What do you do with dishwater?

Discussion in 'Campground Etiquette' started by Daisy on my toe, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. Daisy on my toe

    Daisy on my toe Member

    Jun 21, 2017
    Chicago area
    Etiquette question. When you wash your dishes in a campground and are not using grey water tanks what do you do with your dirty dish water? I wash my dishes in a little plastic tub and then I usually go to the water station and dump it there because there is stone french drain and that seems like the best place. Though the campground I was just in this weekend the water spigot was practically in someones camping site and it felt weird to dump there- I didn't want to attract wildlife to their campsite. But also there did not seem to be any better place to dump it- there wasn't a dishwashing station or anything. I used to do more backpacking and I know in that situation supposed to take it far from your tent and dump it - but that does not seem practical in a campground situation. I want to be a good campground neighbor.
  2. Strawhouse

    Strawhouse Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Muskoka, Ontario
    In my experience, campgrounds generally prohibit washing dishes at water spigots, so it follows that dish water should not be dumped there. I would recommend storing your grey water in a wheeled container and dumping it at the dump station.
    This one is sturdy and easy to roll. It is available in the US at Walmart and Amazon.com:

    Reliance Products Hydroller 8 Gallon wheeled water container
    kitphantom likes this.
  3. Strawhouse

    Strawhouse Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Muskoka, Ontario
  4. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2014
    Scottsville, KY
    A bathhouse commode will take it to a septic tank.
    Jonson01 and rich2 like this.
  5. Daisy on my toe

    Daisy on my toe Member

    Jun 21, 2017
    Chicago area
  6. tzmartin

    tzmartin Active Member

    Sep 9, 2015
    get a tote that you can carry or easily roll to the bathhouse or grey water dump. I've also put it down the dump station hole but there's usually a line at checkout time. If you get a rolling 15 gallon tote, get a sewer hose so you can get it over the toilet lid and/or directly into the dump station hole. Water is heavy!!!
  7. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    I just dump it at the back of my camp site
    Twitchrider, cyndib, Adam H and 7 others like this.
  8. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    Macomb County Michigan
    I water a tree with it.
    Twitchrider, cyndib, Adam H and 6 others like this.
  9. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2007
    Back when we had the pup, I would use the days grey water to put out the nightly camp fire..
  10. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2014
    Scottsville, KY
    Grey water and generators.
    Some of the most divisive topics on the portal. Plenty of threads with heated debates.
    BelchFire, D_Gibb and kcsa75 like this.
  11. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

    Jun 14, 2014
    Depends on the campground. Lots of them now have a place or places to dump dishwater, most national parks and many of the more developed campgrounds. When we wash dishes, we have very few food scraps on them because we use a pre-rinser (our dog) who is very efficient at cleaning things up. We dump in the identified area if there is one, but if not, we just broadcast the water around an out of the way portion of the campsite. We are talking about ~ 2 gallons total for wash and rinse, so I don't worry about it too much.
  12. sleach

    sleach A short run will get you within walking distance.

    May 17, 2014
    Boulder, Colorado
    If washing up inside, the dishwater just drains into the 6 gallon Reliance jug through the short hose section attached to the outside connection. When washing up outside the wash and rinse water goes into the jug by way of a large funnel bought at an auto parts store. We try very hard not to contaminate the immediate campsite.

    When the jug gets heavy it is emptied at a dump station if available, or down the hole in the vault toilet. I take along a couple of paper towels in case there is a spill.

    If boondocking- most of our trips- the gray water jug is lugged at least 100 yards from the campsite and emptied into a clump of bushes where no one is likely to go. These spots are also well away from any water features.

    I really like the Reliance Rhino jug- 6 gallons, and a pointy nozzle that just passes the drain hose from the trailer. There is a vent opposite the nozzle, which allows emptying as a stream instead of splashy "glurks". It's gray in color, which makes it a natural for gray water, tho' I labeled it "gray water only" on both sides. The drain hose stores inside the jug.
  13. Eskimorob

    Eskimorob PUP life

    Jul 5, 2016
    One thing to consider if you're in the 'throw it in the woods' camp, is to make sure you wipe your dishes, pots and pans, etc. before washing them so the dishwater doesn't have any food in it when you throw it out. Here in the south, fire ants are not welcome guests around the campsite. Do this in bear country and you're just asking for a midnight visit. With that said, I also water the flora with it, but there is very little food residue in it, if any, and I don't do it in bear country.
  14. TDS-MN

    TDS-MN Active Member

    Sep 29, 2013
    Minneapolis, MN
    We make every effort to throw food scraps in trash, reducing the amount of debris in the dishwater. Will usually keep the tub of water for dumping on the fire at the end of the night.
    Have never camped where bears were a concern. We generally try to limit dishwashing to once a day, hate to waste too much time doing that task when we can be out enjoying the outdoors instead.
    cyndib likes this.
  15. penny

    penny Active Member

    Nov 9, 2017
    It really does depend a lot on where one is camping. some sites it must be contained and properly disposed of. Most Dispersed camping areas it is allowed to pour it around trees or bushes. as mentioned, keep food out of grey water. in some places we camp, it is allowed to run a hose to bushes or grassy areas away from the campsite. Recently in AZ we camped where they had "instructions" for pooping in the woods! In CA, they check your camper and you are not allowed to enter state parks without some system of containment. population and campground use seems to be the determining factor. grey and black water tanks are kind of a pain. I'm looking forward to the simplicity of a portable greywater tank and portapot.
  16. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

    Aug 8, 2015
    DFW, TX
    Around here discharge of grey water is prohibited. Even so I have seen people run garden hoses from their sink drain out to the corner of their campsite, among other things.

    I personally use some tubs on a camp table to do dishes. The dirty water is dumped into my wheeled 25 gal grey water tote. For a weekend trip I just dump it at the dump station after dropping the roof. I upgraded mine to pneumatic tires to make towing a little easier, and give it a tad more ground clearance.
  17. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    When I tent camped I just threw the water in a pot or bucket and during the end of the day went to the dumpstation to dump it. No lines at the dumpstation after dinner and no water sitting overnight to attract wildlife. I don't dare dump it in the woods even though I'm very good about not have food scraps, but I'm sure the smells will still be there. For the camper I just use my rolling graywater tote and dump it the night before the end of the trip.
  18. NothingsChocking

    NothingsChocking Active Member

    Mar 7, 2017
    Texas state parks prohibit the discharge of Grey, but I have noticed just about everybody was washing the dishes at the spigot over the stone filled basin. That's what we always did while tent camping thinking nothing of it. When we got the camper I just ran the connection and hose down to that basin -- but realizing that that is dumping, I stopped that practice. Now I am about to start a project to remedy that for next season.
  19. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

    Sep 11, 2008
    Morris County, NJ
    At some NP's they will have a grey water dump well near the bath house. Blackwoods CG in Acadia NP has that. In Yellowstone and Glacier NP you cannot wash dishes at your site! In each bath house is a room accessed from the outside where you can wash dishes. The reason is to manage the bear encounters. When we go backpacking we dump the water at least 100 feet from where we camp.

    But, we will save some of the dish water to dump on the fire before we go to bed!!
  20. wusthof

    wusthof Member

    Apr 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    Ha! A bucket with a bunch of holes in the bottom
    kcsa75, rich2 and Orchid like this.

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