Holding Tanks: Their Description, Working And Uses


Holding tanks also known as a septic tank and refers to a tank installed in the vicinity of portable restrooms. The primary purpose of this installation is to collect the wastewater and other sewage products coming out of these restrooms. But the use of holding tanks is not restricted to portable toilets only. They are also used to in vehicles like trucks, lorries, etc., trains, space-crafts, and aircraft.

However, to ensure proper use of the holding tanks, they need to be periodically cleaned so that there is no occurrence of bad odor or germs in that area. Instances wherein the holding tanks are left unclean for a long time frame can result in the building up of those solid wastes which are constantly getting accumulated in it. This build-up can even cause the whole system to fail with dirty water and sewage flowing back into the restrooms. Thus it is essential to ensure the cleanliness of the holding tank being used.

Some tips which help maintain the cleanliness of the holding tanks include:

The addition of a water softener along with some laundry detergent. These ingredients not only help in the removal of bad odor, they also facilitate the breakdown of toilet paper and waste, thereby preventing the formation of scum.
In order the clean the holding tank and also to prevent the growth of bacteria, the following steps can also be followed like:

Rinsing and flushing out the holding tank after every pump out,
Pouring liquid bleach into it helps to sanitize the holding tank and also prevent the occurrence of disease-causing bacteria.

These are straightforward and inexpensive ways in which the holding tank can be well-maintained and kept working perfectly fine. The regular adoption of these methods will also prevent instances of embarrassments which might crop up due to bad odor or even an unclean restroom.

The accumulation of sewage and wastewater in these holding tanks needs to be periodically cleaned by using a vacuum pump installed in a specialized truck. This vacuum truck helps to suck out the sewage along with the waste products through the access cap situated on the holding tank. This sucked out sewage and wastewater is then taken to treatment plants to negate their impact on the environment.

Some holding tanks come with an indicator which enables the users to know when it needs to be cleaned on priority. But most users go into a maintenance contract with the holding tank rental agency for clean-up of the holding tank on a regular basis. Those that are temporarily installed for some event, wedding, outdoor party etc., can be hauled away by the rental agency along with its contents after the occasion or event is over. The frequency of pumping out of the holding tanks also depends on the weather. Thus in hot weather conditions and climatic regions which experience relatively high temperatures, the frequency of pumping out needs to be more. This helps to avoid the emission of bad odor due to decomposition of the wastes present inside it. Cold climates and winter seasons generally need to clean with a relatively lower frequency.

Holding tanks have the ability to hold both black wastewater as well as grey waste water. They are also available in different capacities with the one which is attached to vehicles, trucks etc., having a lesser capacity than those attached to restrooms and restroom trailers. Thus larger holding tanks have more than one access ports to enable the attachment of multiple restrooms. Most holding tanks are also portable and hence can be quickly and easily installed. The capacity of the holding tank required depends on two factors:

The daily outflow of sewage and
The frequency with which it is cleaned or pumped out.
Generally, the holding tanks which are attached to portable restrooms and portable restroom trailers, are of capacity of either 100gallons or about 250 gallons. These are also most appropriate for hiring for single day events since sewage and wastewater accumulation takes place for only a few hours or a single day at the most.

Some features of holding tanks which make it ergonomically suitable are:

The presence of a utility hole with a raised lip on the roof of the holding tank to ensure proper sealing of the utility hole extensions generally used,

A rubber inlet which connects the holding tank to the restroom. This inlet is flexible enough to provide an appropriate movement of waste materials inside it and also prevent it from bursting or getting damaged under pressure,

They are generally one-piece constructions to give them superior strength and also increased longevity,
They are typically made of good quality polyethylene which causes the holding tank watertight since there is no outlet piping present.

The combination of portable restrooms and holding tanks is perhaps the best and most inexpensive alternative present for places which lack in sanitary services. Thus construction work sites, houses undergoing renovation, a poorly drained region, etc., have the best utilization for the same.

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