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Old 07-24-2007, 08:08 PM   #1
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Check Dumping Laws

One of the various job titles I have "Regional Septage Coordinator" with the State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (You can imagine the unofficial titles that various individuals have come up with ).

Today I was with a County Zoning Administrator to check out a complaint at a campground. The grounds were very well kept. The complaint was semi valid and involved someone pulling the black water tank---without a hose. They will never do that again. Though I missed the actual show by a couple of days, I heard it was quite educational .

As a service this campground will pump the tanks for the campers and dump it in a legal septic system. Even the campground manager did not know that dumping grey water is illegal in this state. Some states allow it. Any food or body contact water (hows that for polite!) must be put into a treatment system in this state.

If you dump your grey water (where legal) please put some quick lime slurry into it. Even grey water has some degree of health hazard to it. Make sure it is legal to dump it and what the procedure is. Any state plumbing regulator can probalby tell you the law in that particular state.

While looking at the pump tank a camper pulled the grey water valve right in front of us. The camper only got a warning as did the campground. It could have been a several hundred dollar citation. It did make quite a mess.

We don't want to hassel anyone but there are public health laws written for good reasons. In the areas where you can dump grey water please dig a hole so it doesn't run all over and make the mess that this camper made, and as I recomend add a little quick lime slurry. Use quick lime: also known as hydrated lime, not barn lime or ag (garden) lime. A small bag of dry lime can make a lot of caustic slurry. If you are in the boonies, a pit and some lime will keep the area much cleaner and leave the area in good shape for the next user.

Thanks for your time and thanks in advance for being a good neighbor
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:15 PM   #2
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Right in front of you... when you were checking out a complaint? What a moron!
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:36 PM   #3
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Thanx for the info.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:11 PM   #4
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Thanks for the heads up. I checked Colorado and no can do gray water on the surface here without treatment. Also thanks for the info on hydrated lime.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:18 PM   #5
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That's what I love about this site - you always learn something! Thanks for the tip and info.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:19 PM   #6
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The question of outdoor showers has come up a few times on the forum. Since the exterior shower water would be "body contact" water, does that make it grey? If so wouldn't someone who is taking an outside shower be, in effect, dumping grey water on the ground?
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:52 PM   #7
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There is quite a lot of fluctuation in state laws on this. In AZ and NM, for example, it is legal to let gray water onto the ground, subject to several provisions:

1. It may be outlawed by local provision.
2. It may not be used for commercial enterprises (e.g., to water lawns at a company).
3. It may not be sprayed.
4. It may not come from kitchen sinks. (Showers and bathroom sinks are ok.)


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Old 07-25-2007, 11:30 AM   #8
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I think the rule on gray water should be this: Would you want your grandchildren to camp on the same spot as you drained your "clean" gray water? Consider the poor souls who occupy the site after you leave, who have no idea what you've done.

The camper's dictum, "Take only pictures and leave only footprints" is a rule that is easy to remember and understand.

Pat
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
The question of outdoor showers has come up a few times on the forum. Since the exterior shower water would be "body contact" water, does that make it grey? If so wouldn't someone who is taking an outside shower be, in effect, dumping grey water on the ground?
yeah, and it shouldn't be any different. If I take a shower in my vintage (no grey tank) trailer, it just goes down a pvc drain that is open to the ground...why would passing this water through a abs plastic tube make it any more/less/different than an outside shower?

I wonder if any campgrounds police the tent campers who wash their dishes in a bucket, and just dump it onto the ground when they're done?


So, where do you go to look up the local "wash-water" regulations, anyway?
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:51 AM   #10
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Common sense

Dumping of grey water is a hard one to legislate. The problem is simple. In a camp ground, if you dump your gray water on the ground and others do the same, you exceed the grounds natural ability to perk the volume into the ground and soon, you or the campers that follow you find a slimmy mucky mess that grows really bad stuff - shame on you! However, if you are boondocking out in the sticks and you dump grey water - so what - might makes a flower grow.

If I were to dump grey water it would be in a mannor that does not cause a problem to others. I'd like to think you would do the same. I also pick up after my dog following similar guidelines.
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:56 AM   #11
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Outdoor showers

Hmm, swimming in the lake induces water/body contact. Where does it all end?
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Old 07-25-2007, 12:49 PM   #12
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What happens to all of the pool (cement bathtub) water? Some even contains Vitamin "P".
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Old 07-25-2007, 01:53 PM   #13
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well, pool water is contained, so it doesn't affect anything else...then chlorine, sunlight, and filtering clear out the yuckies.

So, we'll either have to start chlorinating/filtering the lakes, or no more swimming.
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:07 PM   #14
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It seems to be a crappy place to get my fourth Rivit!
Post #500!
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