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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Black water tank health concerns and questions

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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 08/27/22 04:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The plumbing is virtually same as at home. It is all just pipes. Take reasonable precautions same as you do at home and there are no issues.


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Reno

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Posted: 08/27/22 05:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Never had a problem from using black water or grey water tank. Took extra care tho. It was no hassle for me to carry jugs of water from my home for drinking and cooking. I used the fresh water tank water for showers and other uses.

I refilled my jugs at the campground. An RVer once told me he caught someone trying to drop cigarette butts in his fresh water intake. I have heard others seen folks pouring something into another RVer's fresh water tank. Different strokes for different folks. Never been sick while camping for many years only bug bites. Just saying.

PButler96

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Posted: 08/27/22 06:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

QCMan wrote:

Sarcasm seems to be unrecognizable these days.


It certainly is on these boards, as is sense of humor.


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QCMan

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Posted: 08/27/22 07:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Must be a function of the woke carp.


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dedmiston

Coast to Coast

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Posted: 08/27/22 09:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

Have an experienced RVer show you how to dump cleanly for you and the dump station. Rubber gloves, hand sanitizer, a small bucket or dishpan, safety glasses, maybe a stool. First rule is “hookup” securely the hose to the dump hole before you go near your trailer’s dump connection.


As a counterpoint, most of us don’t do most of those things.

Just think of it as if you’re using the bathroom but with more accessories. Do what you need to do and then wash your hands afterwards. Done deal.


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ktmrfs

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Posted: 08/27/22 10:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OregonMan wrote:

Hi guys, something I've completely avoided doing in my travel trailer since buying it in 2018 is using my tanks - neither the fresh water, grey water or black water tanks have been used once in any way. Part of the reason is because I want to avoid the hassle of dumping and cleaning the tanks, carrying the extra weight etc. But the biggest part of my concern are health issues that could be caused by carrying around a tank full of my waste underneath where I eat and sleep. It's no secret that human waste can create a lot of bad bacteria and parasites and sometimes mold. I am concerned that if I start using my tanks, the black water tank especially, that harmful bacteria/mold could form that would find its way into the air of my trailer and that it might lead to health problems.

Are these concerns unfounded? Are waste and water tanks on newer travel trailers designed well enough where it truly keeps all of the bacteria and bad stuff sealed off from the rest of the trailer? Maybe I'm spoiled from having real plumbing most of my life, but the idea of having a tank full of bacteria, parasites and potentially harmful mold sitting right underneath my living area sounds like a surefire way to get health problems.

Thanks for any feedback or sharing your experiences with this. As I get older it becomes harder for me to walk or drive to facilities to use the bathroom and I'm considering finally starting to use the tanks in my trailer but the health concerns are a sticking point for sure.


If the health concerns were real we would have been dead decades ago
1) we drink the water from the fresh tank!!
2) we travel with full fresh tanks ALL the time, to avoid issues with campgrounds w/o water for whatever reason and the ability to pull in, roll out the awing and enjoy the evening w/o having to worry about water
3) we use the toilet, often going a week or more w/o filling the tank
4) unless we are at a site with a full hookup or need to go more than 200 mile or so home, go home with full tanks, back into the driveway and a day or so later dump into my home sewer system.
5) our family including, kids, grandkids etc. have been doing this for decades, 60-120 days/year and never had an issue.
6) we even use the trailer shower.
Heck one of the reasons for a trailer is to be able to use these conviences.


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PButler96

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Posted: 08/28/22 03:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

Have an experienced RVer show you how to dump cleanly for you and the dump station. Rubber gloves, hand sanitizer, a small bucket or dishpan, safety glasses, maybe a stool. First rule is “hookup” securely the hose to the dump hole before you go near your trailer’s dump connection.



You forgot about the Tyvek suit, knee high rubber boots, and military grade respiratory protection. Do not forget to have someone tape the boots and gloves to the Tyvek suit, preferably before you get to the dump station.

spoon059

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Posted: 08/28/22 05:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PButler96 wrote:

You forgot about the Tyvek suit, knee high rubber boots, and military grade respiratory protection. Do not forget to have someone tape the boots and gloves to the Tyvek suit, preferably before you get to the dump station.

And then inevitably get back into your truck still wearing half that stuff, or taking off your gloves first so your once protected hands are now dirty, and you get back into the truck, grab the steering wheel and then grab an apple to eat going down the road.

I find that the people that get crazy about "cleanliness" are usually the sloppiest ones in real life.

I used to work at a sub shop. People would come in, hand me money to pay for the food, then complain that I didn't wash my hands BEFORE putting the raw steak on the grill (I'd wash my hands immediately after touching the raw meat). They would complain that my hands were dirty from the dirty money (the same dirty money that the customer touched and didn't wash his hands afterwards). It wouldn't dawn upon them that anything dangerous would be killed by the heat of cooking the food.

Or they want food servers to wear gloves... as if we wouldn't touch all the same things with GLOVED hands (thus making them dirty) that we would with BARE hands.

Can't fix stupid...


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profdant139

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Posted: 08/28/22 09:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think that we should take the OP's concerns seriously and not poke fun at him. There is no reason to be rude.

Having said that, I respectfully disagree with the idea that one's own black tank poses a significant health risk. Is there some risk? Perhaps, but it is a very small risk.

By contrast, using public restrooms poses a much greater risk -- some members of the public are very sloppy about personal hygiene.

Dumping the black tank does involve some risk, but that risk is easily mitigated with disposable gloves and hand sanitizer. During the height of the pandemic, we also wore masks when dumping the tanks. We no longer do so. Note that the dump station is outdoors, with great air circulation, unlike a public restroom.

Having our own traveling bathroom meant that we were able to travel during the pandemic without using public restrooms. Otherwise, we would have had to hide out at home.

I hope this whole discussion has helped to reassure the OP. Everything in life involves some risk. It helps to quantify that risk and to weigh the alternatives.


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Posted: 08/28/22 09:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Agreed. I refrained from any sarcasm about it. But his recent threads allude to some pretty strange ideas or notions.
Try to help…. But normal things like can’t run your AC off of solar and RVs are meant to be used to store water for use and to relieve oneself just don’t add up.
Iirc he moved into his camper full time. Must have a bath house and never spent a night somewhere without one?
Age regression. Hard for many to identify.


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