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Old 02-10-2009, 04:07 PM   #29
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I remember a pre-Amtrak train in Georgia where you could see the ties and ballast if you looked down the chute.
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Old 02-10-2009, 04:15 PM   #30
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In Georgia's flagship state park, FDR, there is a dump station, but no hook ups. Between every third site or so there is a gray water dump site that amounts to a "gopher hole" full of gravel with a wire mesh on top. When I drug my blue tank over to the gray dump hole and released it, it always over flowed and water went all over the ground in a circle several feet. This is what happens when a large amount of water is dumped on heavy clay soil suddenly. Clay just doesn't absorb water quickly enough. But, that was the intent of the park.

BTW, Buffalo poop fertilized all those "fertile plains" and was responsible for ample grass lands for all those Buffaloes having plenty of grass to eat and make lots of poop! When the Europeans came to the great plains of the west, the grass was as tall as a man. It's a circle of life thing.
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Old 02-10-2009, 05:54 PM   #31
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I remember back in the early 60's there were no restrictions on gray water (not where I camped anyway) then someone found out there were phosphates in the dish & laundry detergents and that was deemed bad for the environment next thing many states & the feds started banning gray water dumping and started phasing out all phosphates in the detergent.

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Old 02-10-2009, 05:57 PM   #32
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When the Native Americans lived in this part of North America (the northeast part) they used to build a village of bark longhouses, chop down trees and burn off the brush then plant between the stumps. This was known as "slash and burn" agriculture.

After 10 years or so the fertility of the fields would be exhausted, the nearby trees would all be cut down for firewood, the game would be hunted out and the place would generally be a mess.

Then they would move someplace else, build a new village and start over.

You can get away with that as long as you have plenty of land and a small population.
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:43 PM   #33
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When the local ranchers move cattle along the roads here they leave many piles of cow pies and large wet spots. We have a lot of deer and they leave piles all over the place. Some people confine cattle or horses in fairly small areas and much of the ground is covered with poop piles. This all appears to be legal, even where ground water is used for water wells.

In areas where they drill for methane (natural gas) they pump large quantities of toxic chemicals into the ground to get more gas out; a lot of it is never recovered, so it goes into ground water. This is tolerated by BLM or state regulations. Compare the BLM rules for a powerful industry with the BLM rules mentioned in post #15. A lot of things are discharged into waterways (or the air) by industry through sometimes lax permit systems.

So there's a kind of strangeness about the grey water on the ground discussion when there's all this other stuff out there. I agree some of the stuff in the grey water can be nasty, though maybe not as nasty as wildlife urine. I agree that at a lot of places where people commonly boondock, there can be too much grey water for the ground to absorb. Here in the southwest, the water disappears pretty fast though. I agree it's wise to avoid dumping grey water on the ground most of the time in most places.

I do find it interesting how the same health standards are not enforced across the board.

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Old 02-10-2009, 08:22 PM   #34
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I do find it interesting how the same health standards are not enforced across the board.
Likewise, whether you agree with a particular standard or not.
I suppose that any governing board at any particular time may feel strongly about grey water, depending on who happens to be elected at the time and how persuasive they are. There is an ebb and flow to politics at all levels.
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:18 PM   #35
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A bit of a grey area when discussing water...

Any tent camper can tell you where the "grey and black water" goes. But to be safe and keep the water supply safe down stream, it is important to use the common sense rules of the west. A Rockdocking sense of nature...

Dump your grey water a hundred feet from a stream or river, and we always pick some favorite bushes or trees. A plastic pan holding about 2 gallons at a time is used to distribute the water wisely. When washing hands or dishes, use the same plastic pan in the sink and distribute the water over a general area, or a gopher hole that could be feeding the root system of a large tree.

Black water should always be disposed of at a dump site. Never in an area other than a designated dump site. Although, when Rockdocking in the wilderness a shovel is a camper's best friend. Do not dig too deep into the sod, as the bacteria and chemical agents are in the top 6 inches that will take care of the feces put in place. A boulder, rock or rocks to cover the "special spot" to keep animals from digging tasty morsels from your site. Dogs are specially attracted to your feces and will dig up anything you leave behind that is not "protected". Next year the biotics will take care of the properly disposed of wastes... although the toilet paper might need a bit more time in desert environments.

Urinate in different spots each time. The nitrogen is good for plants and the wild life in the area will smell your presence in the area and figure you are marking the trees and bushes for a reason. The feces is more like a fast food restaurant in the wild, so it will attract wildlife, such as raccoons, bear and other omnivores.

Waste disposal is more a common sense problem, but I must admit that the majority of people do not seem to have a clue what they are doing. But, that is why laws must be written to keep every thing under control. The most important point I can pass along, as a hard core out door person is that when you are dealing with grey water, you are best served to not concentrate one spot or area with the water... no harm done and it is actually beneficial in many areas of the west. Black water getting into the fresh water supply can be dangerous for those people down stream, depending on the volume of water flow, but even rafters on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon know what a "groover" is. So avoid any waste being left near a water supply.

And... while you are at it. Pick up some of the trash the hunters seem to pile up at a camp site and leave it to the wind. Some of these guys will put a trash bag in the toilet, take a flying crap, pull out the bag and add a twisty to it and throw it under some bushes... You think I am kidding? Trust me.

Time will take care of the majority of potential problems when a small group is camped for a week, but make it Quartzite, AZ and you loose your common sense and we are all looking for a good case of diarrhea or something even worse.

Those of us who were promoted from tent camping to trailer camping understand how to handle human waste. Those of you who do not understand... use a dump station for grey and black water wastes and your trash to a dumpster that is provided. Anything I would have to say would not make any sense to you and I would be happy to return your trash bag, twisty and contents if I get the chance.
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:27 PM   #36
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Thermo San

Time for a comeback. Could add a whole new dimension to bio fuel. In the early 70s there was an option called a Thermosan. A hose ran from the trailer to the exhaust system on the tow vehicle. Anybody ever see, or smell, one work?
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Old 07-26-2009, 05:23 PM   #37
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Gross dump

A few years ago our friends asked us to bring our A/S to use as a base for Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The tank got full pretty quick. I had to cross town through very slow traffic. I was going to a dump station near home. Imagine my shock when I went to hook up the hose!! The handle had been pulled somewhere along the crowded road. Guess someone got a surprise. I sure did.
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