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Old 09-13-2018, 07:32 AM   #1
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Sewer dump at home

Hi,



In my front yard, there are two white PVC pipes with caps. They are flush with the dirt. I took the cap off one a and it's definitely a path to the sewer in my neighborhood. I'm not sure why they are there, but I think all of my neighbors have similar caps.



My question is, can I dump/clean out my tanks using one of these entry points to the neighborhood sewer? I'm going to call the local sewer authority but I'm assuming the will tell me no, even if it's possible.



We have a hurricane heading this way and if we need to live in the RV for a few days I wanted to be able to use the bathroom, and dumping it later. Without having to haul the camper to a dump station.



Thanks,
Mike
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:10 AM   #2
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Those caps in your yard are for pipe clogs should the pipe become blocked, as yes you can dump your tanks into them. I have the same setup, but only dump maybe once a year as I generally use the CG sewer hookup.

Honestly I would not even call your sewer authority as they have more pressing things to take care of right now with that storm coming, but that is your call.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:34 AM   #3
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Thanks. Yeah, your right, they probably have many more important things to think about. Just wanted to make sure it was possible. I didn't want to use them and then find out later It caused some major problem.

Mike
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:01 AM   #4
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Since none of us are there to see exactly what you are seeing, I would recommend flushing toilet and seeing if you see the water rush by the opening/pipe you are looking down just to make sure. It 's possible that pipe is a curtain/french drain for your gutter runoff. The other pipe you have in your yard may be a water shutoff valve to secure water going to your house.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:08 AM   #5
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What you are dumping in is the same thing as what comes from your house just in a larger volume so until you are sure the pipe can handle the volume I would keep my hand on the valve for a quick shut off if necessary. We are on a septic tank and cannot get the camper to the cleanout so I have used one of those little tanks on wheels on occasion.

Be safe.
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:50 AM   #6
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Do you live in the city and have city sewer, or, are you in the country/rural and have your own septic tank and drain field?

I don't remember seeing the white pipes sticking above ground for city sewer. I have them. I'm out in the country with my on septic system.


One of the pipes is close to the house and has a shut off valve in the bottom so you can shut it off if sewage were to backup in to the basement. (sure hope I never have that problem)

The other pipe is a few feet from the septic tank.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:26 PM   #7
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My son just had to have a sewer line replaced. Old line and tree roots were the cause and the plumber put in a clean out but it does not stick above ground. It is about 3 or 4 " below grade. The plumber said that way it wont get hit with a mower. The plumber said it was needed to pass code. Don't know if that's city or county or state but he said it was code.

When we had our new septic tank installed they put in 2 clean outs 1 points toward the house and 1 towards the tank. Was told it was to make it easier to put a snake it. But we are on a crawl space and not much room down there.

But I agree to flush the toilet and watch to be sure it is a sanitary not storm line.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:26 PM   #8
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We park our Z-1 right next to our house, next to our master suite to be specific.

It just so happens that there is a clean out port for the bathroom sewer in the block wall immediately opposite our waste port on the RV.

I use the 'Sewer Solution' waste hose system which uses a clear 1" hose to dump the tanks.

I have stuffed about three feet of the pipe down that clean out port and drained my tanks on numerous occasions with zero negative results.

No back ups, no smell inside or outside the house, (Mrs. R would kill me If I accidentally filled our jaccuzzi tube with the contents of 'Harvey's' Black tank.)

I'm lucky as I can do this discretely, running a big three inch corrugated pipe across your yard might upset the HOA if they are unfamiliar with RV campsite operations.....if you know what I mean.

I doubt you'll have any issues, just be considerate to you neighbors, not that you need my advice in that respect I'm sure.

Good luck, and I pray you and your family stay safe in the coming days.
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:00 AM   #9
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Lloyd -- we live in a suburb of a small city. We have sewers.



I noticed these two white pipes caps a while ago when we first moved in. One of the caps was broken off. Before I replaced it, I noticed the smell and it was definitely sewer. The other cap I haven't taken off yet but it's good advice to have a look when the toilet flushes to see if water is going by - if I can even see down that dark tube.



Thanks!

Mike
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:12 AM   #10
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Use a good flashlight.
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Old 09-16-2018, 11:23 AM   #11
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Or a dip stick.
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:31 PM   #12
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Update on this.

I opened (what I think is) the sewer cleanout pipe. I looked down it but the pipe is angled. I can't see more then about a foot.

However, I left it off and took a whiff. Definitely sewer.



So I was going to first try this with the gray tank, just in case it can't handle the volume I rather know with old kitchen water then black tank ... contents.



Thanks,
mike
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:27 AM   #13
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I have no idea what they may be, however 2 things I would not do:ONE - I wouldn't call the sewer people or ask a neighbor,
That would put you on their radar.
TWO - I wouldn't dump anything down those pipes until you know absolutely what they are.
Having said that I would call a Professional Plumber and pay him to discover thier purpose.
Money well spent. Much cheaper than having to reverse your dump and screwing up a system that might include a lot more people than just you !
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Old 09-21-2018, 12:53 PM   #14
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Those white caps are for clean out access to your main sewer line to city/county if you are on municipal sewer system. If you dump your tanks in one of these and do black then grey (as I was instructed) you should not have any problem. It is a 4" pipe in most states and if you are still concerned dump just before you wash clothes as this will definitely clear your addition.


Some times there is a clean out to a septic tank. I don't know that it is required. This, too, should be ok as most of the campground dump stations I have been to are on septic systems.
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Old 09-21-2018, 07:28 PM   #15
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I agree that the standpipes are sewer cleanouts. I would think that a municipal sewer connection would be able to handle a camper dumping its tanks. On the other hand, I would be cautious dumping into a septic system. I'm not sure a residential septic system is designed to handle an extra 50 to 100 gallons dumped into it at once.
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Old 09-21-2018, 07:40 PM   #16
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One additional thing on this. I retired in 2017 after working 31 years in the water/wastewater department for a municipal government in Virginia. I don't recall ever hearing of anyone dumping an RV into their sewer cleanout. However, we received many reports and were always on the lookout for a particular septic tank pumping company that would empty their trucks into sewer manholes. They will eventually get caught, arrested and fined enormously.
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:01 AM   #17
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I called a plumber, actually two local plumbers I have used before and asked about the pipes. One wanted $115 to come out and tell me what the pipe was. The other just told me. It is a sewer cleanout and he thinks (unofficially of course) that my dumping my tanks won't cause any problems.



To clarify, I won't be dumping a large amount. My tanks are actually just about empty, I dumped and washed them out at my last camp. But we have had a lot of hot weather here lately (30 days straight) and the black tank is smelling pretty bad. There must have been something left over in it. All I really want to do is dump a few gallons of water and maybe a little Borax and dish detergent and dump that.



One of you mentioned a truck dumping into manhole covers and a fine and being arrested. Clearly illegal.

It seems that my dumping my own waste, with water I got from my house into my own sewer connection would not be illegal. Though there is probably some ordinance against. I looked up my local sewer company website to see if there was anything mentioned about RV dumping and there wasn't.





Hurricane Florence just passed through here. It was supposed to be the storm of the century. We were told we were almost definitely going to lose power for days. So I bought some Honda Inverter Generators and got ready. The plan was to live in the RV using the Honda's and hook up the sewer hose to my cleanout. Now that might have tested the patience of my sewer company (and neighbors). The storm just left us with a lot of rain though.
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:05 AM   #18
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Davis -- do you recall if it was illegal for people to dump things down their sewer cleanouts?
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:54 AM   #19
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Not sure about your state but I Know here in MO. it must be ok. When they built my sisters subdivision they would pour a pad add a electrical hook up and a sewer dump if you wanted. I live in the country and have on occasion used my septic tank cleanout to dump. I cannot get the trailer to the cleanout so I dump into a tank on wheels and then pull that to the cleanout. Do not do that all the time just when I don't have access to a dump station.

For what you are going to do I see no problem if your line is in good shape. You could try to dump a 5 gal. bucket of water down and see what happens if you wanted. As far a volume when you drain the bathtub or washer drains there is more volume then what you will be dumping.

One last thing :you said you have a "smell" from your holding tank. After you dump did you add about 3 toilet bowls of water and some chemical or what ever you use? After we dump and I close the valve the wife puts 3 bowls of water in and the little packets that we use in the tank and we are ready for the next trip. No smell between trips. That's just what we do.


Happy Camping!
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:59 AM   #20
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Hi Dag,



There is a chemical I added to the tanks while we were camping but not right before the last dump, I can't remember the name. It's supposed to dissolve solid waste. But for the last cleanout, I just used the blank tank flush and added a few tanks of water and dumped a few times. Guess that wasn't enough. Thanks for the reply.

Mike
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