vacuum pump to be sure it's not seeping pressure. Any unusual functionality? Are you pumping out regularly? Are you using any chemical additives?

Next, ozone will clean up the residual better than anything. You can buy powerful generators, and most rental equipment places have them but they may be hit or miss as far as output.

Holding tank filters make the problem worse too. The problem is anaerobic bacteria (they thrive in oxygen poor environments). The trick to a low-no odor MSD is ventilation. If there is GOOD airflow through your tank, only aerobic bacteria will thrive and they don't emit foul odors, plus- they help break down the waste so you get a more complete pump-out each time which leads to less odor AND fewer clogs etc.

ExterminOdor Tank Treatment

Get some ExterminOdor from your local West Marine and add it to the tank as per the instructions after you pump out each time. Just flush the specified amount down the head after you pump out.

Always use the additive and dump a couple of bags of ice in the tanks, drive the boat around the ice will bang around and clean the inside walls of the holding tanks then empty the tanks and fill with a couple of gallons of water and chemical.

You can use it with your boat and you rarely have odor issues.

ExterminOdor Holding Tank Treatment, Four 8 oz. WM Bottles (WEST MARINE)

Fabric softener

Another solution is to put fabric softener in the holding tank let it sit for a few days and then run fresh water through it to clean out any sediment that may be hanging around.

A lot depends on prior maintenance. Place a wet (hot) facecloth over the hoses. If they are going bad, the cloth will absorb the odor. If bad, replace as much as possible with PVC.

Wipe the sanitation hoses

Get the waste tank pumped out (most marinas have thequipment and only charge a small fee...$5-10. Then take a washcloth or small hand towel, dampen it with clean water and wipe the sanitation hoses (usually white and around 1.25" diameter). Wipe a small section at a time and then sniff the cloth- if it stinks, that hose is bad and should be replaced ASAP.

Charcoal filter

Homemade($25) charcoal filter on the vent line instantly eliminates the odor after a flush 100% for a season. Walmart aquarium charcoal is $5 to refill. Or buy the orange filter for $149. Bleach also kill the good microorganisms in your head that break down the poop.Change filter and keep it pumped at least every other week and add treatment.