Gray water collection w/ outdoor shower

Discussion in 'Port-A-Potties / Cassette Toilets / Bath Houses' started by Steve in Denver, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    That would make sense, but misses the point of this thread. The OP was asking about capturing gray water from an outdoor shower...
     
  2. Dan Wilson

    Dan Wilson Active Member

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    It is not for standing. Just to catch gray water from inside shower. I misinterpreted the OP question.
     
  3. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    Well that certainly makes a lot more sense!
     
  4. rjhammetter

    rjhammetter Husband, Dad, Engineer & Camper

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    We always had a pipe dream of avoiding the campground facilities by building our own outdoor shower. I looked into this and had we pulled the trigger, it would have included:
    -A cheap plastic kiddie pool. These can be bought for like $4.99 or something. Probably 6' diameter or so. If I felt really ambitious, I would have drilled a hole into the side and built a plug for drainage to a grey water tote.
    -We probably would have showered in swimsuits, but would have bought a camping shower enclosure.
    -I also would have bought or built a stand for holding the outdoor shower handle so you could shower under it as if it were a normal shower head.

    There are people who shower outside on a plastic grate without catching their grey water. That's probably against every national/state park or campground rules, I wouldn't do that and don't find it acceptable, but I hope at a minimum they are using eco-friendly soap.

    Ultimately, we did none of that and stuck with the camp showers. We thought it would have been too much work to haul, set it up and dispose of grey water.
     
  5. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    As I have mentioned here before, at least in the past, gray water, free from food particles, such as handwashing and showering, used to be acceptable to not be captured if you were at least 100' away from a body of water or stream in many state parks at least here in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington. I hadn't considered rule changes until I came accross these threads and started looking again, and it looks like the rules are changing, and you are right, it seems that most states parks services now require you collect and dispose of gray water the same as black water...

    There are still some places you can camp with a camp shower and not use any sort of gray water collection, but like you said, please only use biodegradeable soaps.

    Oddly enough, I have seen those Blue 6' round kiddie pools at the campground, filled with water, and folks just chillin in them. At that point, soap or not, they are effectively making that gray water are then not? I sure wouldn't drink used pool water. But none of them ever collect and dispose of the pool water in the dump station or down the bathroom sink or whatever.
     
  6. rjhammetter

    rjhammetter Husband, Dad, Engineer & Camper

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    All good points in your post. Now that you mention it, I have seen these bath/pool setups too. I'm sure they just dump it out rather than drain it to a grey tote.

    Grey water is a complex issue. I mean, it is, but it isn't. It's sort of a grey issue, not black and white. For an outdoor shower, catching and toting it is the right thing, but is probably too laborious and costly to implement for most people. The wrong and easy thing to do is stand on a grate and use eco soaps. It's no harm, no foul to the environment. But would you want to pull into a site knowing people showered there every week all summer? Nah.

    I've heard all sorts of stories on handling PUP grey water too - everything from people properly catching and toting to people "catching" with 5gal pails that have holes drilled through the bottom. I also had people tell me the unwritten standard is to wait until dark and dump it in the woods. Our solution was to use our grey water generated through the day to douse our fire. I don't know if that's right or wrong. I felt marginally guilty doing this, but what else should I do... walk my Aquatainer to the faucet and use clean water? That seems more wasteful than using grey water already on site.
     
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  7. Jenkamus

    Jenkamus Active Member

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    It does stay open without water, the sides have reinforcements in them so it stands.

    It folds up easy and hardly takes any space under our bench seat.

    We also just pick it up and pour the water into a grey water tank.
     

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  8. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    You bring up a good point. We have for years captured the gray dishwater, with food particles screened out and thrown out, the gray water then was used to douse the camp fire. This actually used to be the method the parks WANTED you to use. But it looks like those rules and recommendations have changed.

    As long as the ground isn't soaked and muddy, I personally don't care if someones gray shower water has been in my camp site. I mean the rinse off showers at the beach are far filthier... I guess everyone has different standards though.
     
  9. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    I've had my Popup for 3 years. In those 3 years, I've never once used the inside shower that it came with. I did carry the 20 gallon aquatainer, and then throw it under the camper where it would wait till I packed up. I never once connected it. Two trips ago I took it out of the camper. We've always just showered at the campground facilities. But we are about 95% state park campers, and they have nice facilities where we are.

    We collect our sink gray water into a 5 Gallon aquatainer, and I've always used it to put the fire out. We camp in a beach area, and freshwater is scarce here, so I've never thought twice about it. I did post about it a couple of years ago on the PUP, and it was a few people's opinion that this was wrong, but I haven't changed my practice.
     
  10. Blackripley

    Blackripley Active Member

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    I like this system, it is practical and it reuses a limited resource.
     

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