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Old 02-19-2020, 10:08 AM   #1
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urine in a grey tank

Hello! we are getting to the point of planning our plumbing.
however I've come to questions I cannot seem to find answers to, so reaching to our community for help.

we are going to have a composting toilet in our bus, and my questions lie with possibly plumping the urine to the grey tank instead of keeping up with emptying a bucket every other day.

1. what precautions should be considered when plumping? equipment or how-to's?

2. is there a smell? and how do we avoid or prevent that?

3. does the grey tank need to be treated or rinsed out from time to time?

4. disposal? where can you dumb this type of water waste?

for now, I think that was all I could think of. Please respond if you have any answers for those questions! we are so eager to continue working, but got kinda stuck with this one.
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Old 02-19-2020, 10:27 AM   #2
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Great questions. We have discussed this in a couple of other threads and, so far, I have not seen any responses from anyone who has actually tried it.

I am going to give it a try when we get to that point. I am going to leave a space under the bus for a future urine tank in case I am not happy with mixing it with the grey water.

I will be using the same additive that I used to use in my black tank. Just in smaller doses.

Disposal is another issue. With dish water and urine in the grey tank you are likely to be breaking the rules, most places, if you dump on the ground. RV dump stations are a safe bet. They are all over the place. I live in a rural area. About 4000 people in the county. I can think of six RV dump stations.

One place that I lived had a sewer drain clean out near enough to where I parked my old bus that, with about $5 in plumbing parts and I had my own dump station. Two of them are free the others charge $5-$6 to dump.

Good luck and let us know how it works out for you.
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Old 02-19-2020, 11:06 AM   #3
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Stuff I’ve gleaned from the Internet:

You can dump shower water and water from washing your hands on the ground, though individual places may have explicit rules against it. And if you’re in a populated place you’ll piss everyone off if you do it.

Water used to wash dishes is considered sewage and cannot be dumped on the ground.

And whatever you do, don’t be like the Dave Matthews Band
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Old 02-19-2020, 01:42 PM   #4
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You can dump shower water and water from washing your hands on the ground, though individual places may have explicit rules against it. And if youíre in a populated place youíll piss everyone off if you do it.
I was in a campground a few years ago and developed a small leak in my grey valve. It was dripping a couple of drops a minute. I placed a bucket under it to keep it off of the ground until I could replace the valve. It was about an hour before the park management was at my door threatening to kick me out.

Some people......
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:21 PM   #5
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I would think once you mix urine with grey water it then needs to be treated as if it was a black tank and only dumped at approved dump stations.

Why not just have a black tank if you are going to have the urine go to a tank?
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:27 PM   #6
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Another thought, if mixing urine and grey water make sure all sinks, shower, etc have a water trap so smells do not come back through the drain plumbing.

I do not have any traps and have not had any trouble with smells coming back, but I do have a black tank for sewage. And we are careful about food waste not going down the drain.
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Old 02-19-2020, 06:22 PM   #7
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I would think once you mix urine with grey water it then needs to be treated as if it was a black tank and only dumped at approved dump stations.

Why not just have a black tank if you are going to have the urine go to a tank?
That basically leaves out composting toilets as an option for boondocking then. We dump our pee jug (small tank) in the bushes or somewhere outside the campsite. No different than when we were tent camping in the woods, really, where we would pee in the bushes or dig a cathole when we had to take a crap.
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Old 02-19-2020, 08:23 PM   #8
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I'm glad you asked this question. I have the exact same question in fact. As of right now, I'm inclined to plumb the urine into the gray water tank with an p-trap. With sinks, shower, and washing machine all going into the gray water tank it's bound to smell horrendous anyway. What's a little urine added to that foul concoction?
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Old 02-19-2020, 08:30 PM   #9
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I do have to admit I have a black tank and do not compost. My tank is good for a month with reserve. Two weeks in one spot is about the most I have done.

Pouring a pee bottle in the bushes occasionally I see no problem with, but a bunch of people in the same area and that could become a problem. I think it is the Appalachian trail that indeed it has become a problem in some areas.
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Old 02-19-2020, 09:06 PM   #10
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Thank you for posting this thread. We've not started on that part of the builddd, so all informatin will be appreciated.
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Old 02-21-2020, 03:26 AM   #11
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I have the same plan as you, although the toilet and sink are not installed yet. The tank is, however, and it hangs under the bus. I deliberately did not put any sort of standard pump out connection because we will primarily be using Argo for boondocking in the Tahoe National Forest where we can get some goddamn privacy. To drain, I just put a valve on the bottom of the tank to open just prior to leaving our camp location, so it will drain before driving. I made a post about the tanks here.


Anyway, I have most of the plumbing installed, and I'm using the Hepvo waterless traps for both directly under the sink (which drains straight down into the tank) and then also directly under urine collection device at the toilet (planning on doing a DIY composting head, I can't justify spending $1000 on a bucket). I also plan on putting in a "flushing" system, which would be a tiny push button valve or something like that that leads from a bottle of black tank treatment fluid to the urine collection device, such that anytime you piss in there, you'd flush it and the treatment would hopefully push any piss out of the pipes and into the tank. You can sort of see what I have now with these pics.


This is the drain that leads straight down into the tank, along with the clear vinyl vent hose (the blue PEX line is my freshwater supply). The flexible white PVC hose leads to the urine collection device:




And about two feet forward of the previous pic, this is the collection port for the urine. The Hepvo valve will go directly above this, and then the toilet will be built around it:




Here's a more complete pic:




These are grand ideas and all, let's see if I actually install them.
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Old 02-22-2020, 09:48 AM   #12
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thank you all for the advice. we greatly appreciate all the good information.
with all the content and information we are going to plumb our urine from the composting toilet to a complete separate bladder tank. this means are grey water will remain clean for discarding on most every where we go.
I'm not sure how big our bladder tank will be yet. I have to climb under the bus to take some measurements. but this seems like the most environmental safe option with out having a black tank, full on sewage.
I'm hoping a 20-30 gal bladder tank will fit! something that keeps us away from having to dumb for 2-3 weeks at a time. any comments or suggestions about this idea, let me know!
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Old 02-22-2020, 11:11 AM   #13
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I have the same plan as you, although the toilet and sink are not installed yet. The tank is, however, and it hangs under the bus. I deliberately did not put any sort of standard pump out connection because we will primarily be using Argo for boondocking in the Tahoe National Forest where we can get some goddamn privacy. To drain, I just put a valve on the bottom of the tank to open just prior to leaving our camp location, so it will drain before driving. I made a post about the tanks here.
So you're going to just dump ~40gal of grey water & piss IN/ON the campsite?!
And then casually drive away...

That's quite the puddle you're leaving for the next guy...
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Old 02-22-2020, 01:12 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by banman View Post
So you're going to just dump ~40gal of grey water & piss IN/ON the campsite?!

And then casually drive away...



That's quite the puddle you're leaving for the next guy...
That's what I was thinking. Glad somebody said it.
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Old 02-22-2020, 02:59 PM   #15
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Fellas, this is for Tahoe National Forest, not a campground or RV park. We use logging and fire roads to find a wide and level shoulder with a clear view of the stars, and, despite how much I enjoy beer, there is no way my wife and I are producing 40 gallons of grey water from dishwashing and urinating. I am not the most cultured individual, but even I would never dump any kind of waste in a spot meant for camping or campers.
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:43 PM   #16
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Fellas, this is for Tahoe National Forest, not a campground or RV park. We use logging and fire roads to find a wide and level shoulder with a clear view of the stars, and, despite how much I enjoy beer, there is no way my wife and I are producing 40 gallons of grey water from dishwashing and urinating. I am not the most cultured individual, but even I would never dump any kind of waste in a spot meant for camping or campers.
If you park over a stream crossing to dump your tank you'll be less likely to get caught...
(sarcasm -- extreme sarcasm...)

Your build thread says you have a 43 gal 'gray' water tank.

If you're in one spot for the legal limit of 14 days you'll have more than a few gallons I'm sure...

I don't know what you're actually doing or dumping; I just obviously didn't agree with the way it 'sounded' to me...

Pour camping habits are the major reason Federal lands get closed off to the public...
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Old 02-29-2020, 03:18 PM   #17
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"To drain, I just put a valve on the bottom of the tank to open just prior to leaving our camp location, so it will drain before driving."

Seriously, don't do this. You are making life harder for all skoolies everywhere with this stunt. Please try to be more respectful of the park and the community. You're not living in a barn.
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Old 03-01-2020, 12:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banman View Post
If you park over a stream crossing to dump your tank you'll be less likely to get caught...
(sarcasm -- extreme sarcasm...)

Your build thread says you have a 43 gal 'gray' water tank.

If you're in one spot for the legal limit of 14 days you'll have more than a few gallons I'm sure...

I don't know what you're actually doing or dumping; I just obviously didn't agree with the way it 'sounded' to me...

Pour camping habits are the major reason Federal lands get closed off to the public...

I used to do commercial flat roofing...once did a roof repair above a piss test laboratory. Don't know what they did to it but the stench was terrible and my nose is not very good.


Question. Does any one know of a filter (charcoal? maybe) that can neutralize/de-stench/clean urine so that it can be put into the grey water tank?
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:17 PM   #19
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Piss is not gray water!!
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Old 03-04-2020, 09:01 PM   #20
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Piss is not gray water!!
Many people will tell you that kitchen sink waste water is not grey water either.

I am considering trying dumping urine in the grey tank but would only be dumping at proper dump stations.

I have pulled into a camp spot to find that the previous occupant had dumped their grey tank on the ground. We wound up moving because of the smell.
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