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Old 01-25-2021, 07:16 AM   #1
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Sunshower use

I guess this is a suitable spot to ask this question:
Is using a sunshower considered dumping gray water?
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Old 01-25-2021, 07:51 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by JLMathis View Post
I guess this is a suitable spot to ask this question:
Is using a sunshower considered dumping gray water?
JLMathis
Depends upon the camping rules in place where you are camping. "Common sense" should be a guide, but people often lack common sense. Therefore, camping areas apply rules to compensate for lack of common sense. Rules vary between camps.
We always use biodegradable soap such as or similar to Dr. Bonners.
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Old 01-25-2021, 09:26 AM   #3
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Sunshower

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Originally Posted by JLMathis View Post
I guess this is a suitable spot to ask this question:
Is using a sunshower considered dumping gray water?
JLMathis
IMHO Yes if you're using soap and/or shampoo. Some places might allow it and some may not. It's best to check the rules where you're staying. With a sunshower with soap you are spreading odor to an area that might attract animals and insects. Some places may allow capturing waste water in a tub and dumping it properly and some may allow gray water several yards away from a body of water or camping area.

I have worked as a volunteer campground host in YNP and it is absolutely not allowed in their campgrounds. However, it is OK to take dishwater in the YNP backcountry and dump it at least 100 yards from the tent.

I believe there are campgrounds in Rocky Mountain NP that provide sun shower stalls. You bring your own sun shower and the gray water is collected into their waste system. It would be great if more places had this arrangement.
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Old 01-25-2021, 12:27 PM   #4
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Sunshower

Thanks.
We always use Dr. Bronner's or equal.
Who doesn't like peppermint?
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Old 01-26-2021, 03:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JLMathis View Post
I guess this is a suitable spot to ask this question:
Is using a sunshower considered dumping gray water?
JLMathis
It creates gray water, you are dumping it onto the ground, so sure!
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Old 01-26-2021, 03:39 PM   #6
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Sic transit gloria mundi I guess.
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Old 01-26-2021, 05:05 PM   #7
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It creates gray water, you are dumping it onto the ground, so sure!
And yet if you have been working, your clothes are dirty, oily, and sweaty, and you get caught in a downpour, the water that drips off of you, your clothing, and the top of your trailer, dotted or covered with bird droppings is somehow less toxic than the gray water which results from taking a sun shower with biodegradable soap. Sounds like some of the gray water disposal regulations are based in contamination hyperbole. This differentiation is a bit of a contradiction to me and I worked for one of Florida’s water management districts for 22 years.
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Old 01-26-2021, 07:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CPW View Post
And yet if you have been working, your clothes are dirty, oily, and sweaty, and you get caught in a downpour, the water that drips off of you, your clothing, and the top of your trailer, dotted or covered with bird droppings is somehow less toxic than the gray water which results from taking a sun shower with biodegradable soap. Sounds like some of the gray water disposal regulations are based in contamination hyperbole. This differentiation is a bit of a contradiction to me and I worked for one of Florida’s water management districts for 22 years.
As I stated previously, " Rules are needed due to those that don't have or use common sense". Example: It seems foolish that we need regulations in place for food service workers mandating they need to wash their hands after using the restroom and returning to work. OR That we need to wear masks to help reduce the risk of infection from Covid.
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Old 01-27-2021, 05:31 AM   #9
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As I stated previously, " Rules are needed due to those that don't have or use common sense". Example: It seems foolish that we need regulations in place for food service workers mandating they need to wash their hands after using the restroom and returning to work. OR That we need to wear masks to help reduce the risk of infection from Covid.
I agree Bill. But you must also realize that some rules and regulations are based in common sense while others are put in place with irrational reasoning. If you were to present my “question” to the “gray water rule making authority” the odds are you would get a blank stare and no response or incoherent mumbling because at that moment they would realize how arbitrary the rule is. And I agree with your original post that there are a substantial number of clueless people doing harmful things all over the surface of this planet, but spilling gray water (except in highly environmentally sensitive locations) isn’t one of them.
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Old 01-27-2021, 06:21 AM   #10
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Sometimes I wonder if the more commonsense answer to the gray water question might be to- not ask the question?

(And this response is not intended to impart any ill upon the OP or responses, it is just my opinion and there are no dumb questions.)
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Old 01-27-2021, 07:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by CPW View Post
And yet if you have been working, your clothes are dirty, oily, and sweaty, and you get caught in a downpour, the water that drips off of you, your clothing, and the top of your trailer, dotted or covered with bird droppings is somehow less toxic than the gray water which results from taking a sun shower with biodegradable soap. Sounds like some of the gray water disposal regulations are based in contamination hyperbole. This differentiation is a bit of a contradiction to me and I worked for one of Florida’s water management districts for 22 years.
I understand your point, but look at it this way. You put 20 campers in the same area for 1/2 the year all spilling their grey water onto the ground, what do you thing will happen?
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Old 01-27-2021, 07:40 AM   #12
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The question that often goes unanswered is what about tent campers. How often do you see tent campers washing their dishes on the picnic table. They certainly don't take the water home with them. While many campgrounds are providing grey water receptacles, many don't. I've found many National Park campgrounds have addressed the issue as have Oregon and Ohio state parks I've camped in. If you want to encourage a certain behavior, make it easy. Making rules without a way to follow them just encourages violation. I'm more concerned with dishes than shower/hand washing. Nobody wants to see yesterdays scrambled eggs on the ground at their camp site. Oh and please don't dump your grey water in the outhouse.
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Old 01-27-2021, 07:46 AM   #13
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I agree with you on that one Raz, they should make it easier to do the right thing at campgrounds. NH State Parks put dish cleaning stations in their campgrounds so people wouldn't dump their grey water on the ground. I was thinking more of boondocking areas when I responded to Carl.
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Old 01-27-2021, 12:09 PM   #14
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I understand your point, but look at it this way. You put 20 campers in the same area for 1/2 the year all spilling their grey water onto the ground, what do you thing will happen?
While dishwashing water is technically gray water, the OP asked about using a sun shower to wash body parts, which in 99 and 44/100ths (note the reference to Ivory Soap commercials of yesteryear) does not contain bird droppings that are on the roof of your trailer or your tow vehicle. And have you ever watched water drip out of the exhaust pipe of your tow vehicle. Do you think that contains no contaminants? So to answer your question what do I think? I don’t think, I know, and in case you missed it, I worked for one of Florida’s water management districts for 22 years in a department tasked with water conservation. As such, I was exposed to lots of research on gray water and reclaimed waste water (sewage). And BTW, Florida has some of the most strict environmental regulation in the nation. In reality, stronger than New Hampshire’s. I know that as a former NH resident (Manchester area, specifically Hooksett) prior to relocating to Florida. So the answer to your question about what would happen if 20 campers spilled shower water for 1/2 the year onto the ground...... nothing other than the ground would get wet and the water would percolate downward, ultimately replenishing the aquifer. And for that matter, dumping dishwater is not an environmental problem. Because it contains food particles, it attracts insects. That can be unwanted in a crowded area, hence the rules against dumping gray water in campgrounds because many people fail to understand that not all gray water is “created equal.” However, as Josie Wales (Clint Eastwood) stated “Even a buzzard’s gotta eat.” So does an insect and ground microbes. Within a short time period, all food particles will be “recycled.” With all due respect, shower water, especially when using biodegradable soap does not require looking at any other way. It does not contain any substances that are going to contaminate the ground nor is it going to attract any pests. But we must follow the rules sometimes established by uninformed and/or uneducated people.
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Old 01-27-2021, 04:32 PM   #15
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If commonsense is so common, why is it then that it is so uncommon?
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Old 01-27-2021, 04:48 PM   #16
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If commonsense is so common, why is it then that it is so uncommon?
As a retired school administrator I spent most of my career working with Phds.
Very brilliant in their field. Commonsense, not so much.
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Old 01-27-2021, 07:01 PM   #17
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Gray water discussions always seem a magnet for "whataboutism." In my opinion it's not too difficult to follow the rules for the place you are. No need to think about it too much.
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Old 01-30-2021, 11:42 AM   #18
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Plus 10 for ShelbyM: "In my opinion it's not too difficult to follow the rules for the place you are. No need to think about it too much." There are plenty of places where you can camp without any rules. Why make it hard on the camp host. Just follow the rules in place wherever you are.
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Old 01-30-2021, 02:55 PM   #19
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There is no requirement that rules need to be logical or make sense. Many rules fail that test. In the end, its their campground and they have the right to any rules they want. As a camper, I have the choice of going elsewhere.
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Old 01-30-2021, 05:42 PM   #20
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Most tent campers wash their dishes and dump dishwater in the ground. ( which have food particles and soap). This would seem to be a similar situation
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