CHICAGO- Nearly half a million snowbirds are expected to descend on Sunbelt RV parks this winter, many of which are owned by Equity LifeStyle Properties.
Nothing unusual there. ELS is the largest owner and operator of RV resorts in the Sunbelt, with roughly 100 of its 170 properties being located in some of the most sought after vacation destinations in California, Arizona, Texas, Florida and the Carolinas.
But while ELS is best known for its resort-like amenities, which include sparkling swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts, concerts and other live entertainment, the company is also hoping to gain market recognition for finding an environmentally friendly way to treat RV holding tank waste.
This fall, ELS is introducing snowbirds to Nature-ZYME, its private label RV and marine holding tank product manufactured by BiOWish Technologies, a Chicago-based company that has established itself as a world leader in the creation of fast-acting, environmentally friendly wastewater treatment products.
In addition to providing every guest with information on Nature-ZYME when they check in, ELS representatives are discussing the product - and the problems associated with formaldehyde and other chemical-based holding tank treatment products - at mini seminars and informal gatherings.
The fundamental problem with chemical based holding tank products, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is that they disrupt the natural biological processes that break down human waste in septic and other wastewater treatment systems.
The California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds sponsored a bill earlier this year with nearly unanimous support from the state legislature that would have banned the sale of RV holding tank products with formaldehyde and other chemicals.
While Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill, campground operators in California and other states are stepping up their efforts to educate consumers about the hazards associated with using chemical-based holding thank products.
"When chemicals, such as formaldehyde, are added to septic systems, they can cause bacteria in the system to die," the EPA wrote in a July 1999 alert to consumers and park operators. "When this happens, the septic system cannot treat waste adequately. Solids that are allowed to pass from the septic tank, due to inadequate or incomplete treatment, may clog the leachfield. Furthermore, clogged systems may send inadequately or incompletely treated sewage to the surface, threatening the health of people or pets who come into contact with it. Or it may percolate to ground water, where the chemicals and untreated wastewater could contaminate nearby drinking water wells, rivers and streams."
Nature-ZYME, however, is an enzyme based product that does not contain any microbial inhibitors or suffocants. "It is truly organic and biodegradable," said David Kozy, vice president and director of operations of RV, Home & Marine Solutions, the ELS subsidiary that is marketing the Nature-ZYME holding tank treatment product.
"We really think we have identified a solution to one of the most challenging environmental problems in the RV and marine industries," he said, adding that RVers and ELS resort operators have been quietly testing this product for months in a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions and have been amazed at its performance.
RVers, for their part, say they have been impressed with Nature-ZYME's performance.
Dave Morgen, a 69-year-old Kentucky resident and part-time RV tour director, said he tried Nature-ZYME on multiple RV trips in July, August, September and October, including one six-week trip. "It seems to break down everything a lot better than the chemical products," he said, adding that he never used an environmentally friendly RV holding tank product before.
Bob and Roxanne Camron of Paso Robles, Calif. also used Nature-ZYME during a recent 10-day trip from California to Santa Fe, N.M. and were pleased with the results. "It performed better than previous products in that no odor was detected at all," Bob Camron said.
Kozy said ELS found an environmentally friendly solution for wastewater treatment when an outside consultant suggested the company use an enzyme-based treatment products to improve the performance of the company's septic tanks and wastewater treatment systems. "We found that the product worked so well that we asked BiOWIsh Technologies if they could produce a product that would work for the RV and marine industries," Kozy said. "We subsequently obtained the licensing rights to market the product as Nature-ZYME in the U.S."
ELS expects to personally introduce Nature-ZYME to hundreds of thousands of RV enthusiasts as they visit ELS resorts in the Sunbelt and across the country during the coming year, Kozy said. For more information on Nature-ZYME, please visit www.Nature-Zyme.com
Chicago-based Equity Lifestyle Properties is a publicly traded real estate investment trust that owns and operates RV resorts and manufactured home communities throughout the U.S. and Canada, including Thousand Trails, America finest membership camping and home of the Zone Camping Pass. For more information on ELS and its subsidiaries, please visit www.equitylifestyle.com andwww.thousandtrails.com
ELS owns and operates RV resorts in the following Sunbelt communities:
• Apollo Village RV Resort, Peoria
• Araby Acres RV Resort, Yuma
• Cactus Gardens RV Resort, Yuma
• Capri RV Resort, Yuma
• Casa del Sol Resort West, Peoria
• Casita Verde RV Resort, Casa Grande
• Central Park RV Resort, Phoenix
• Countryside RV Resort, Apache Junction
• Desert Paradise RV Resort, Yuma
• Desert Vista RV Resort, Salome
• Fairview Manor, Tucson
• Fiesta Grande RV Resort, Casa Grande
• Foothill Village RV Resort, Yuma
• Foothills West RV Resort, Casa Grande
• Golden Sun RV Resort, Apache Junction
• Mesa Verde RV Resort, Yuma
• Monte Vista Village RV Resort, Mesa
• Palm Shadows RV Resort, Glendale
• Paradise RV Resort, Sun City
• Seyenna Vistas RV Resort, Mesa
• Suni Sands RV Resort, Yuma
• Sunrise Heights RV Resort, Phoenix
• Valley Verde RV Resort, Cottonwood
• Valley Vista RV Resort, Benson
• Viewpoint RV Resort, Mesa
• Voyager RV Resort, Tucson
• Whispering Palms RV Resort, Phoenix
• Morgan Hill RV Resort, Morgan Hill
• Oakzanita Springs RV Resort, Descanso
• Pacific Dunes RV Resort, Oceano
• Palm Springs Oasis RV Resort, Cathedral City
• Palm Springs RV Resort, Palm Desert
• Pio Pico RV Resort, Jamul
• Rancho Oso RV Resort, Santa Barbara
• San Benito RV Resort, Paicines
• Santa Cruz Ranch RV Resort, Scotts Valley
• San Francisco RV Resort, Pacifica
• Soledad Canyon RV Resort, Acton
• Turtle Beach RV Resort, Manteca
• Wilderness Lakes RV Resort, Menifee
• Barrington Hills RV Resort, Hudson
• Breezy Hill RV Resort, Pompano Beach
• Bulow RV Resort, Flagler Beach
• Clerbrook Golf and RV Resort, Clermont
• Crystal Isles RV Resort, Crystal River
• Fort Myers Beach RV Resort, Fort Myers
• Gulf Air RV Resort, Fort Myers Beach
• Gulfview RV Resort, Punta Gorda
• Harbor Lakes RV Resort, Port Charlotte
• Highland Wood RV Resort, Pompano Beach
• Lake Magic RV Resort, Clermont
• Orlando RV Resort, Clermont
• Peace River RV Resort, Wauchula
• Pine Island RV Resort, St. James City
• Pioneer Village RV Resort, North Fort Myers
• Ramblers Rest RV Resort, Venice
• Royal Coachman RV Resort, Nokomis
• Sherwood Forest RV Resort, Kissimmee
• Silver Dollar RV Resort, Odessa
• Southern Palms RV Resort, Eustis
• Sunshine Holiday Daytona RV Resort, Daytona Beach
• Sunshine Holiday MHCC RV Resort, Fort Lauderdale
• Sunshine Key RV Resort and Marina, Big Pine Key
• Sunshine Travel RV Resort, Vero Beach
• Terra Ceia Village RV Resort, Palmetto
• Three Flags RV Resort, Wildwood
• Tobys RV Resort, Arcadia
• Topics RV Resort, Spring Hill
• Vacation Village RV Resort, Largo
• Winter Garden RV Resort, Winter Garden
• Winter Quarters Manatee RV Resort, Bradenton
• Winter Quarters Pasco RV Resort, Lutz
• Forest Lake RV Resort, Advance
• Goose Creek RV Resort, Newport
• Green Mountain Park RV Resort, Lenoir
• Lake Gaston RV Resort, Littleton
• Lake Myers RV Resort, Mocksville
• Scenic RV Resort, Asheville
• Twin Lakes RV Resort, Chocowinity
• Waterway RV Resort, Swansboro
• Carolina Landing RV Resort, Fair Play
• The Oaks at Point South RV Resort, Yemassee
• Bay Landing RV Resort, Bridgeport
• Colorado River RV Resort, Columbus
• Country Sunshine RV Resort, Weslaco
• Fun N Sun RV Resort, San Benito
• Lake Conroe RV Resort, Willis
• Lake Tawakoni RV Resort, Point
• Lake Texoma RV Resort, Gordonville
• Lake Whitney RV Resort, Whitney
• Lakewood RV Resort, Harlingen
• Medina Lake RV Resort, Lakehills
• Paradise Park RV Resort, Harlingen
• Paradise South RV Resort, Mercedes
• Southern Comfort RV Resort, Weslaco
• Tropic Winds RV Resort, Harlingen