What do you do with dishwater?

Discussion in 'Campground Etiquette' started by Daisy on my toe, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. Daisy on my toe

    Daisy on my toe Member

    Jun 21, 2017
    Chicago area
    Etiquette question. When you wash your dishes in a campground and are not using grey water tanks what do you do with your dirty dish water? I wash my dishes in a little plastic tub and then I usually go to the water station and dump it there because there is stone french drain and that seems like the best place. Though the campground I was just in this weekend the water spigot was practically in someones camping site and it felt weird to dump there- I didn't want to attract wildlife to their campsite. But also there did not seem to be any better place to dump it- there wasn't a dishwashing station or anything. I used to do more backpacking and I know in that situation supposed to take it far from your tent and dump it - but that does not seem practical in a campground situation. I want to be a good campground neighbor.
  2. Strawhouse

    Strawhouse Active Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Muskoka, Ontario
    In my experience, campgrounds generally prohibit washing dishes at water spigots, so it follows that dish water should not be dumped there. I would recommend storing your grey water in a wheeled container and dumping it at the dump station.
    This one is sturdy and easy to roll. It is available in the US at Walmart and Amazon.com:

    Reliance Products Hydroller 8 Gallon wheeled water container
    kitphantom likes this.
  3. crackerJack

    crackerJack Active Member

    Jan 6, 2014
    Scottsville, KY
    A bathhouse commode will take it to a septic tank.
  4. Daisy on my toe

    Daisy on my toe Member

    Jun 21, 2017
    Chicago area
  5. tzmartin

    tzmartin Active Member

    Sep 9, 2015
    get a tote that you can carry or easily roll to the bathhouse or grey water dump. I've also put it down the dump station hole but there's usually a line at checkout time. If you get a rolling 15 gallon tote, get a sewer hose so you can get it over the toilet lid and/or directly into the dump station hole. Water is heavy!!!
  6. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    I just dump it at the back of my camp site
    xxxapache and kcsa75 like this.
  7. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    Macomb County Michigan
    I water a tree with it.
    xxxapache likes this.
  8. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2007
    Back when we had the pup, I would use the days grey water to put out the nightly camp fire..
    ericgregoire and xxxapache like this.
  9. crackerJack

    crackerJack Active Member

    Jan 6, 2014
    Scottsville, KY
    Grey water and generators.
    Some of the most divisive topics on the portal. Plenty of threads with heated debates.
    D_Gibb and kcsa75 like this.
  10. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Member

    Jun 14, 2014
    Depends on the campground. Lots of them now have a place or places to dump dishwater, most national parks and many of the more developed campgrounds. When we wash dishes, we have very few food scraps on them because we use a pre-rinser (our dog) who is very efficient at cleaning things up. We dump in the identified area if there is one, but if not, we just broadcast the water around an out of the way portion of the campsite. We are talking about ~ 2 gallons total for wash and rinse, so I don't worry about it too much.
  11. sleach

    sleach A short run will get you within walking distance.

    May 17, 2014
    If washing up inside, the dishwater just drains into the 6 gallon Reliance jug through the short hose section attached to the outside connection. When washing up outside the wash and rinse water goes into the jug by way of a large funnel bought at an auto parts store. We try very hard not to contaminate the immediate campsite.

    When the jug gets heavy it is emptied at a dump station if available, or down the hole in the vault toilet. I take along a couple of paper towels in case there is a spill.

    If boondocking- most of our trips- the gray water jug is lugged at least 100 yards from the campsite and emptied into a clump of bushes where no one is likely to go. These spots are also well away from any water features.

    I really like the Reliance Rhino jug- 6 gallons, and a pointy nozzle that just passes the drain hose from the trailer. There is a vent opposite the nozzle, which allows emptying as a stream instead of splashy "glurks". It's gray in color, which makes it a natural for gray water, tho' I labeled it "gray water only" on both sides. The drain hose stores inside the jug.
  12. Eskimorob

    Eskimorob PUP life

    Jul 5, 2016
    One thing to consider if you're in the 'throw it in the woods' camp, is to make sure you wipe your dishes, pots and pans, etc. before washing them so the dishwater doesn't have any food in it when you throw it out. Here in the south, fire ants are not welcome guests around the campsite. Do this in bear country and you're just asking for a midnight visit. With that said, I also water the flora with it, but there is very little food residue in it, if any, and I don't do it in bear country.
  13. TDS-MN

    TDS-MN Member

    Sep 29, 2013
    Minneapolis, MN
    We make every effort to throw food scraps in trash, reducing the amount of debris in the dishwater. Will usually keep the tub of water for dumping on the fire at the end of the night.
    Have never camped where bears were a concern. We generally try to limit dishwashing to once a day, hate to waste too much time doing that task when we can be out enjoying the outdoors instead.

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