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Old 03-10-2020, 02:44 AM   #1
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Converting a black tank into a mini septic system

I was looking at how a septic tank works and I am wondering if this would work: I want to take 2 15 gallon plastic drums. install them under the skoolie with a 1/4 inch per foot slope. Here is my bright idea, The toilet empties into the lower tank, the 2 tanks are connected near the top with tee connectors just like 2 septic tanks would be connected. at the high end of the 2nd tank instead of a drainfield like septic tanks have. I would run a hose to a RV park sewer.

it may be over engineering a black water tank, but if I want to head to town in my skoolie I open the drain on my 2nd tank, roll up a hose and go. No slinky. I only need to connect the slinky about once a month to drain the sludge tank.

I haven't started on the plumbing yet. I just read that you shouldn't empty the black tank .... even at the rv park..... until its 3/4 full. I can have this system draining all the time like a septic drains into a leach field.

What do you think?
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Old 03-10-2020, 05:12 AM   #2
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What are you trying to accomplish that a typical RV tank system does not? (typical = grey/black tanks with gravity drain via 3" hose - not macerator pump)

Asking as I see a fair number of bus people trying to avoid a system that works quite well for tens of thousands of RV'ers. Yes, there are occasionally a few issues and undoubtedly someone will chime in here about theirs (especially when doing something outside of the 'typical' defined above). You can be sure that 'typical' system works pretty well or else the entire industry would be screaming for change.

I'm not an expert but have owned a couple of residential septic systems. Seems like they were 1500 gallon tanks and suggested solids pump out was once a year (give or take). A 15 gallon system would seem to need pumped 100 times more often?? That would seem to eliminate the possibility of the anaerobic action having time to work.
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Old 03-10-2020, 07:12 AM   #3
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I think draining the sludge tank would be a pain if water is not introduced to it. Best if it all stays together.

You can empty the black tank anytime no need to wait till 3/4 full.
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Old 03-10-2020, 07:39 AM   #4
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I just read that you shouldn't empty the black tank .... even at the rv park..... until its 3/4 full.
Maybe worth noting that this is a rule of thumb used to help newbies. The important point to understand that plenty of liquid is necessary to flush out the solids. The two things that newbs like to do when sitting at a campsite with sewer hookup is leave the blank tank valve open (all the time). When the toilet is flushed in this scenario, the solids hit the bottom of an empty tank and sit there. The liquid trickles out the hose. Given enough time, one ends up with a "poo pyramid" which can can be a problem (especially if not detected until 'too-late'). The other thing, is to dump their tank after only a day or two of use. The problem is similar, not enough liquids to flush out the solids. This second one is easily avoided with a tank flush hookup (pump in a bunch of water and then dump the tank).

So, as Ronnie says, you can dump the black tank anytime as long as there is enough liquid to flush out the solids.
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Old 03-10-2020, 09:44 AM   #5
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Maybe worth noting that this is a rule of thumb used to help newbies. The important point to understand that plenty of liquid is necessary to flush out the solids. The two things that newbs like to do when sitting at a campsite with sewer hookup is leave the blank tank valve open (all the time). When the toilet is flushed in this scenario, the solids hit the bottom of an empty tank and sit there. The liquid trickles out the hose. Given enough time, one ends up with a "poo pyramid" which can can be a problem (especially if not detected until 'too-late'). The other thing, is to dump their tank after only a day or two of use. The problem is similar, not enough liquids to flush out the solids. This second one is easily avoided with a tank flush hookup (pump in a bunch of water and then dump the tank).

So, as Ronnie says, you can dump the black tank anytime as long as there is enough liquid to flush out the solids.
Very nice explanation
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Old 03-10-2020, 10:36 AM   #6
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I learned something new,

Anaerobic digestion is a process through which bacteria break down organic matter—such as manure—without oxygen.

I really don't understand septic systems enough to understand why this wont work, so I turn to you all for clarity.

I watched Robin Williams take a poo shower in the movie RV. I don't want that to happen to me....LOL
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Old 03-10-2020, 01:10 PM   #7
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A septic system uses the septic tank to capture the solids (poo and toilet paper) so they don't clog the leach field. The liquids flow out of the tank into the leach field pipes where the liquids drain into the ground.

The tank's in and out pipes are both near the top of the tank and the "exit" pipe has a right angle bend that dips below the surface of the water to avoid allowing solids into the leach field. In normal use a 1500 gallon septic tank will always contain 1500 gallons of sewage.

In time the solids build up in the tank and every few years (typically 3 - 5 years) the tank needs to be pumped out.

The OP's system might work.
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Old 03-10-2020, 03:29 PM   #8
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https://ibb.co/dghtPwn
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Old 03-10-2020, 08:58 PM   #9
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My concerns about draining the black tank

https://youtu.be/uHgRmR024BE
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Old 03-11-2020, 06:23 AM   #10
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Hyperbole.

Have you ever dumped RV tanks? If not, find a dump site and ask the first RV'er if you can watch - or even help - so you can learn how it works. With a typical system (that I mentioned above) it is one of the more simple tasks that you are likely ever to perform.

IMO, attempting to solve a problem that doesn't exist usually ends up creating a bunch of new, unexpected problems.

This might help: https://www.sanidumps.com/find.php
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Old 03-11-2020, 11:07 AM   #11
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My concerns about draining the black tank

https://youtu.be/uHgRmR024BE
Oh yes funny, but it does not happen in real life....And there is always a hose to wash off with
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