Grey water dumping without septic/sewer

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Newguystu

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Greetings,

I have just embarked on a semi-full time RV setup on my home property of about an acre, and am frantically searching for a reliable method of dumping grey water without the use of my septic system. 

Here's the breakdown.  My RV is set downhill of my septic about 3 feet and 50 feet from the tank itself, and I don't have a cleanout.  I plan to have a cleanout installed in order to dump black tanks in the near future utilizing the FlowJet waste pump system which I have ordered, but pumping grey water daily or every few days will be a chore.

I have read that you can install a drywell / or similar seepage field for such purposes, but I really can't find the best method of doing so.

My requirements are to effectively drain and treat about 50 gallons a day up to 75, and not have a back-up situation.  I have clay soil with some rock, so I read somewhere I should have at least a 6x4x4 hole to accommodate this flow rate.

I have plenty of room in the yard next to the RV to dig something and line it appropriately with either a perforated tank or gravel, etc.. and then run a small pvc cleanout to the surface for use with a water hose and the hose adapter that sits on the drain cap, and ideally I can leave my grey valve open all the time, or just pull it once a day to drain what's in there.

Any advice from someone who has accomplished this or links to content here would be greatly appreciated.  I haven't found a search option but I may be overlooking it.

Thanks in advance!

Stu
 

Bobtop46

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I would think a good place to start is your City/Town/County permit office.  They will be able to tell you what the requirements are and legality.  Folks here might be hesitant to respond because of those issues. 
 

Rene T

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Are you doing this on the side without the town knowing about this?

I read the instructions of the link provided and I would dig the hole deeper so you can  put the drum in the hole and have room for topsoil. They omitted that. I would cut the top off the drum and put that end down in the bottom of the hole and also drill a bunch of 3/4" holes all round the outside. They said 1" holes and use 1" stone. Some of the 1" stone may fall into 1" holes.
I would also go larger on the hole, maybe 2' larger than the barrel all around.

If you have a well, how far away is the dry well going to be?  You need to be 75' from the well.
 

Newguystu

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Well, I'd like to clarify that I'm not trying to do anything illegal, and I am fine with pulling permits and getting it inspected if necessary.  I want to be doing the right thing regardless, so it's not something that I am trying to hide at all.

I have a plumber who is currently out of town which I plan to contact with regards to the project, I just want something other than a full blown septic system as I won't have the room to install the drain field where I currently have it parked.

I am totally oblivious to the current rules, but I am outside the city in rural, so no sewer. 

Just looking for ideas to present my plumber that don't break any laws and will accommodate the runoff.

And yes, 50 gallons a day is a little much.  I was shooting on the high side.  After speaking with a friend who regularly camps with his horse trailer / rv, he makes it 5 or 6 days on a 60 gallon holding tank, so lets estimate the daily usage more around 15-20 with semi-conservative shower practices.

My father is staying in this RV temporarily until he can find a bigger place, due to just being in a funk and needing a place to stay, so I will have to teach him proper practices to get the best out of the situation.  Currently he's used to taking a massive shower :-(

I know a lot of people in my area who do not even send their grey water from their homes washing machine and some small sinks to septic, rather they installed a small field somewhere on their property to take this water and dispose of it without issue.  I would say however that no one is really aware of this.

Just trying to do the right thing here.  I appreciate the responses!

Stu
 

Newguystu

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Rene T said:
Are you doing this on the side without the town knowing about this?

I read the instructions of the link provided and I would dig the hole deeper so you can  put the drum in the hole and have room for topsoil. They omitted that. I would cut the top off the drum and put that end down in the bottom of the hole and also drill a bunch of 3/4" holes all round the outside. They said 1" holes and use 1" stone. Some of the 1" stone may fall into 1" holes.
I would also go larger on the hole, maybe 2' larger than the barrel all around.

If you have a well, how far away is the dry well going to be?  You need to be 75' from the well.

Distance may be an issue.  my property line ends about 50' from the camper drain, but its all slight downhill.  The well would more than likely have to be about 20-30' from the actual rv drain spout.  This is close to the property edge.
 

Rene T

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Newguystu said:
Well, I'd like to clarify that I'm not trying to do anything illegal, and I am fine with pulling permits and getting it inspected if necessary.  I want to be doing the right thing regardless, so it's not something that I am trying to hide at all.

If that's the case, contact the code enforcement person in your town and see what's allowed. Keep in mind if you do contact them, that's going to be a red flag if you find out that you can't do it. Your plumber may already know what's allowed.
My bet is that you'll have to have a perk test done before anything is allowed because you did say you had clay. A system like that may have to be designed by an engineer and approved by the state then the town.
 

Rene T

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Newguystu said:
Distance may be an issue.  my property line ends about 50' from the camper drain, but its all slight downhill.  The well would more than likely have to be about 20-30' from the actual rv drain spout.  This is close to the property edge.

This may work as long as you don't mind drinking gray water. It's not where the drain spout is going to be, it's where the tank is going to be.
Do you have neighbors also with wells close to where you want to put the tank? That also has to be 75'. That's the code in my town. It may be different in yours.
 

Newguystu

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I'm not sure.  We are all on city water so that's not an issue.

I'm flying somewhat blind at the moment.  I will do some more digging after my plumber returns, and see what they think.  I can update once I've found a solution.

Thanks!
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Most towns no longer allow dry wells or french drains for any sort of waste water.  The regulations are well-meaning, but often overly restrictive due to the emotion surrounding environmental concerns.  There are places where tossing the remains of a drink from your glass onto the lawn can get you fined!

I have a 25 gallon dry well for the laundry room at our house Nothing but washer suds goes into it.  It was legit when installed, so I'm grandfathered in, but if I ever have to to do major rapiers, I'll be forced to change over to a septic system for the washer.

As a practical matter, a 50 gallon dry well is simple as long as the soil drains well ("percs well", is the term). Basically just a drum with hoes in the sides and bottom to let the water slowly leak out.  If it doesn't you may need to construct a leach (drain) field to spread the water over a wider area, maybe adding crushed stone and sand for improved drainage.  Generally it would not be allowed to be near or around a well or even a potable water pipe.

These days the preferred solution is to place a sump in the round (a waste water collection tank) and a submersible pump to pump it up to the septic tank. The pump woud have an float switch so that it automatically comes on as needed. No hauling water up the hill.
 

Newguystu

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Gary RV_Wizard said:
Most towns no longer allow dry wells or french drains for any sort of waste water.  The regulations are well-meaning, but often overly restrictive due to the emotion surrounding environmental concerns.  There are places where tossing the remains of a drink from your glass onto the lawn can get you fined!

I have a 25 gallon dry well for the laundry room at our house Nothing but washer suds goes into it.  It was legit when installed, so I'm grandfathered in, but if I ever have to to do major rapiers, I'll be forced to change over to a septic system for the washer.

As a practical matter, a 50 gallon dry well is simple as long as the soil drains well ("percs well", is the term). Basically just a drum with hoes in the sides and bottom to let the water slowly leak out.  If it doesn't you may need to construct a leach (drain) field to spread the water over a wider area, maybe adding crushed stone and sand for improved drainage.  Generally it would not be allowed to be near or around a well or even a potable water pipe.

These days the preferred solution is to place a sump in the round (a waste water collection tank) and a submersible pump to pump it up to the septic tank. The pump woud have an float switch so that it automatically comes on as needed. No hauling water up the hill.

Gary,

Thanks for the reply.  I got to thinking to myself in line with that exact idea.  If nothing else then I could probably burry a small holding tank which would take the runoff and then pump it uphill slightly to a cleanout in my septic drain (once I can have one installed). Currently the only cleanout I have is under my 1 story home and I doubt I will be crawling under there to attach anything soon. 

Even if I installed a 200-300 gallon holding tank and pumped it with some sort of a pump setup into that cleanout then I should avoid most of the drainage issues, I will just have to stay on top of watching the tank in the ground.  It's a compromise, but it should do well.

Thanks,

Stu
 

Lou Schneider

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Newguystu said:
Currently the only cleanout I have is under my 1 story home and I doubt I will be crawling under there to attach anything soon. 

I had the same thing under a 1 bedroom house when I lived on Marrowstone Island, and it wasn't that hard to extend the cleanout through the cinderblock foundation wall to make a sewer inlet for the RV.  One cinderblock at each corner was laid sideways for ventilation and the 3" PVC pipe was able to slide through the hole in the block.

A male screw inlet transition at the cleanout, an elbow and a 3" threaded cleanout cap at the other end and it was done.
 

Rene T

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Newguystu said:
Even if I installed a 200-300 gallon holding tank and pumped it with some sort of a pump setup into that cleanout then I should avoid most of the drainage issues, I will just have to stay on top of watching the tank in the ground.  It's a compromise, but it should do well.

It may not do well. If you tried to pump 300 gallons of gray water into your septic tank, it would flow right into your leech field and it may stress out the leech field. Also, there could be some solids in the gray water and that could potentially end up in your leech field possibly plugging up the drain holes. IMHO, I wouldn't attempt it.
 

Newguystu

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Well, in my time today I have discovered that there are indeed good cast iron submersible pumps that will pump sewage or effluent up to 10 feet up in the air without issue, and are automatic working off a float system.  If I was able to wire in a self activated pump to a smaller tank, say 50 gallons or so, and the pump would kick on once the level reached a certain point, then the system would be self maintaining in that respect.

Say the tank fills to 30, pumps out to 5 or so, and then waits to be triggered again.  If grey water was all I am using it for, or a combo of both, it shouldn't ever pump more than 20 or so gallons at a time, making it an easy input to the existing septic tank.  I would never pump the full tank at one time regardless.

Seems like this would be a reasonable expectation of such a setup.  I can even burry the line that runs to the cleanout and have it permanently installed per say. Would just have to run a power wire to the pump and it would all be under ground with an access port to get into the tank if replacement was necessary.
 

Rene T

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Newguystu said:
Well, in my time today I have discovered that there are indeed good cast iron submersible pumps that will pump sewage or effluent up to 10 feet up in the air without issue,

That's a great idea. Pump it up into the air and let the winds evaporate the water or send it over to your neighbors yard.  :eek: :( ??? ::) :-[ :-\ ;D :D ;)
I just had to. Sorry.
 

Isaac-1

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Assuming there is no code limitation, a lot depends on the soil conditions, lets try to put this in perspective 1 inch of rain falling on 1 acre of land is equal to about 27,000 gallons of water.  Managing to get up to 50 gallons per day to soak into the ground if it is at all permeable should not be that hard, the simplest solution is probably to lay in trench of 4 inch perforated PVC drain pipe, cover with mesh and surrounded by gravel, where I live 4 inch wide walk behind trenchers can be rented for about $70 per day if you don't want to dig by hand, and will do the job in about 10 minutes. Each 10 ft section of 4 inch perf PVC will hold about 8 gallons of water, assuming it would hold water and not instantly drain out into the gravel bed.  So as long as the ground is not saturated, I suspect as little as 2 or 3 sections of pipe would accommodated any surge from dumping your average size gray tank.

p.s. remember we are talking gray water here, which is going to be 98%+ water with a bit of soap, and bio products, which generally make good lawn fertilizer
 

Newguystu

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Yep. I agree, a drainage pit would be the simplest way, but a tank pump scenario could allow me to pump both tanks into my septic, at a higher price no doubt, and then there's always pump failure in 5-7 years.

I guess I'll make some calls tomorrow and see what I can find about local regulations, but I can tell you my local folks probably don't care either way.  They usually say if your county just do whatever you want :)  It's as if they just don't want to be bothered with making a call.

This is giving me a headache..
 

Newguystu

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Something like this pump seems perfect for use with both tanks into a cleanout. 

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Liberty-Pumps-P382LE41SD-2-4-10-HP-Residential-Simplex-Sewage-Package-w-2-Side-Discharge-115v?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5YjY2-Lx4wIVeh-tBh1GrwLWEAYYCSABEgIrvvD_BwE

not sure how it would work, but it holds enough to completely drain both black and grey tanks.  Don't know if it has grinding capability however.
 

Boonieman

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My brother has property next to me and installed a small cabin for hunting, family get together, and generally a place to get away. His wife loves coming down, but it had no water, shower, or inside toilet. This past weekend we installed a cistern and a septic tank. We rented a mini excavator, dug the holes, and a big truck came in and dropped in the septic tank and cistern into the holes. We piped up everything ourselves. He didn?t install any lateral lines because that would have put things into a different category. (Permits, etc) He is just using the septic tank as a hold tank and will have it pumped occasionally. Cost to rent the excavator, buy the septic tank (not including the cistern), and the plumbing supplies was around $1600. Just another option you might consider, codes allowing in your area of course.
 
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