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Old 03-15-2010, 03:37 PM   #1
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Wastewater management question

We were at a state campground with only a dump station. Near the end of our stay, our black tank was nowhere near full (we like it to be full when we dump it) and our gray was too full to allow us to take our final showers. So instead of wasting fresh water to fill our black tank, we took a bucket and filled it with gray water a couple of times and poured it down the commode. Two problems solved. But we are wondering if there is some problem with mixing soap and grease with the black water contents. We don't want to upset the ecology of the black tank and couldn't imagine how it would, but I'll bet there are people here who know more than I do about it. I'd appreciate some info.
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Old 03-15-2010, 03:41 PM   #2
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It's no problem. If you check out a few of the postings FR has piped the sinks in some model Georgetowns into the black water tank as well. I think some of the trailers will mostly have the same set-up.
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:15 PM   #3
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We were at a state campground with only a dump station. Near the end of our stay, our black tank was nowhere near full (we like it to be full when we dump it) and our gray was too full to allow us to take our final showers. So instead of wasting fresh water to fill our black tank, we took a bucket and filled it with gray water a couple of times and poured it down the commode. Two problems solved. But we are wondering if there is some problem with mixing soap and grease with the black water contents. We don't want to upset the ecology of the black tank and couldn't imagine how it would, but I'll bet there are people here who know more than I do about it. I'd appreciate some info.
Well first of all you really shouldn't put grease down any of your tanks. If we have a pan with lots of grease I wipe it out with a paper towel to get it out before washing it in detergent. Just like a septic system at home the soaps will not do a lot of harm to things, there really is no "ecology" to a black tank on an RV unless you use the "biological" adatives. I have never used them as they just don't work well in my experience. I use the Theford "blue stuff" which is formaldahyde based and just melts the stuff in the black tank.

That said, I saw on one guys web site where he used an old RV water pump he had sitting around and taped into the grey tank down low, then plumbed it's output to the top of the black tank. He has a switch on the wall and can then just turn the pump on and transfer from his grey to his black just as much or as little as he likes.

To go one further for those with black water flush systems if you were to put a tee fitting between the tank and the check valve then you wouldn't even need to put a new hole in the black tank, just run the output of the transfer pump to that tee. You would be killing two birds with one stone, transfering your grey to the black and washing the black at the same time. You would of course want some kind of strainer on the pump line to keep particles from food out and possibly from plugging the nozzle on the flush system.
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:30 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys. Your replies were very helpful, and I did find the other thread that was mentioned about plumbing sinks to the black tank. We don't really put much grease down the drains except what can't be avoided while washing dishes. I guess a little bit has to be going down during dishwashing. Stuff like bacon grease, we put in the trash.

As I mentioned, this will solve a couple of problems for me in campgrounds without sewer connections at the sites: I can have a full black tank when I need it without wasting clean water, and I don't have to tote my blue tank to the dump station, just to have room for a couple more showers. Thanks for the information.
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:33 PM   #5
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good idea


why didn't i think of it

i have been in the exact situation, leaving and not really wanting to do a portable tank walk of fame to the dump station.

i did once leave and go dump, then stopped in the parking area and took shower real quick
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:10 PM   #6
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stopped in the parking area and took shower real quick

You weren't using the outside shower, were you?
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:32 PM   #7
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You weren't using the outside shower, were you?
Outside showers... what an awesome addition to our trailers! I love mine, I have a simple privy tent and I would prefer the great outdoors for showering
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:20 PM   #8
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You weren't using the outside shower, were you?
nope didnt want to scare the wildlife
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:19 AM   #9
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My trailer has a single dump connection with 2 valves
next to it.
One valve dumps black water and the other valve dumps sink/shower water.
Once in a great while we manage to get the gray water tank
nearly full when we aren't quite ready to leave.
I leave the big cap on the dump fitting and open both valves.
The full gray tank will cross over and back fill the black tank.
I don't have to use a pump or bucket to "level" out the tanks,
just gravity.

My 2
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
My trailer has a single dump connection with 2 valves
next to it.
One valve dumps black water and the other valve dumps sink/shower water.
Once in a great while we manage to get the gray water tank
nearly full when we aren't quite ready to leave.
I leave the big cap on the dump fitting and open both valves.
The full gray tank will cross over and back fill the black tank.
I don't have to use a pump or bucket to "level" out the tanks,
just gravity.

My 2
Then once the valves are closed and you remove the cap to dump don't you get a shower of ? from that fluid that is left below the slice valves
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