Features

March 2012 Issue

Holding Tanks: Getting the Stink Out

Practical Sailor tests holding tank vent filters from Big Orange, Vetus, and Dometic, plus one homemade filter.

The quality of onboard living suffers when each flush of the head becomes public knowledge within minutes, and a boat that smells bad won’t be a part of your family for long. Practical Sailor tested three vent filters for holding tanks, from makers Big Orange, Vetus, and Dometic, and tested one homemade vent filter. When sanitary wastes are allowed to biodegrade in a closed tank, particularly with poor mixing and inadequate oxygen, anaerobic bacteria dominate. These bacteria particles can make a boat unpleasant or unlivable unless they are eliminated or contained. Carbon filters are one solution to the odor problem; they are simple, dependable and absorb a wide variety of odors.

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