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Old 07-22-2014, 10:16 AM   #15
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Here! Here!
I don't want to mix the grey and black water in a single tank.
I don't see the problem with grey water. Even dumping it on the ground. There are millions of septic systems throughout this country which dispense the combination of grey and black water underground. Even though it is considered effluent, it is no where close to being clean water.
The soaps in the grey water break the surface tension. Making it easier to soak in. If one uses Eco friendly soaps etc.. No harm no foul.
I think the reason grey water develops and odor is that the microbes are doing their job of breaking things down. Which produces the gases that smell.
It's natures way. Like road kill along the highway. It is food for all kinds of creatures.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:28 AM   #16
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1975 31' Sovereign
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We have a "problem" septic system at our house (long story involving government incompetence) We have the black and grey water drain lines separated. In extremely wet weather we allow the gray to drain out into one of our fields due to the septic field "overloading". In dry weather it can drain into the septic tank. Most grey water is relatively harmless and can be drained onto the ground, sunlight helps to break it down relatively quickly. YMMV. When we have people "camping" at our place we usually put grey water into the field or if very dry into the gardens area. FWIW one of our gardens is over the septic tank field

I too prefer to keep my systems separate, I am much more likely (especially with an Airstream 10 gallon grey tank) to fill grey up long before black. If I have to use a blue boy to drain the tank I would much rather it be full of grey water than black.



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Old 07-22-2014, 10:34 AM   #17
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We have a '77 Safari, it has a small grey tank and a small black tank by comparison to my parents 34' 5er.

We've camped as long as 5 days with no hookups and haven't had a problem. the trick is water management. State parks, Nascar races and Music festivals all have public showers. Dump stations are never that far away, although inconvenient to tow the trailer over just to dump. Nascar races usually have a pumper truck that will empty your tanks for a reasonable fee.

At our first time at Jamboree in the Hills we used the public showers, ate everything on paper plates and cooked most meals on the grill so we had almost no dishes to wash. I actually ran the kitchen faucet for about 30min before I dumped my tanks just to get enough grey water to flush the hose.
Last year and Jambo we did the dishes in the sink and we used the shower - navy style, and the grey tank was not near full after 4 days.

If you feel you need to take long showers every day you will run out of fresh water and hot water first!
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:59 PM   #18
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We RVers have to manage our water tanks. Toilets may be the least water usage, where showers are likely the most. The shower or tub is the lowest drain in our trailers with the toilet next. I've had water back up in my shower pan, but never in my bath or kitchen sink. I watch the levels and dump both tanks when gray is typically 3/4 full. The black is almost always less full. Sometimes I let the toilet flush for several minutes to add more water to the black tank for a good rinse.

So draining a bath sink into the black tank gave me more gray capacity and more water in my black tank without risk of sewage backing all the way up to the sink.

My 66 Trade Wind, like most 60s Airstreams, dumped gray water directly on the ground. My manual says leave the dump pipe cap on and open the black tank dump valve and you can store some gray water in the black tank. Shut the dump valve and get ready for a messy tank drain when you take the cap off. Even back then mixing black and gray water was a consideration.

I do think RVs will figure out a better way of increasing waste water storage and management in the future. A dedicated black tank really doesn't make complete sense since it is below a low water usage fixture.

But the OP wanted to know when gray tanks were required. I think we have answered that by identifying the 1975 mandate. Earlier years are hit and miss.

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Old 07-22-2014, 06:52 PM   #19
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I have often wondered at who determines the size of the tanks. You really want the black tank to be relatively close to full prior to dumping to make sure everything runs out. I have an SOB where both tanks are the same size, we will fill the grey about 3-4 times as often as the black under normal use. We usually camp at the state parks here in NC/SC/VA very few of them have sewer. Most are just water and electric. There are dump stations. We do have a blue boy that we use to empty the grey tank in between if needed.

There are a multitude of ways to manage water and sewage, RV's make you think a bit.

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Old 07-22-2014, 07:40 PM   #20
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I agree on 2 tanks. We don't chemical our grey tank, just the black. If we had a bigger tank for all, it would take more chemicals to keep it odor free. That stuff costs enough as it is, I don't want to buy more. I, too, don't want sewer in the shower.

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Old 07-22-2014, 07:42 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minno View Post
I agree on 2 tanks. We don't chemical our grey tank, just the black. If we had a bigger tank for all, it would take more chemicals to keep it odor free. That stuff costs enough as it is, I don't want to buy more. I, too, don't want sewer in the shower.

Kay
I don't bother using chemicals at all any more. Try the Geo Method I dropped the chemical use many years ago.

Aaron
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