Chemical Usage & Tips
Chemical Use Considerations:
- Chemical Components and Their Function
- Biocides: The biocides are the active ingredients that kill the odor-producing Gram-positive bacteria. There are about five that are commonly used in this industry - often in combination. Product form (liquid, tablets, and powders) is a predominant factor in dictating the biocide package. The most common biocides are Formaldehyde, Glutaraldehyde (pentane dial), Bronopol, Quat Salts and Chlorotriazaazonia Adamantane.
- Dye: Chemicals are blue because it is the most appealing color. It is used to hide the waste.
- Fragrance: The fragrance masks residual odor and provides a pleasant environment. A wide variety of scents are available to try.
- Surfactants: Surfactants are hydrotropes (solubilizing agents) used to make the fragrance miscible in the water.
- Picking a Chemical Product
- Proven Track Record: Select established products with a good performance history from a reputable source.
- Wastewater Plants Acceptance: Some treatment facilities will not accept wastewater that has been treated with formaldehyde. It’s banned in California for example. Formaldehyde has traditionally been considered the most effective. Some states are considering doing the same with Glutaraldehyde. However, non-formaldehyde “combinations” are now equally as good, but perhaps a little more costly. One must be cognizant of the local regulatory restrictions and the active biocide in the particular chemical product being used.
- Safety: Another consideration is safety. All biocides are toxic to some extent. It is, therefore, important to use common sense safeguards during application of the chemical. Goggles and solvent-resistant gloves are normally adequate. Consult the MSDS for other personal protective equipment (PPE) information. Formaldehyde-based products are viewed as being the most toxic. Glutaraldehyde (pentane dial) is perhaps the second most toxic. The measurement method can also impact safety in handling. For example, measuring pumps, tablets, sachets or tip-and-pour bottles allow for less handling, and therefore, potentially less exposure.
- Cost: Liquids are the most economical if used correctly. However, sometimes they are overused, which detracts from the savings. In addition there can be loss owing to spillage. If a pre-measured type product is used it’s easier to control costs. Sachets, tablets, tip-and pour and squeeze-and-pour are among the most common pre-measured products. “Premixing” in a holding tank on the service truck is often employed as another means of saving time and controlling costs. Liquids are the most appropriate if pre-mixing is being employed.
Trouble Shooting Guide & Basic Notes
- When the color of the dye solution becomes green earlier than expected
- Too great a challenge – shorter time between services.
- Chemical contaminants – ensure no dumping of chemicals is taking place.
- Too much water or too little chemical (Chemical to water ratio incorrect)
- Rain water – repair leaks.
- When drum does not smell as strong as you anticipated
- Stored for a long period open to the atmosphere – or too much exposure to UV or sunlight
- Weather too cool – keep in warmer environs.
- Drum configuration has changed (different supplier drum specs)
- With perfume – fresher batch, aroma is less. Older, more oxidized aldehydes form acetals and hemiacetals to give more “depth’ to the aroma intensity.
- When the product does not appear as thick
- Weather too hot – store in normal ambient conditions.
- Manufacturing processing steps have been altered by operator.
(Important to understand that 2 formulas can be identical with one appearing “thicker”)
- When there is an odor that seems to linger after clean up/service
- There is debris in the tank – check the unit for debris such as cans or twigs and remove.
- Unit is retaining waste matter – check unit for fissures or clefts that retain soil and make necessary repairs.
- There is cloth or rags in the tank – check unit for rags and remove.
- Toilet Chemical has been contaminated – switch to a fresh container of chemical and institute preventative measures to avoid future contamination.
- Mound of waste above the water line
- Water volume is too small – make sure that at least 5 gallons of charge water is being used.
- Challenge is too heavy – shorter time between services.
- Tank solution tinted brown
- If tank solution is tinted brown immediately after servicing then unit was not cleaned adequately or too little chemical used.
(greenish turning into brownish)
- If tank water is tinted prior to service – that is sometimes normal, especially in heavy use situations, indicating that the unit needs more chemical to begin with.
- chemical contaminants from other cleaners may have neutralized the chemical in the holding tank.
- White precipitates of powder like floating scum
- White floating matter – likely components from the waste interacting with the detergent ingredients or paper pulp fibers in the toilet chemical. This generally may pose an aesthetic issue but does not affect the performance.
- It may be interaction of stabilizers with binders; but does not affect the performance.
- How to recognize NSD & regular dye
- Stick any white PVC tube into the mix solution, monomolecular component in regular dye rinses off with continue washing/rinsing. Color disappears for any plastic surfaces with regular dye. For NSD, polymeric molecular component adheres to the plastic surfaces and does exhibit staining properties.
- Early discoloration of tank water – challenge is heavy; increase service frequency or consider switching to product with regular dye.
- Regular dye has more hiding/masking power.
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Regular dye and NSD dye
Regular Dye vs. Non-Staining Dye
- Technical compositional differences
- Staining property on skin
- Staining property on hard surfaces
- Masking ability differences
- Advantages/Disadvantages of Liquid
- Easier to mix together as a whole blend
- More flexible with different types of formulations
- Hard to control cost per service; but can be most cost effective
- Messy and “leaky”
- More room for aroma if needed
- Advantages/Disadvantages of Powder
- Proportioned – Easier cost control
- Less spills and less messy
- Easier handling and shipping
- Limitations on “add on” to the formula
- Direct Charges vs. Pre-mixed Chemical
- Perfume Types
- Spray types
- Pure perfume oil concentrates
- Emulsified perfume
- Air Fresher Disk
- Use of Cleaners
- Delimer (scented)
- Graffiti Remover
- Heavy Duty Degreaser
- Truck Wash
- Urinal Wash
- Wash Down (scented)
- Scent is not lingering at the end of the week.
- Reduced perfume intensity – mainly due to hot weather vaporizing the volatile components; consider increase in service frequency, an indication that the perfume is “vaporizing”; use more lingering perfume with residual properties, (usually perfume ingredients responsible for lingering and residual properties cost more).
- Sachets Harden
- Eliminate exposure to moisture, humidity or any open air. Studies show exposure to any moisture or humidity can cause sachets to harden and brittle. There is no evidence, however, that this hardening reduces efficacy of the product. Absorption of moisture may affect dissolution time, longer time to dissolve in water.
- Other things that could affect the “texture” or the brittleness of the sachet are:
Temperature swings; pressure differential due to moisture content in the air; and if the foil packets are not sealed back tightly between uses or interim, this could also harden the membrane. Wet hands or wet gloved hands in handling the sachets would definitely change the characteristics of the PVA film of the sachets.
Bio Packets in Septic System
- Minimum recommendation for septic use with the bio packets is as follows.
- 5-10 packets to initially “shock” the system.
- After shock use 1 packet per month.
- If that doesn’t work try 1 packet every 2 weeks.
- The usage after the initial “shock” isn’t an exact science most people find that they have to experiment a little bit but a good rule of thumb to start is 1 per month.
- The product can be just dropped straight in however we do recommend once the septic tank is pumped the customer fills the tank with water prior to dropping in the 5-10 “shock” packets.
- Approximately 15-20% of the tank capacity should be water. For example a 1000 gallon tank should be initially charge with approximately 150-200 gallons of water.
- For the monthly or bi-weekly packets the customer just has to make sure there is liquid in the tank so the packet can dissolve. If the tank is dry the product will not dissolve and activate.