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  • Writer's pictureR&A Cleansing

Waste on the Move: What Vehicles Feature Holding Tanks?

Updated: Apr 22

Have you ever been in a vehicle that has a toilet and wondered, ‘where does it lead to’? Well, let us answer that for you - everything is flushed away into a holding tank! A holding tank is quite self explanatory; it’s a tank that temporarily holds wastewater and sewage.

These are typically used in certain vehicles where there is a toilet and additional water facilities. Read on below as we discuss holding tank sewage systems in more detail.

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Vehicles with Holding Tanks


If you’ve ever been on a coach, especially for a long journey, then you’ll have likely noticed that there is a toilet situated inside. When on a coach trip, it’s uncommon for the driver to stop off along the journey for passengers to have a toilet break, since they have a schedule they are required to stick to. As such, it makes more sense to have a toilet on board.

This offers all passengers the convenience of being able to relieve themselves at any point throughout the trip while the driver can focus on sticking to their schedule. The toilets on a coach are designed to use minimal water, often using an electric or manual pump that flushes waste into the holding tank, which is located below the floor of the coach. There is also a small sink for passengers to wash their hands, the water of which will also empty into the holding tank.


Caravans, motorhomes and campervans are all great for people who like to go on short getaways without having to worry about the costly price and stress of arranging accommodation - instead, they offer you your accommodation and transport in one!

Since they operate as a form of accommodation, they have many of the necessary features of a home, just on a much smaller scale. This includes a sink, toilet and even a shower in some instances. Depending on the size of the motorhome in question and the duration for which it’s being used at any given time, a sufficient holding tank is a necessity for collecting the amount of wastewater and sewage produced in these without causing an inconvenience to users.

The frequency with which the holding tank is emptied is dependent on how often the motorhome is used throughout the year, with more frequent trips requiring more frequent emptying.


Many modern trains come with self-contained toilets on board. Unlike the trains from decades ago, which would litter the tracks with human excrement and wastewater (the reason why you would only be allowed to use the toilet when the train was moving, rather than at the station!), the trains of today (thankfully) feature chemical holding tanks along their undercarriage, so that sewage and wastewater produced on board can be emptied responsibly and safely.

The clever thing about this system is that the toilet will automatically stop functioning when the tank is full, which is why it’s important that the tanks are emptied regularly - especially for trains that regularly cover long distances.

Liquid Waste Removal Services

Do you own a vehicle that uses a holding tank? If so, then it’s important that this is regularly emptied and cleaned - the cleaner you keep your holding tank, the longer it will survive while remaining safe and functional.

Here at R & A Cleansing, we offer comprehensive holding tank cleaning and maintenance services in Cornwall in Devon. Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help you.

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