Is it okay to do this?
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  1. #1
    Registered User Sophiasmama's Avatar
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    Default Is it okay to do this?

    I have a wash basin for doing dishes(also useful to handwash clothing) while camping...the soap I bought is Dr.Bronners Sals suds and it says biodegradable...the directions are to use 1 teaspoon per 6L of water...is it okay to dump this into the bush? Any thoughts on this matter are appreciated since camping season is 2 months away. TIA! Janine
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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I've been on a camping board with thousands of people from across the US and Canada for over ten years now and never heard of anyone having problems with scattering a small amount of dishwater in the brush, even with soap in it. Technically I suppose it's a gray water violation but it beats the heck out of the people who wash dishes at the communal water tap and make a mess all over instead of washing dishes properly at their campsite like their supposed to.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Sophiasmama's Avatar
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    Spiritdeer, do you think since we own the land where it will be dumped works in our favor? I'm looking for ideas as the cost to have your septic sucked out is $85.00 each time.
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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    It wouldn't be any worse than washing a car or something. Probably not as bad.

    How often do you have to have your septic pumped? We (family of two) have only had ours done once in fifteen years with no problems.

    I don't know if you're going to save anything by not running your dishwater down the drain anyway. I thought it was the solids they pumped out. Everything flows into the tank where the solids settle out, then the fluids go into the drain field.

    It's important not to rinse food particles down the drain, and of course a garbage disposal is a very bad thing to have. Also, you shouldn't be putting bleach into the septic system because it kills all the good, gunk-eating bacteria. Don't know if you're having any problems but if you are and you're doing any of those things, maybe that's why.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Sophiasmama's Avatar
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    No the septics at the lake we go to are total clean outs UNLESS you are plumbed into a lagoon area(which we won't be)...so these holding tanks are 1500Gallons...and can be done...oh lets see...if 10 of Us stay at mom and dads cabin for a week...due to showers and washing..once a week pump out...but we think since it will only be 3 of Us staying in the 5th wheel...we should get 6 weeks inbetween pump outs...as we do not shower everday(I do sponge baths at the sink...and Sophie swims everyday 4 hrs a day lol(I'll wash her hair at the tap a couple times a week).

    Thanks for your thoughts...you pretty much answered it for me.
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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I see.

    If you don't already, then consider doing navy showers: Wet yourself down, shut off water, lather up hair, wash body, rinse. It saves a lot of water. If you have an outside shower on the RV, you could even use that and let the water drain on the ground.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Sophiasmama's Avatar
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    Navy showers, love that!

    yes we have an outside shower,totally forgot about that...thanks so much,your help is appreciated!
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    Registered User lparker's Avatar
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    The only thing I see wrong about dumping dish washing water on the ground is food particles and grease WILL attract ants, coons possums, coyotes, bears, etc. (depending on where you are). If you do dump the water, do it at least 300 feet away from the lake or any stream running into the lake.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Sophiasmama's Avatar
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    Oh good point lparker...there is a bear issue already...so that won't do...but using the outdoor shower is still saving tank space. Thanks for posting!
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    I know that this has already been answered, but wanted to say that while it's normally ok in small quantities, I would be careful about doing it near any water source. Compounds that are even present in biodegradable soap have the potential to cause really gross algae blooms in bodies of water, which can in turn cause problems for fish and other living creatures, killing them. I don't think that this really applies to your situation, but wanted to point it out in case someone else reads.

  11. #11
    Registered User Sophiasmama's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting, it will not be an everyday thing maybe once a week.
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