b'BY JEFF CRIDER leach field. Furthermore, clogged systems mayCampCalNOW Near to Securing Legislation Thatsend inadequately treated sewage to thesurface, threatening the health of peoplePlaces Restrictions on Holding-Tank Products or pets who come into contact with it,EPA officials continued. Or it may per-colate to groundwater, where the chem-ganized opposition, has already cleared icals and untreated wastewater couldvarious committees and was approved contaminatenearbydrinkingwaterby the states Senate on Sept. 10 after wells, rivers and streams.being approved by the states Assembly The California Department of Toxicon Sept. 9.Substances Control issued a similar alertIf signed into law by Gov. Gavin New- more than a decade ago, in January 2009,som, SB 317 would ban the sale and use which urged consumers to avoid pur-of RV holding-tank products that contain chasing and using any chemical toiletformaldehyde and 13 other chemicals product that lists formaldehyde as an in-beginning Jan. 1, 2022. gredient in any concentration.SB 317 would ban the sale and use of But instead of banning the sale andRVholding-tankproductscontaining use of RV holding-tank products con-bronopol, dowicil, formalin, formalde- taining these chemicals, the state of Cal-hyde,glutaraldehyde,paraformalde- ifornia has continued to allow the salehyde,para-dichlorobenzene,toluene, and use of such products while periodi-xylene,ethyleneglycol,1,1,1-tri- cally targeting campground and RV parkcloroethane and perchloroethylene in a operators, holding them responsible forseptic system, onsite wastewater treat- the chemicals their guests use and dis-ment system or subsurface disposal sys- charge into their septic and other waste-temthatmayinhibitbiological water treatment systems, according totreatment processes or result indegradationofgroundwater Some holding-tank chemicals killRV holding-tank products that contain formaldehyde quality, the legislation states. good bacteria in a septic system.are the target of a potential ban in California due to CampCalNowhasspentthe harm they can cause in septic systems. more than two decades trying topersuade the state of CaliforniaThe CampCalNow RV Park and Camp- tank products in California that contain to ban the sale and use of RVground Alliance(CampCalNOW) is close formaldehydeandotherchemicals holding-tank products contain-tosecuringpassageoflegislationthat known to cause septic system failures. ing chemicals that disrupt thewould ban the sale and use of RV holding- Senate Bill 317, which has faced no or- proper functioning of septic sys-tems,accordingtoCampCal-NOWofficials. Theeffortwasfirst launched by co-ExecutiveDirector Tug Millerin the 1990s. Infact,Region9GroundWater Officeof the federal Envi-ronmentalProtectionAgency(EPA) issued a warning regard-ing RV holding-tank products containing CampCalNOW officials. formaldehyde and other chemicals in Park operators in other states face theJuly of 1999.same risks to their septic systems andWhen chemicals, such as formalde- waterwells,butstateandnationalhyde, are added to septic systems, EPA campground industry associations haveofficials wrote, they can cause bacteria been waiting to see what happens in Cal-in the system to die. When this happens, ifornia before pursuing legislation ban-the septic system cannot treat waste ef- ningthesaleanduseofcertainfectively. Solids that are allowed to pass chemicals in RV holding-tank products.from the septic tank, due to inadequate I think everybody has been in a wait-or incomplete treatment, may clog the and-see mode to see how this one in Cal-iforniagoes,saidJeffSims,seniordirector of state rela-tionsandprogramadvocacy for the Na-tional Association ofRV Parks and Camp-grounds (ARVC),adding that he plansto discuss Californias Jeff SimslegislationwithARVCs Public Affairs Committee if SB317 becomes law.I certainly think it will be a catalyst forsome positive changes industrywide,Simssaid,addingthathepersonallyspearheaded an effort in his home stateof Missouri in the 1980s to ban chemi-cally-based holding-tank products, butwas never able to gain any traction.Thislegislationislongoverdue,Sims said. The bottom line is chemi-cally-based RV holding-tank productsare not good for septic systems. Its notgood for the environment.Canada banned the sale and use of RVholding-tankproductscontainingformaldehydeandotherchemicalsmany years ago, according to a Dec. 13,2010StudyofSustainabilityatRVParks,producedbyLindaPowersTomasso fortheHarvardUniversity Holding Tank Products continued on page 4614 -October 2019Woodalls Campground Management'