Grey Water Tanks – Are they Necessary?

By January 22, 2020News

Have you considered grey water disposal?

Do you have a grey water tank?

Is a grey water tank necessary?

Greywater tanks are an optional addition to most caravans and campers. But is it something you need to invest in?

What is Grey Water?

Greywater is defined as any wastewater from your house, caravan, camper or motorhome that comes from anywhere other than the toilet (waste from which is black water). Greywater hence includes any water from the bathroom and kitchen sink, shower, washing machine, etc.

Greywater is not clean – it contains oils, detergents, soaps, food scraps, and other additives. It can be put on plants, but it’s not ideal. And when you are travelling in the great outdoors, there is an etiquette to grey water disposal.

Most motorhomes have tanks for greywater as a standard fitting, however, most campers and caravans do not. This is a consideration in terms of being environmentally friendly. Many caravanners prefer to have a grey water tank – but do you need to have one?

Grey Water Disposal – Options

While some people choose to just let their greywater flow, this can be an issue – creating muddy dirty puddles under their van and potentially having the greywater run into natural watercourses where it can impact local aquatic and wildlife. It is also a big no-no in terms of caravanner and camper etiquette.

While it’s not as bad as black water, dumped greywater:

  • Breeds toxic bacteria if stored or stagnant for more than 12-24 hours
  • Can attract pests
  • Can contaminate natural waterways
  • Can poison aquatic life, birdlife, and animal life
  • Can lead to algal blooms
  • Can contaminate fish stocks
  • Smells unpleasant at best and offensive at worst.
  • Can lead to erosion
  • Diminishes the appeal of camping areas
  • Is not ideal for flora
  • Can contaminate swimming areas
  • Can contaminate drinking water

If you’re a responsible camper or caravanner, you’ll choose to dispose of your grey water responsibly – at the very least, collecting it in a bucket and disposing of it on trees and shrubs well away from the campground.

Many vans will have grey water tanks fitted to collect this used water for appropriate disposal at a suitable facility, as opposed to simply discharging it onto the ground under or near your van or campground.

Are Grey Water Tanks Necessary?

Put simply, grey water tanks are necessary for caravanning in Australia only when you travel in National Parks. Here, grey water mustn’t be disposed of irresponsibly, and it must be carried out with you, as most Australian National Parks now require that greywater be disposed of outside the park. The only way to achieve this is by installing a greywater tank with capacity that matches that of your freshwater tank.

These days, more public campgrounds are also adopting grey water-safe practices, requiring campers be fully self-sufficient and by not providing gully traps to collect greywater.

Investing in a grey water tank is a great idea to maximise the environmental sustainability of your caravan or camper. If you do not have a grey water tank, at the very least you should adopt the use of green detergents and soaps to minimize your impact on the environment.

Other tips if you don’t have a grey water tank:

  • Collect dishwasher and shower water in a bucket; use it to water a nearby plant.
  • Empty greywater on a different plant or tree each time.
  • Dump well away from the campsite and be courteous to others – don’t dump near them.
  • Never dump grey water near creeks, ponds, and other watercourses.
  • Don’t let excess soap or food scraps go out in your greywater.

Call Caravan World Today

As one of Queensland’s oldest established Caravan Dealerships, Caravan World takes great pride in offering a wide and diverse range, always delivered to you with great service, best prices, and expert advice. We are renowned for our extensive, in-depth “handover” process which is second to none. It covers everything from hitching up your caravan to set up on-site. With Caravan World, you will enjoy exploring with your new caravan with confidence in no time.

Call us today on (07) 5445 2215.