Big Orange Holding Tank Vent Filter

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Allan Sasnowski Owner of Big Orange Holding Tank Vent Filter, located in Stouffville, Ontario. Big Orange holding tank vent filter is simple  to install on the vent line of your boat holding tank. Big Orange will starts immediately by filtering the air coming from your boat’s holding tank to remove the odour.

Allan Sasnowski Owner of Big Orange Holding Tank Vent Filter

1. Tell me a bit about yourself and what Big Orange is all about?

My background is in product development, mainly in automotive. I purchased my first boat in 2007, a 25’ Rinker Express Cruiser. During that first summer I learned a lot about boating, including the issues around having a waste holding tank and the odors that it created. I tried a host of different chemicals that only masked the odors. I ended up researching this problem on the internet and asking other boaters how they dealt with it. I found the problem to be wide spread. I also found a group of people on one of the boating forums that were making their own vent filters to eliminate the odors. These were very crude devices, but were somewhat effective. I made one from their directions and it worked fine at getting rid of the odors. However I also found that with the addition of a filter into the vent line enough restriction was created in the system to sometimes collapse my holding tank during a pump out. So I went back to the drawing board. That’s when I designed the Big Orange filter. The Big Orange filter was designed to have a larger capacity of carbon (1500cc vs. 500cc in the tubular filter). I gave it a reverse flow by-pass valve which automatically turns the filter “off” by drawing air into the tank ahead of the filter which reduces the chance of holding tank collapse. Finally, I made sure the Big Orange was easily serviceable. There are no tools needed to get the carbon cartridge out of the boat, all of the plumbing fittings stay attached to the mounting base. Once the cartridge is removed from the mounting base, you only need a Phillips screw driver to remove the cartridge top plate and you can replace the carbon. This design has been eliminating holding tank odors since 2009.

Big Orange OEM Holding Tank Replacement Filter

Big Orange OEM Holding Tank Replacement Filter

2. How did you get started making the Vent filters?

I have been getting a lot of feedback from owners of newer boats that have factory fitted disposable filters. Some of these owners want a reusable solution that fits in their current setup. To address these requests we launched our new “OEM” filter. This filter is a direct replacement for the SeaLand Sanigard P/N 309310001. It uses the same bracket and the same hose fittings. It is reusable and has the built in bypass valve.

3. What are the Benefits to customers using your filters?

The Big Orange filter is designed to eliminate odors coming from the waste marine holding tank without the use of head chemicals, saving the boater money and time. With a filter, the odors are eliminated not masked as they are with chemicals. Both of our designs are reusable, saving the consumer money as well as helping the environment.

Big Orange Holding Tank Vent Filter Installed in a Rinker 350

Big Orange Marine Holding Tank Vent Filter Installed in a Rinker 350

4. What are the Advantages of your filters over the competition?

I don’t really see chemicals as our competition as they only mask the odor, if they work at all. Chemicals are a reoccurring cost, a hassle, a mess and generally not needed. I have had a filter on my boat since 2008 and have not used chemicals. There are a other filters on the market, these are our closest competition. But again, if you consider that these filters are disposable, and can create issues with holding tank collapse due to the restriction that they create, they aren’t much competition.

5. What problems does your filter solve? Our filters eliminate the odors coming from your boats holding tank.

Once you install a Big Orange you can stop using head chemicals. In fact, the Big Orange filter was voted 2012 Editor Choice by Practical Sailor Magazine after a long term test for four different filters.

For more information on Big Orange Holding Tank Vent Filter, Contact Allan at