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Old 02-10-2009, 08:56 AM   #21
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Last month the BLM Ranger in Quartzsite AZ told us that if we washed the dishes in a dish pan we could dump that pan on the ground.BUT once the water was in your gray tank you had to use a dump station.Go figure.
Interesting, Arizona law allows gray water to be dumped on the ground but not used for gardens. Our house is plumbed so that all gray water empties down hill about 15 yards away as are most new houses in the area. When boon docking here, we use a 5 gallon pail at the outlet and empty it away from the site as necessary.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:09 AM   #22
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Interesting, Arizona law allows gray water to be dumped on the ground but not used for gardens. Our house is plumbed so that all gray water empties down hill about 15 yards away as are most new houses in the area. When boon docking here, we use a 5 gallon pail at the outlet and empty it away from the site as necessary.
Arizona law and NM law are very similar, but it's important to understand the scope of both: They apply to state-controlled areas. Federal lands (like BLM, national forest, national park, etc.) can have their own rules, as can municipalities, reservations, and so forth. Here in NM, even state parks have rules that supersede the overarching state rule.

By the way, if I'm not mistaken, the AZ law also excludes water from the kitchen sink as disposable gray water.


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Old 02-10-2009, 10:58 AM   #23
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I think dumping your gray water at any highway rest stop, where the semi's park, would be a plus. It would rinse away the foul smelling stuff those guys let fly all over the pavement.

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Old 02-10-2009, 11:19 AM   #24
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Hey, here in Angel Fire the village has not enacted anything about gray water (please don't tell!), so we permit folks to water our trees with gray if they want to. However, we do recommend strongly that the gray they let out is not kitchen sink water.

The reason why kitchen sink water is excluded in NM (and AZ, I think) is that studies have shown higher concentrations of fecal coliform in that water than in bathtub and bathroom sink gray. Why these findings came about is not entirely clear but folks surmise that more bits and scraps of food (and the accompanying low, but acceptable level of feces material) wind up in the kitchen trap, where it rots.


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Old 02-10-2009, 01:31 PM   #25
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The reason why kitchen sink water is excluded in NM (and AZ, I think) is that studies have shown higher concentrations of fecal coliform in that water than in bathtub and bathroom sink gray. Why these findings came about is not entirely clear but folks surmise that more bits and scraps of food (and the accompanying low, but acceptable level of feces material) wind up in the kitchen trap, where it rots.


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Old 02-10-2009, 02:37 PM   #26
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Tsk..

Interesting statement has been made, "there were never many of us"..I should expand.
Long before the "white man" set foot on these pristine shores, the Indians people were living here, as they are still today~
Of course, it's too late for us to "Grandfather" in 10,000 years of nomad living but, live here they did. Some would say the Indians did a better job of husbandry of this pristine land then, after the coming of the "white man". No arguments there, I am sure..
Now, it may occur to you that in the middle of this huge country there was a enormous (not even a proper word to describe) herd of Buffalo roaming for..Gawd, only knows the size of the width and, the length of the then Buffalo herds. This doesn't even include all of the other large creatures of the entire North America Continent that were indigent inhabitants here..Right?
I think you can guess where this is going?? It's fair to say, we had a whole lot of uncontrollable pooping going on in the wild. EVERYWHERE~!
Can you even imagine, for a second, what a herd of a millions Buffalo pooping dropping was like?
Was the land harmed or hurt in any way by all this? I think it's fair to say NO~!
Now I know you're gonna say "I/we meant people~!"..
Let's examine that thought for a second..
As an example:
Rome, Italy was and, still is, a surviving city of very ancient times. We're talking of a city that's well over 2,000 yrs old.~!
There's countless other cities from ancient times which had similar population but, Rome was the granddaddy~!
Just so you know, I am not picking out an unusual case for example.
At it's peak, in ancient times, Rome hosted a population (within it's city) of over a million in population. Now it's true, the Romans had public bath and, a running water/sewage systems..Was this available for every man, woman and, child? I am sure it was possible but, did every single person use it? I doubt it..lol People haven't change that much~
It's true when you get a lot of people together in a tight living space/area, then it can quickly becomes a serious health problem and, you need a plan for waste disposal..As far as I know it, the Romans were very good at keeping their cities clean and healthy.
Did they have problems? Yes..All the ancient cities are recorded to have had problems with certain outbreaks..
Jump up to the 21st century and, traveling in your self-contained Airstream~ You have available campgrounds all over the countryside with proper dumping stations and/or, waste dumping connection at the individual sites.
If you find yourself out in the middle of NM or AZ..who really cares? Just use discretion about when and where you water the local plant.
So, Pardon me if I take time out for a few laughs..
I think it's hilarious we carry on so about "poop" on the road or, by the road side.. even.
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:46 PM   #27
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Well, I don't know how the Romans, or the First Nation people took care of waste, but I learned early on that you don't want to stand to close to the tracks when a passenger train goes by.

They don't still do that, do they?
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:57 PM   #28
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I guess rules are made for one purpose and that is to protect people. There are several National Parks that have laws (not rules) about dumping grey water on their "grass". Capitol Reef in Utah has rangers that go around checking the campers to be sure they are not dumping grey water. It made it difficult when I had my 71 unit and it didn't have a grey water tank. I had to use the "blue tank" The camp area did have a area you could roll your tank to and dump it. When I was at the International in Salem it was a State Law no grey water could be dumped on the grounds. Even though they were in middle of drought. We had one elderly gentleman that accidently let some grey water go on the grounds and he was ejected from the International because of a violation of state law.
I guess we can bi-ch about it all we want to but as good stewards of the land we need to honor the laws or "rules".

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Old 02-10-2009, 03:07 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, 03:15 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, 04:54 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, 04:57 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, 05:43 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, 07:22 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, 10:18 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, 10:27 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, 04:23 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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