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Old 07-25-2009, 07:43 AM   #1
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Camping Rules in Michigan

On a recent camping trip to Michigan, I returned to my Airstream and found that my RV HydroFlush attached to my sewer hose was missing. The hose was reattached to the outlet. When I reported the device stolen, I was informed by a very rude campground owner, that those devices were illegal in Michigan. After having an unsuccessful attempt to retrieve the device, we had to leave the campground to attend a funeral. When we returned we were told to leave the campground immediately and our hydro device on the way out which we did after another very unprofessional encounter with the owner

After responding by email about our displeasure at the way were retreated at this campground (Sunshine Gardens Resort near Battle Creek) we received the following information from the owner forwarded from owner.

The Flush King (and similar devices which connect directly to the holding tank) are not approved. Devices such as this would have to be approved by the state plumbing board, a part of the Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth. The major reason is the potential for backflow or back-siphonage as you indicated. An anti-siphon device would not make their use acceptable considering this would be a high-hazard situation.

Thanks,
Ben McGeachy
Campgrounds and Pools Unit, DEQ, 2N
PO Box 30273
Lansing, MI 48909-7773
Phone: 517-241-1351


I checked with Camping World near Ypsilanti who sold us the device and several campgrounds and was unable to find anyone who knew about this regulation. I sent the CW manager of this reply so he could research but as of yet, have not received a reply.


I have used this device for years without a problem and without anyone informing of this rule. If any of you have had any experience with this previous experience regulation, let us know on the Forum so others can avoid a problem in the future.


I might add that if you are traveling near Battle Creek and need to find an overnight place to stay I would avoid this one, particularly if you have a dog. Sunshine Gardens was a nudist resort for years but the owners are trying to sell it and cannot sell it as a nudist park so they made it a public campground. They do not know how to handle the public and do not allow any dog walking except in the curbside foot print of your trailer. I don't think anyone has the right to remove articles from your RV. A simple verbal warning would have solved the issue.




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Old 07-25-2009, 07:51 AM   #2
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wow.

I'm not familiar with the item you're talking about-- but, somebody messing with my trailer, would have got ugly in a hurry...

Did it state in the CG regs this accessory is banned?
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:01 AM   #3
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This campground has two pages of single spaced camp rules one of which mentioned septic tank systems which frankly we didn't realize applied to this device. For those of you who haven't used a hydro flush, you are really missing a handy device. It is attached to a fresh water hose and uses a antibackflow device to prevent fresh water contamination. It sends a very strong spray into the holding tanks to get a complete flush of your system after you have dumped your tanks. It does a great job and was recommended to us by a fellow Airstreamer (ArtStream) They sell at Camping World for about $24 but are worth their weight in gold for getting a thorough cleaning.
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:27 AM   #4
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Makes you wonder if the owner was really just worried that somebody was using excess water, filling up his septic tanks (= big dollars).

On the other hand, we've heard a mountain about backflow from a good friend of ours from the Denco unit, who works for a water district in CO on this matter. It is important stuff.


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Old 07-25-2009, 08:55 AM   #5
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OK, now I know what you're talking about. My '08 has this built in (something similar). When I'm at full hook site, I never connect the site water service to it... only time I power flush is at a dumpstation with a "non-potable" water service
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolverine View Post
This campground has two pages of single spaced camp rules one of which mentioned septic tank systems which frankly we didn't realize applied to this device. For those of you who haven't used a hydro flush, you are really missing a handy device. It is attached to a fresh water hose and uses a antibackflow device to prevent fresh water contamination. It sends a very strong spray into the holding tanks to get a complete flush of your system after you have dumped your tanks. It does a great job and was recommended to us by a fellow Airstreamer (ArtStream) They sell at Camping World for about $24 but are worth their weight in gold for getting a thorough cleaning.
Maybe I'm not understanding but does your 2005 AS not have a built in flush hose for the black tank?

I have a 2005 Classic 30, and it does. Maybe what you are speaking of does something different?

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Old 07-25-2009, 09:52 AM   #7
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take a look...

RV Hydro Flush 45 Degree - Item - Camping World


You'll note in the description, the anti-siphon device goes on the faucet end of the hose - not at the sewer flush end - keeping any possible contamination, in the event of supply water pressure drop, away from water source!

If used in the proper manner, there is no way this device can contaminate the fresh water source!

Your friendly RV park owner has his head up his sewer....
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:56 AM   #8
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Yeah, either the one supplied by the manufacturer, or a simple antisiphon device available at any hardware store.

But I do know that the enrivonment people here in NM are pretty nervous about RV parks and RVing. Presumably, they're putting together a "best practices" document to be distributed to all owners, initially for feedback and commentary. (I say presumably because they're VERY slow about producing the document.) If and when they get it together, I'll share the document.


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Old 07-25-2009, 09:57 AM   #9
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We have camped at CG's in Michigan on a number occasions and have used our Sewer Solution. The Sewer Solution also uses a separate water hose to power its high pressure sprayer. I guess that this would also be illegal in Michigan, although, we were never challenged.

I think that it is probably a matter of this campground owner being a turd (pun intended). If he not returned my property to me, I would have called the local police and filed a report accusing the CG owner of theft.

If, in fact, this is illegal in Michigan, I will just avoid Michigan in my Future travels.

Brian
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:22 AM   #10
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I'd say this is a teachable moment. I'm not siding with the campground owner but there is a real risk of making alot of people sick.

I think these devices should be illegal. To begin with, the antisiphon device is a separate item. How many get thrown away? Not that any of us would do that, but Jethro in the next site either pitched it, or thought it was a free dog whistle.

Not excusing the behavior of the CG manager, but this is something you should take seriously.
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:25 AM   #11
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Michigan Environmental Regulations

As I indicated in my original post, the reply from the environmental office in Lansing, Michigan supported the camp ground order that these flushing systems were not approved in Michigan. The police were called on my request and they said that removing my flushing system was not theft since there intent was to prevent an evironmental regulation, not to keep it. At the owner's request the police stayed around for over an hour while we broke camp and hooked up our Airstream. I believe that I could press a legal issue but it's not worth it.

I have asked Camping World to get their corporate legal involved to clarify this. If so, they should discontinue selling them in Michigan until the law is changed. This is simply a case of an overzelous owner and a bureaucrat in Michigan not thoroughly investigating decisions they are making. Three other campground owners I contacted in Michigan had never heard of this regulation. This needs to be resolved and clearly communicated if it is trully a legal restriction. The manufacturer of this equipment assures me that there is no possibility of backflow into the water system.

One other note, we were not using the system at the time it was removed. It is our practice to only use it once when we are prepared to depart to make sure we don't allow any solids to harden in the tanks. This device does a great job in cleaning the tanks and is much more effective than the black tank flusher built into our Classic.
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:28 AM   #12
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Wow, so it looks like maybe Michigan is coming down on these things. You can almost bet that the info will be passed from one state environment department to another.

You know, if the manufacturer would build a unit that does not permit the backflow device from being disconnected, they might be satisfied.


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Old 07-25-2009, 11:03 AM   #13
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There is a lot of miscommunication out there about backflow devices. In-fact each state has it's own set uf rules concerning backflow prevention with many of attorney's involved. I currently work for a local water utility here in KY. The only areas were backflow prevention is currently used is in industrial areas and hose bibs on the side of your residential houses. Our state division of water is starting to push for the use back flow devices at all residential meters. Currently I believe some states do this but we do not - yet.
I would keep the flush king hidden until it's time to leave and then hook it up and use it at the dump station. If you put your potentially dirty hose on at your campsite spicket then you could potentially leave the next camper bacteria to be pumped into their fresh water tank.
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Old 07-25-2009, 11:20 AM   #14
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I've used the Flush King for about a year and I think it is very good at cleaning the black tank, but I have been concerned about backflow prevention. To introduce pressurized water into the tank through the Flush King, I have to turn a knob and then water flows up into the tank.

Perhaps there's a one way valve in there to prevent backflow, but I don't know. If there isn't, it would be difficult to send black water all the way back to the fresh water spigot. You'd have to have a lot of nasty water in the black tank, close the outlet valve on the Flush King, have no water in the hose to the spigot, have the spigot turned off, have the spigot downhill from the Flush King, and then you could open the knob on the Flush King and let water flow into the hose until air pressure prevented it from getting to the spigot, so then shake the hose to make sure the dirty water gets to the spigot. That seems like a lot to do to contaminate the spigot, and I think people handling the spigot every day at a campground probably are a lot more likely to be a problem.

I am on the board of our local water company and we take backflow (cross connection) very seriously. It sounds to me like an over reaction in Michigan (glad we got through the state a couple of months ago without getting arrested). Does anyone know if there's a one way valve in the Flush King?

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