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Old 04-30-2009, 09:41 PM   #1
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Gray water & boondocking

Since moving out West I have found that many of the state parks and BLM camping areas have limited facilities, especially sewer dump facilities. And many states do not allow dumping gray water just anywhere. I would never dump in any camping area and although you would think it would be beneficial out in the desert, there are some fragile eco systems and cryptobiotic soil crust that might be compromised.

So on a recent trip with three nights at Natural Bridges and not being anywhere near an RV park or dump station on my way to the next site, I chose to let the gray water slowly trickle onto the highway as I traveled along. Seems like a little soapy water would do no harm to the roadway but don't know if this is a major no-no. Any thoughts?
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:55 PM   #2
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Since moving out West I have found that many of the state parks and BLM camping areas have limited facilities, especially sewer dump facilities. And many states do not allow dumping gray water just anywhere. I would never dump in any camping area and although you would think it would be beneficial out in the desert, there are some fragile eco systems and cryptobiotic soil crust that might be compromised.

So on a recent trip with three nights at Natural Bridges and not being anywhere near an RV park or dump station on my way to the next site, I chose to let the gray water slowly trickle onto the highway as I traveled along. Seems like a little soapy water would do no harm to the roadway but don't know if this is a major no-no. Any thoughts?


Yea, according to most state laws dropping liquid onto the highway is illegal. However, it is rarely enforced, but can be with great expense.
I believe your rig holds 35 gal. of Grey water? Wow! We have a 7 gal tank and that is enough for 3 to 4 days for 2.
If you have to dump, try a truck stop or many road side rest stops have dumps.
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:12 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mojo View Post
Since moving out West I have found that many of the state parks and BLM camping areas have limited facilities, especially sewer dump facilities. And many states do not allow dumping gray water just anywhere. I would never dump in any camping area and although you would think it would be beneficial out in the desert, there are some fragile eco systems and cryptobiotic soil crust that might be compromised.

So on a recent trip with three nights at Natural Bridges and not being anywhere near an RV park or dump station on my way to the next site, I chose to let the gray water slowly trickle onto the highway as I traveled along. Seems like a little soapy water would do no harm to the roadway but don't know if this is a major no-no. Any thoughts?
For photos of my boondocking fresh and waste water hauling system
(1)Go to forums
(2) Click on Boondocking
(3) Click on Boondocking and waste
(4) see posting # 48 on P 4
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:03 PM   #4
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Jimmini...sweet set-up, or perhaps I should say 'nice' set-up..

How do you handle all the extra weight in your Exc? Were you to get both those big tanks full at the same time, that's a real bunch of weight. like a half ton or so!

I've noticed a bit of a 'sag' in our Exc when I get all our extra camping stuff in the back...I'm thinking of installing a set of air bags on the rear axle, along with a compressor and auto air valve to bring it back up to correct ride height when it's loaded...

I made up a similar macerator pump set-up for an old non-moving MoHo we had parked next to a palapa down in Baja - used it to pump into a similar tank for transport to a dump station nearby...it worked really 'slick'...pun intended!
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:28 AM   #5
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It's probably not kosher to let it out on the street.

Alas, rules on gray water are by no means unified. For example, the states of Arizona and New Mexico permit gray water use under some circumstances (that happen also to exclude most RVs). However, both states' rules can be and often are superseded by more local rules, including local rules enacted by subunits of the state (e.g., state parks). In addition, no matter what the state or local rules say, they don't apply on federal land or on reservations, where different sets of rules obtain. Finally, to make matters worse, different federal land agencies (BLM, NFS, parks/monuments) can make different rules.

Bottom line: Rules governing gray water use are a train wreck.


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Old 02-22-2010, 05:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo View Post
Since moving out West I have found that many of the state parks and BLM camping areas have limited facilities, especially sewer dump facilities. And many states do not allow dumping gray water just anywhere. I would never dump in any camping area and although you would think it would be beneficial out in the desert, there are some fragile eco systems and cryptobiotic soil crust that might be compromised.

So on a recent trip with three nights at Natural Bridges and not being anywhere near an RV park or dump station on my way to the next site, I chose to let the gray water slowly trickle onto the highway as I traveled along. Seems like a little soapy water would do no harm to the roadway but don't know if this is a major no-no. Any thoughts?
As a Motorcyle rider, that is not appreciated. Number one, if I were to get behind you while riding, also when you stop at a light or a stop sign the soapy water would then become a VERY dangerous and unseen Hazard.

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Old 02-22-2010, 05:52 PM   #7
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If a tree falls in the wilderness and there is no one there to hear it, is it a noise violation?
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Old 02-22-2010, 06:37 PM   #8
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If a tree falls in the wilderness and there is no one there to hear it, is it a noise violation?
Wash water (politicaly correct term) tends to disappear at night..
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:28 PM   #9
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Even with drain baskets I manage to get food particles in the grey tank so dumping on the highway is putting out food, too. Always wondered why so many animals stop in the road, must be getting a snack
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:56 AM   #10
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Wash water (politicaly correct term) tends to disappear at night..
Makes a lotta sense to me. Susan.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:44 AM   #11
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One would have to use common, of course - but I see nothing wrong with letting some wash water 'evaporate' at night when camped in remote locations, assuming there's some deserving vegetation nearby...we're not talking toxic 'stews' here...
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:15 AM   #12
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At Burning Man the standard method of gray water disposal is evaporation; the hot ticket there is to use a small bilge pump to pump the gray water over greenhouse cloth that is exposed to the wind. In desert conditions even a small evaporator set up will easily evaporate 20 gallons/day, far more than is needed. If you're camping alone in a dry area, this works very well indeed.

A small quicky version on our shower last year at Burning Man (before Airstream ):

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