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Old 07-04-2011, 09:27 AM   #1
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I am camped on private property and the owner doesn't mind if I run the gray water on the ground. Is there any problem with simply leaving the gray water valves open so the tanks drain every time water is run? We will be moving to the county fairgrounds in about one week. At that time we will be able to dump the black water. I will close the gray tanks about three days before that time so that we will have some gray water to flush the hose.

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Old 07-04-2011, 09:29 AM   #2
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Check local laws as most do not allow grey water being dumped.



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Old 07-04-2011, 09:55 AM   #3
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This is WAY out in the boondocks. The "authorities" don't harass the locals about trivial things. I was actually interested in knowing if there are any potential problems I could cause my 5er by leaving the valves open.

It's interesting that a little gray water on the ground that would be filtered very quickly by natural process is a concern to the "authorities." Private boats don't even have gray water tanks. Gray water goes directly into the lake/ocean and has never been a big problem. I'm sure boats would have to have gray water tanks if it were a problem.



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Old 07-04-2011, 10:33 AM   #4
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So, even though it may be illegal it is OK as long as you don't get caught?



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Old 07-04-2011, 01:13 PM   #5
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If it were me and I did dump on the ground they make a cap with a hose fitting so you can run it away from the trailer. Not knowing the soil ... guessing it could be a muddy mess if you just come out the dump. I would guess leaving the valve open would allow water to run over time and not one big flood.



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Old 07-04-2011, 02:50 PM   #6
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I'd be relatively sure that there is nobody on this forum who obeys "all laws all the time." Also, not all laws are well thought out before becoming laws. I would pity a person who obeys all laws simply because they are laws, and seriously doubt that such a person exists.

A little bit of gray water on the ground will be filtered by natural ground processes and will become pure water again, just as surely as if it had been put through a septic system. I can understand why you wouldn't do this in a campground, making a muddy mess for your neighbor, not obeying the rules while using someone else's property, etc. It just doesn't necessarily stand up to logic in my situation. And yes, if there is no obvious reason for a law and nobody can explain to me why it is a good law, then I am likely to violate it if I have reason. Remember....you study history so that you are not doomed to repeat it.




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Old 07-04-2011, 10:51 PM   #7
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Like geondebi said, run it away from the RV, could smell a bit until filtered by the ground and the rain. Mother Nature will take care of it.
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:48 PM   #8
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Just because we find a way to justify it in our mind, doesn't necessarily make it right.
We are making a mess of our earth and waterways with our indiscriminate disposal of our wastes.



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Old 07-05-2011, 12:41 AM   #9
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As mentioned earlier, they make a cap with a water hose connection. I would use this and just crack the valve so you get a slow drain and the grey water is emptied away from your site. I've seen this done in certain situations and it worked out ok.If you use the normal dump hose and pull the valve open you will have a mess.
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:04 AM   #10
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I do this when visiting my dad. I do have the cap with a hose adapter and run a green garden hose 50' away. I leave the grey valves wide open.



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Old 07-05-2011, 02:55 AM   #11
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I agree, use a garden hose and let the grey water flow out next to a tree or bush. I have done this a few times. I don't know about today's regs, but some yrs ago, even in the Nat. Forest, it was OK to do this, at least in the Sacremento Mtns. of NM, they are frequently in a drought, like right now, and that grey water is going to help the forest, not hurt.



A few yrs ago, I purchased some property thru a foreclosure and eviction, the previous owner had for some months used a cesspool, well really just a hole in the ground, for all black and grey waste. I called the county health dept. figuring I needed to have the contaminated soil hauled off or at least pour 10-20 gallons of bleach over the area. They said no, leave it alone and mother nature will take care of it.



As far as I know, in arid parts of this country, local building codes allow seperate plumbing for grey and black waste and grey water can be used drectly for garden and landscape watering.



For everyone opposed to this idea, if what you are putting in the grey tank is so harmful to the planet, then why are you doing it in the first place? Food waste in the grey tank is more beneficial than the same food waste in a landfill. Most soaps and detergents are biodegradable. And we all shed skin cells all the time, not just in the shower. What else is in the grey water that could be so harmful??
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Old 07-05-2011, 03:19 AM   #12
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I would / Have done it, I will do it before going to bed and in the morning there is no smell, And as long as it is not super wet there will be no issues with mud.

And no I didn't and will not be checking local laws about dumping soapy water.
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:43 AM   #13
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Our old pop up never had a grey water tank. It had a hose connection on the side for the sink drain. I used to fill a 5 gallon pail then walk 20-30 ft in the bush and dump it. Even in parks, no one said anything about it.
My father in law said that the other day he seen someone in a rural area on the wrong side of the road dumping right into the ditch...(hope it was ONLY grey!)
I'd say grey water is ok, but not black. Just use a garden hose to save yourself some mess/mud.




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Old 07-05-2011, 05:54 AM   #14
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I agree with gray water is no problem. I have a friend who has been doing it for a long time no smell and the grass loves it.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:09 PM   #15
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Here in WI. where I live, it doesn't make any difference whether you're flushing the toilet, draining out the dish water, washing machine, or, emptying the bath tub. It all is suppose to go into the septic system. That's the law! It doesn't make any difference if you are using bio-degradable products or regular old tide or draining a little cooking grease.
So you guys that think it's OK, why don't you try running a pipe or hose out of your house and letting the washer and bathtub drain in the front lawn? If you live in town or have neighbors close up, you will probably find out real quick what the ordinance is in your locale.
Or better yet, the next campground you go to, ask them if they care if you drop your gray water in your spot before you pull out.
I don't like getting up on a pulpit and sounding off, but if we all don't start taking responsibility for our actions, this old planet is going to hell in a hurry. What might have been ok years ago is not necassarily the standard today.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:21 PM   #16
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I feel like I need to apologize for starting this thread. It was intended to simply be a question as whether it would hurt the 5er in any way to leave those valves open. It was not intended to spark an environmental debate. Hopefully we can agree to disagree on this and move on.





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Old 07-05-2011, 02:29 PM   #17
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Great postas we were talking about this very issue this weekend. While I agree it's the law here in WI. I still do it when I'm cleaning the 5er, shower and sink when we return after an outing. I don't see the difference between washing my cars anddumping the grey tank. Or that road kill that slowly disappears on the road and dumping the grey tank.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:46 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Old Farmer
Here in WI. where I live, it doesn't make any difference whether you're flushing the toilet, draining out the dish water, washing machine, or, emptying the bath tub. It all is suppose to go into the septic system. That's the law! It doesn't make any difference if you are using bio-degradable products or regular old tide or draining a little cooking grease.So you guys that think it's OK, why don't you try running a pipe or hose out of your house and letting the washer and bathtub drain in the front lawn? If you live in town or have neighbors close up, you will probably find out real quick what the ordinance is in your locale.Or better yet, the next campground you go to, ask them if they care if you drop your gray water in your spot before you pull out.I don't like getting up on a pulpit and sounding off, but if we all don't start taking responsibility for our actions,¬* this old planet is going to hell in a hurry. What might have been ok years ago is not necassarily the standard today.


If you lived in an arid part of the country, your view might be a little different and if WI was dealing with water shortage issues, then the law might also be different. A quick google search found a huge amount of info, most moving toward increased grey water use. Below is part of Ca. law as it applies to plumbing codes for homes.Please note, it is 1) intended to encourage greywater reuse, 2) was created in 2007 as an emergency measure and 3) made permanent law in January, 2010, so it is new standards, not something from yrs ago.



"INTRODUCTION

Chapter 16A establishes minimum requirements for the installation of graywater systems in occupancies regulated by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). It is intended to provide guidance to code users while providing flexibility that will encourage the use of graywater. This chapter contains provisions which allow the installation of limited types of graywater systems to be installed without a construction permit. It is not the intent of HCD that the exemption from a construction permit be construed by code users as an exemption from the provisions of this chapter or other lawfully enacted requirements imposed by a city, county, or city and county, nor does it eliminate the need for persons considering the installation of a graywater system from contacting local authorities to ensure they are adequately informed about any local requirements or prohibitions.



ADOPTION

The emergency graywater regulations, which added Chapter 16A "Nonpotable Water Reuse Systems" into the 2007 California Plumbing Code, were approved by the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) on July 30, 2009. The emergency regulations were subsequently filed with the Secretary of State on August 4, 2009, effective immediately upon filing.



In compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act, HCD prepared a ‚ÄúCertificate of Compliance‚Ä? confirming the completion of the rulemaking process, which included a 45-day public comment period, a subsequent 15-day comment period, a Final Statement of Reasons and the Final Express Terms.



The "Certificate of Compliance", along with the Final Express Terms, was unanimously approved by the CBSC and filed with the Secretary of State on January 27, 2010. With the rulemaking action complete, Title 24, Part 5, Chapter 16A, Part I emergency regulations of the 2007 California Plumbing Code were made permanent."
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:35 AM   #19
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Having family in the arid southwest I can tell you their views on greywater are very different from ours in the lush northeast. Perhaps this is part of the mis-understanding going on in this thread. In the northeast greywater is viewed as waste (because we have plenty of water) while the southwest views it as a great way to allow the water to re-enter the ecosystem and not a treatment plant for treatment and evaporation.

I have emptied greywater into the woods at my house, basically used shower and dishwater with no ill effects or sell. I consider myself to be very eco-sensitive and recycle/reuse as much as my family can.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:00 PM   #20
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I'm not going to say wich one of you it is, But I think one of you might be my Dad lol
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