Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from an article authored by Jeff Crider for Woodall’s Campground Management examining the growing “green” initiative in the camping industry as operators utilize products and strategies that conserve energy. To read the entire story click here.

Ocean Lakes Family Campground has made headlines over the years for its investments in solar energy and recycling and promotion of electric vehicles.

Last summer, the 893-site, Myrtle Beach, S.C., park opened the first electric vehicle charging station on the Carolina coast, while also recruiting its guests to recycle more than 330,000 pounds of solid waste.

But as the nation celebrates Earth Day in April, Ocean Lakes is turning its attention to an admittedly less glamorous but equally important green initiative: the installation of locking, spring-activated sewer caps.

Turns out, Ocean Lakes, like many other low-lying campgrounds, RV parks and resorts along the East Coast, is vulnerable to heavy downpours, including tropical storms and hurricanes. But by installing watertight sewer caps at each campsite, Ocean Lakes not only can prevent floodwaters from entering its sewer system, but also, more importantly, prevent sewage from rising up through the pipelines and contaminating park grounds.

“This new system guards against sewer backups and infrastructure failures from storm surges,” said Kevin McWhiter, Ocean Lakes’ manager of maintenance and facilities, adding that the caps can also help control sewage processing costs.

Locking sewer caps are the latest in a growing variety of environmentally friendly products that campgrounds, RV parks and resorts are purchasing to reduce their water and sewer consumption, while reducing potential sources of contamination.

Chicago-based RV Home & Marine Solutions has made growing sales of an environmentally friendly holding tank product called Nature-Zyme, which not only destroys odors and liquefies waste, but nourishes and rejuvenates the biological processes used in septic systems. In some cases, park operators are finding that ongoing use of Nature-Zyme can actually extend the life of their septic fields.

“What’s really encouraging for us is that our campground customers are recognizing that our holding tank product provides a greater advantage to them in the preventative maintenance of their septic systems,” said Dave Kozy, vice president and director of operations for RV Home & Marine Solutions. “In fact, continued use of Nature-Zyme can actually help remediate septic systems by moving our enzyme products into the field where they are doing their best work.”