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Old 07-13-2018, 11:36 PM   #1
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Any advice on using home septic to drain black water?

Does anyone have experience using a home septic system with a drain field (not a pump out tank or city line) to empty black water from their AS from time to time after trips? Info is sparse and the only issues I seem to see are capacity (we wouldn’t add much) and any AS tank solutions that contain enzymes or bacteria that would negatively alter the flora in our septic tank. Any expert thoughts?
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:32 AM   #2
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I'm no expert at doing this, but am interested in having such a setup here. My thought would be to use a portable macerator or a Sewer Solution to chop up the solids. Then you could pump the mostly liquid through a smaller hose to the input of your sewer system. We don't use any type of chemicals in our toilet so that wouldn't be a concern.
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Old 07-14-2018, 05:01 AM   #3
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I do this at home, it works out great. At one point, my outflow pipe from the house collapsed, and when it was replaced they installed a clean out access tee, where it comes out of the house. This was about 5 years before our first RV, while I've never used it to clean out the pipe, it works perfectly for this.

As to capacity, there wouldn't be much difference, you plan to use it after trips, which indicates you haven't used the system while you were gone so it works out to the same amount

I would be less inclined to use a macerator, thinking of how a septic system works with the baffle walls to block solids from getting near the outflow port, if you macerate it all up and then high flow it into the system it could cause it to bypass the baffle and work it's way to the out flow and over contaminate the field and with the paper products bring a part of it potentially clogging the pipes in the field. Let the solids remain solid and give them the time needed to settle to the bottom as designed.

I'm no expert, just my thoughts on the process.
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Old 07-14-2018, 05:09 AM   #4
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. . .
. . . AS tank solutions that contain enzymes or bacteria that would negatively alter the flora in our septic tank. Any expert thoughts?
Most folks are not that familiar with the old-fashioned "cesspools" which are, for much of the country, the only septic system -- a hole in the ground lined with bricks or concrete. Cesspools and their younger cousins -- septic tanks -- do indeed rely on natural bacteria to "compost" human waste.

Do our black tank odor-control additives [often based on formaldehyde?] kill/compromise the action of the bacteria in our cesspools and septic tanks?

An excellent question, to which I have no answers unfortunately, but one which needs to rise to the surface of everyone's attention IMO.

Peter

PS -- This thread might find a broader audience in the Waste Systems sub-forum IMO:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f444/
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:03 AM   #5
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Do our black tank odor-control additives [often based on formaldehyde?] kill/compromise the action of the bacteria in our cesspools and septic tanks?
I think another good question might be, if you have a well, do you want those chemicals in your well water?

Most people seem to have the impression that the aquifer is some ancient water source and that their actions on the surface don't reach their well. While the water may take hundreds of years to percolate in a few areas, most seem to be in the range of a few months to a few years tops. Chemicals that you put in your septic tank (or on your lawn for that matter) that bacteria can't break down will end up in the aquifer, which is your drinking water, and you children's drinking water.

Food (drink?) for thought.
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:07 AM   #6
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The labels on some of the RV toilet chemicals say they are "septic tank safe." I make sure to use those so that I can dump tanks into my septic system when I get home. And then I hope the label writers aren't lying just to get the sale.
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:18 AM   #7
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Cess pools are a thing of the past as septic tanks well defined above post. Now a new system also being used where claims of waste water emitted hasn't any contamination. Many ordinances now call for new systems outlawing cement tanks and old fashioned cess pools. one thing this is 3 dif. systems all perform dif. As for Q. yes you can use septic for dumping rv. A lot of older state parks are not hooked into muni. sewer systems, still use septic system for emptying rvs. and rest rooms. I would not recommend macerator as stated solids are trapped by baffles, this would plug up leach lines. A huge mess and costly to replace leach fields.
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:01 AM   #8
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My septic guy, in addition to mentioning no chemicals, also mentioned that you are dumping 30-40 gallons at one time. Your normal dump into the septic tank is 2 gallons for a toilet flush, 5 gallons for washer, shower, dishwasher. This larger amount from the black water tank may stir up the septic tank and cause solid/sludge over flow problems.
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Old 07-14-2018, 11:15 AM   #9
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We've been dumping directly into our septic system for the past 21 years with no ill effects.



I would echo Randy NH on NO Macerator, and certainly NO chemicals. A macerator would flow solids into the drain field and result in a very costly rehab of the field. With chemicals you run the risk of killing off the beneficial bacteria, or at least upsetting the balance, that make the whole thing work.


Just my view.
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Old 07-14-2018, 11:28 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by davetoregon View Post
My septic guy, in addition to mentioning no chemicals, also mentioned that you are dumping 30-40 gallons at one time. Your normal dump into the septic tank is 2 gallons for a toilet flush, 5 gallons for washer, shower, dishwasher. This larger amount from the black water tank may stir up the septic tank and cause solid/sludge over flow problems.
——————-
Years ago we dumped our black tank into our septic tank. Probably did have some formaldehyde in it back then but we added ride to our septic tank monthly and over many years worked well.

Now 35 yrs later we miss that convenience.
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Old 07-14-2018, 11:51 AM   #11
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I do it. Er.... ah.... I mean I heard of a guy who does it, but not in my neighborhood since travel trailers are not allowed here. I use a valtera sewer solution to attach to the trailer and 1" pvc pipe from there to reach the cleanout in the sewer line that my plumber placed just before the entrance to the tank. The sewer solution comes with an adapter to fit 1" pvc to a range of drain cleanout sizes. As for killing the bacteria, my wife takes care of that with the amount of Clorox she uses (she's a bleacher, that one!) I fight back with regular application of helpful bacteria packets and paper digesting chemicals available and finer hardware stores and home centers.

So far, no problems.
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by davetoregon View Post
My septic guy, in addition to mentioning no chemicals, also mentioned that you are dumping 30-40 gallons at one time. Your normal dump into the septic tank is 2 gallons for a toilet flush, 5 gallons for washer, shower, dishwasher. This larger amount from the black water tank may stir up the septic tank and cause solid/sludge over flow problems.
Wow... don't know about you but the shower seems to flow at 5 gal a min here... and after 5 min.. thats a whopping 25-30 gal of water hitting the septic system in the house...

If your worried about too much water... one could drain the black water tank first... about 20 gal... and then wait a while and either drain the gray water on the weeds ( lawn) (shower water won't hurt the weeds.. and so long as you don't dump into the toilet... leave the trailer hooked to the garden hose attachment...when you take a shower or other kitchen duties.... or just dump it down... as by then the seperation tank can handle it...

I would add some of that emzine that they sell to help break down the solids... we have the system at one cabin.. and use it once a month to keep the system working great... TP is your worst enemy... but we use good stuff in the trailer.. so its compatable with the septic system...

As to getting into the well... water... by the time it perks through all the soil.. its pretty much cleaned up.. I'd worry more about the dinosaurs pee getting into the well water.... after all if the cow take a crap on the field... how long will it take to hit the water table... ? long time.. and besides the solution to the polution is dilution... either way... after a month.. you could drink the old water... as the soil bugs and trees and all have pretty much had their way with it... and the only things left are the organics... which won't hurt ya...

As to putting the dump system into the houses line... I would not want to just hook up to the clean out... i.e Y fitting... you will get a lot of sewer gas back out that pipe... you need to go one step further and put a water trap in the line that is effectivly like the toilets... line... even though you don't use it that often... and the trap water will go away somewhat... its better to have it...

We found some plans on the web.. and put ours into a concrete fixture.. that was about 18 in x 18 inches square with a 1 inch lip around it... slope'n towards the center pipe... it then has a plug so that you can screw the drop line into it too... and if you dribble things around... you can hose it off and down the drain too...

From their we trenched over to the house sewer line.. and installed a Y underground.. with another one on the end so that we had a surface clean out too...

Found a RV elect and water pedstal from the big box store.. and mounted that on the side of the shed... so we have full hookups when glamping in the driveway.. grin...

I was surpised that it didn't cost that much to put in.. little sweat equeity... some pex tubing, No. 6 electrical wire... (that way we can run the welder off of the 240 v trailer plug too... outside on projects)

Next step is to level the drive where the trailer parks... so that we don't have to even think about it... just back it up stop and block it.. good to go... with everything right their....

Much cheaper to run the AS 's AC in the summer than the whole house... so we use the AS as a man cave... cards, TV and of course NAP'N... but, no dumping in the rv toilet... more like 50 yards to the outhouse to do that... grin...

hope that helps..
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:48 PM   #13
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As davetoregon described:

The solids and sludge will possibly get into the lateral lines. 30-40 gallons of pure water from a shower is not the same as 30-40 gallons of solids from the black water tank. The shower water will overflow into the lateral lines and absorb into the ground like it is suppose to. The amount of solids you get from a black water tank could overflow into the lines and cause problems. Its just like the no garbage disposal rule on septic systems. Many do it but it is not recommended. Rule of thumb on septic systems: If you start to have visible problems with your lateral lines, its too late.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:10 PM   #14
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One note about dumping the grey water on your lawn or plantings ... if that's OK in your city to county, fine ... but I'd hesitate to dump grey water on the lawn or flower beds unless it is fresh. If it's been held in your grey tank for any length of time it gets pretty nasty while it sits there percolating and it will smell bad even if it's not sewage.
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