Can Urine Go Into A Gray Water Tank?

 If you are considering getting a compost toilet for your RV, you may be wondering if urine can go into your gray water tank. Many people have been faced with this question, because most compost toilets are only for solid waste. This leaves you will the ultimatum of either draining your liquid waste to your gray water tank, or a separate tank for urine.

To answer the question, urine is NOT sterile and if it enters your gray water tank it will likely contaminate it. Keep in mind that although your gray water tank already contains nasty bacteria, urine will only make the situation worse. Urine will build up even worse bacteria in your tank, and eventually make the tank smell very bad. Although if your tank is vented properly, odor shouldn’t be much of a problem.

In some areas, you can dump your gray water on the ground most anywhere. Keep in mind that in many public areas this isn’t the case, but it all depends on your area. Once your gray water has been contaminated with waste products, it must be treated as black water and be emptied at a dumping station.

While we highly recommend that you do not cross contaminate your gray water with your black water, there have been quite a few people who have done this. If you choose to put urine in your gray water tank, be sure you understand it now needs to be dumped at a dumping station. Your tank will also begin smelling pretty bad, so you can add a cup of vinegar to the tank after each dump, or add some kind of odor prevention chemical.

Also be sure all your drains and/or showers have a water trap so smells won’t come through the drain plumbing. Keep in mind that while urine will definitely contribute to smells; so will particles of food, sewage, etc. Gray water from washing or cooking won’t usually smell as bad, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Some composting toilets can handle liquid waste, but it will need dumped a lot sooner because of the smell. If you are adding a composting toilet to your RV, try adding another tank to the bottom of your camper to collect urine. This way you have your waste separate and don’t need to worry so much about smell. Keep in mind you will still need to empty the tanks regularly, but this way it won’t be quite as often.

Remember that any tank that holds waste or dirty water will smell at some point or another. To prevent this, add some kind of liquid tank treatment to your tanks to help prevent and take care of existing odors. Like we said before, you can also use a cup of vinegar after every dumping trip. Also be sure your valves are closing properly, as if they are broken or stuck they will release awful smells into your bathroom.

Continue reading to learn more about what goes into your gray water tank:

What Goes Into A Gray Water Tank?

If you are new to RV living, you may be wondering what goes into your gray water tank. Gray water tanks are for dirty waste water, unlike black water tanks that are for holding your urine and solid waste. Gray water is gently used water from your showers, sinks, washing machines, or from cooking. While this waste water isn’t associated with bodily waste, it is still dirty and can hold a lot of bacteria and dirt.

Gray water is emptied into it’s own separate tank called the “gray water tank.” This tank can be emptied on the ground or in a specific place identified by your local authorities. There will be different regulations depending your area, so be aware before just dumping your gray water tank’s contents on the ground. Black water tanks are dumped into their own septic tanks or dumping stations located at RV camp grounds, while gray water is not.

Gray water tanks are emptied more often than black water tanks, as it is used more often. Every time you run your tap, take a shower, or cook with your fresh water supply, this water gets taken away and stored in your gray water tank. Since you probably do this several times a day, your gray tank fills quickly.

If you don’t want to dump your gray water so often, you can try conserving water while RV camping. When cooking, try using less water or eat more pre-prepared meals. You can also try taking less showers, or take them quickly. Using disposable plates, cups, and utensils while traveling will also cut down on how much water you use. Keep in mind that staying cleanly and healthy is super important, so never cut down on water so much that you neglect washing your hands or staying clean.

How often you fill up your gray water tank will all depend on how many people you have traveling in your RV, and your habits. If there are only 1 or 2 people traveling in your camper, you may be able to go 4 to 5 days before emptying. If you have two adults or more, in addition to children and/or pets, you may be able to get by 2 days before dumping.

When dumping, be sure you use a different hose than the one you use for black water. Gray and black water are separated because of the dangerous chemicals and bacteria that each other hold. If you were to cross these two, you could get you and your family very sick. The bacteria from both black and gray water also give off awful smells that would fill your RV.

For this same reason, be sure you use completely different equipment when dumping your black and gray water. Also be sure you are storing these tools in different places or compartments. You can find some awesome tubes and storage containers that can be attached to the underside of your RV. If you have the space, a large tote or box would also work to store your hoses and attachments.

Check out these great products to help you take care of your gray water tanks:

RV Gray Water Premium 10ft Hose

This hose is perfect for draining or cleaning your gray water tank. This hose reaches 10 ft long and is great for any RV owner. Check out this awesome that super heavy duty hose that will help you care for your gray water tank.

RV Water Hose Extendable Storage Tube

This storage tube can be mounted to the underside of your RV to help you safely store your gray water hose. This helps keep your hose and its attachments away from other things so it won’t become smelly or contaminated.

RV Water Hose Waste Valve Cap

This cap is a must-have for everyone’s water hose. Simply attach this cap to the end of your hose to keep all odors and excess waste liquid safely inside the hose. This way your hose won’t leak to give off bad smells while in storage.

Gray Water Tank Treatment

This is something you should regularly add to your gray water tank to prevent bacteria growth and bad odors. This will keep your tank clean and ready to be used. This is something you can use when winterizing and after every dumping trip.

Camco Scented RV Tank Toss-Ins

This is another way you can tackle bad odors in your gray water tank. These toss-ins can be thrown in your tank for emergency smell relief. These are also great for black tanks, or toilets. Check out these great packets.

We hope this article helped you determine if it is acceptable to put urine in your gray water tank. Sharing problems and solutions can make RV living so much easier. So if we didn’t include something that you have experienced, please leave a comment below to share with others. Until then, enjoy, be safe and have fun RVing!