The Geo Method / Black and Gray Water Holding Tank

Discussion in 'RV Tips & Tricks' started by Geometricenigma, May 9, 2005.

  1. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: The Geo Method / Black and Gray Water Holding Tank

    Actually, for most of us, the solid waste doesn't stay in the tank long enough to need "breaking down" with chemicals.

    It isn't a septic system. It is a storage tank.

    The chemicals can only hope to deodorize your system until you dump it.

    The object of all of these two methods, Geo or just lots of water, is to make it harder for the solids to stick to the inside. That way they get flushed out during the dump.

    Did I mention that most RVs don't have 'septic systems' installed? Just storage tanks.
     
  2. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: The Geo Method / Black and Gray Water Holding Tank

    Yep, I don't care if it breaks down or not. As long as it leaves when I ask it to :)
     
  3. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: The Geo Method / Black and Gray Water Holding Tank

    murfette,

    The natural bacteria that is in your waste tanks when you use them will break things down in a fairly short time, under normal circumstances. That is what makes a septic system such as most rural homes use, work as it does. There are additives that are designed to encourage or enhance that natural action in either a septic system or in the RV waste tanks. Since we are talking RVs, if you look in any RV supply store you will find all kinds of products for waste tanks. There are several chemicals, bacterial products and also oxygenation products which just speed and enhance the action of natural bacteria that is already there. In a wast tank there are two types of bacteria, aerobic and anaerobic. The aerobic bacteria are those that thrive in an environment that has a good supply of oxygen and that is why the oxygenation products are out there. The bacterial products also add aerobic bacteria to speed the process in that way. When you use large volumes of water you encourage the aerobic bacteria growth since all water has free oxygen dissolved in it. All of the bacterial products work on that basis.

    Anaerobic bacteria is bacteria that flourishes in low oxygen environments and it is also what creates the odors that come from waste tanks. Most of that odor is from grasses that are high in sulfur compounds such as hydrogen-sulfide. Free oxygen will kill most anaerobic bacteria if it is there in large enough quantities. And that is one of the reasons for the oxygenation products.

    The various chemical products work in totally different approaches from either of these. What they do is to kill all bacteria or as nearly as they can, to thus prevent growth of anaerobic bacteria and prevent odors. They then also supply chemicals which break down the solids chemically, rather than naturally. They were the first products on the market for the purpose and were the only ones for a long time. Today they are considered by most people to be environmentally unfriendly. In large enough quantities they can effect the operation of septic systems or even city sewer systems. Most studies support the belief that it would be quite unusual to see a large enough quantity to cause problems, but since this is a hotly debated subject that most of us are not expert on, the majority of the RV world is moving to the more environmentally friendly products to make sure.

    As a seven year +, fulltimer I have found that most who stay fulltime for long sooner or later stop using much of anything by way of chemicals and just be very generous with the use of water, thus to take advantage of the natural bacterial action. That works well for most of us, but we are also mostly traveling with only two people so the tanks fill fairly slowly and that allows more time. In hot weather we do use an oxygenation product from time to time, and we have also used bacterial additives on occasion, but mostly we are generous with the use of water in both the black and the gray tanks. I think that most fulltimers also from time to time add a 1/2 tank or so of water and some strong detergent before travel to slosh around inside of the tank while traveling and thus to clean it.

    The "Geo Method" is the invention of Charles Bruni, who also uses his website to generate an income. I have known quite a number of people who have tried his home brew and some say it works, others disagree. I have not tried it since we find that water does the job just fine and I really do not see any reason to waste money on either commercial products or on some home brew. I also contacted the Calgon company to ask if their product had any positive effect on this process and was told that it would not. At the same time, I really doubt that it will do any harm either if you always use ample water when you flush and are careful to not use too much bleach since that will kill the natural bacteria if used in large enough quantity. But I have not tried it and I don't plan to do so. For that reason, I don't support it but that same thing is true of commercial products as well, and those I have used. Mostly I just don't like to waste money. But reading this thread should make you aware of the strong feelings of many on this subject. My advice is that you use a septic friendly toilet paper and use generous amounts of water in both tanks and go from there. If you want real expertise, I suggest that you contact some waste treatment operators and engineers and also an environmental chemist as well. Since there are none of either that post here (to my knowledge) most of what you read by any of us is just opinion.
     
  4. amywibbing

    amywibbing New Member

    Re: The Geo Method / Black and Gray Water Holding Tank

    I just tried the GEO method a couple of weeks ago. I haven't done the bleach thing yet, but did the Calgon. I must say I am very impressed. The black tank odor is completely gone, which I didn't expect. Even with a brand new RV, my black tank didn't smell "clean". Not too yucky, mind you, but definitely not good. So after reading this thread, I tried it. Really great results.

    This board is great for newbies like myself. I have learned so much just in the last month or so, and I really appreciate everyone who comments. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!

    Amy
     
  5. benwd

    benwd New Member

    Re: The Geo Method / Black and Gray Water Holding Tank

    sezkirk----"The "Geo Method" is the invention of Charles Bruni, who also uses his website to generate an income. I have known quite a number of people who have tried his home brew and some say it works, others disagree. I have not tried it since we find that water does the job just fine and I really do not see any reason to waste money on either commercial products or on some home brew. I also contacted the Calgon company to ask if their product had any positive effect on this process and was told that it would not."

    Lots of folks make a little money off their website and I don't see the relevance of that to the efficacy of the geo method for cleaning tanks. And what kirk claims that the guy at calgon actually said seems to have changed with time. You can call ten people at a company and get ten different answers regarding their product. Kirk has had a personal beef with mr. bruni for a long time and continues to put down his 'method'. In fact water softener works on stuff in the tank just like it works on stuff in your washing mashine. Everyone you ask will tell you the geo method works fine for its intended purpose except a few with a burr in their saddle.
     
  6. SnowbirdInFlight

    SnowbirdInFlight Senior Member

    Re: The Geo Method / Black and Gray Water Holding Tank



    Reminds me of my dad, lol. When my husband went to work for my dad he would try and help by telling him how he could improve on the business. Very solid, helpful ideas. But, my dad would say, "We've been doing it this way for thirty years and it's worked for us!" He wouldn't even try anything different. I guess it's a good thing the Wright brothers never listened to anyone tell them they would never fly, lol.

    I say, if you've never tried it, don't knock it.

    As far as Mr. Bruni making money off this method, I really don't see how unless he owns stock in Calgon, because I buy mine at Wally World and I use different detergents. So, he makes no money off of me.
     
  7. SnowbirdInFlight

    SnowbirdInFlight Senior Member

    Re: The Geo Method / Black and Gray Water Holding Tank



    Reminds me of my dad, lol. When my husband went to work for my dad he would try and help by telling him how he could improve on the business. Very solid, helpful ideas. But, my dad would say, "We've been doing it this way for thirty years and it's worked for us!" He wouldn't even try anything different. I guess it's a good thing the Wright brothers never listened to anyone tell them they would never fly, lol.

    I say, if you've never tried it, don't knock it.

    As far as Mr. Bruni making money off this method, I really don't see how unless he owns stock in Calgon, because I buy mine at Wally World and I use different detergents. So, he makes no money off of me.
     
  8. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: The Geo Method / Black and Gray Water Holding Tank



    sez benwd: and sez and sez and sez !
     
  9. sharring

    sharring New Member

    Re: The Geo Method / Black and Gray Water Holding Tank

    Geometricenigma, do human bodies produce ammonia, at least maybe a small amount? If so is it good to mix bleech and ammonia? Would it be ok to put a pine oil cleaner in you tanks once in a while. It seems like this would be a good way of keeping the valves working freely.
     
  10. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: The Geo Method / Black and Gray Water Holding Tank

    Pine oil will damage the seals in the tanks, or so it has been printed in RV magazines. I've never tried it so don't really know.
     
  11. im2cuteferu

    im2cuteferu New Member

    Re: The Geo Method / Black and Gray Water Holding Tank

    "What the whole thing does best is to help him to sell his stuff and make money."

    Is he selling Calgon, laundry detergent and bleach?
     
  12. SnowbirdInFlight

    SnowbirdInFlight Senior Member

    Re: The Geo Method / Black and Gray Water Holding Tank





    Not that I can tell.

    http://cbruni.googlepages.com/
     
  13. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: The Geo Method / Black and Gray Water Holding Tank

    I think im2cuteferu :kiss: was being facetious. :laugh:
     

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