Grey & Black Waste.

On returning home after each trip, and after emptying the grey tank (into the drain from our kitchen & bathroom), I pour a litre or two of hot water down each plug hole followed by a capful of Buster Kitchen Sink Fresh (now replaced by Buster Plughole Sanitiser Foaming Granules). Half an hour or so later another litre or two of hot water goes down each plug hole and the grey tank is emptied again. That cleans the tank and prevents smells from the system.

We wipe greasy deposits off plates with a piece of kitchen roll before washing them in order to minimise the amount of grease/fat entering the grey tank. After reading several posts extolling the virtues of cheap orange cordial for keeping the grey waste odour free we started carrying a bottle whilst away and used it once or twice. It seemed to work but when we hadn't used any for several years we decided it wasn't worth carrying permanently - we can always buy a bottle if need be.

We empty the grey waste tank and toilet cassette as necessary when pitched, using whatever dump facilities the site has available. We never open the grey waste tap to allow it to drain onto a pitch as it would almost inevitably cause a wet spot which, apart from any damage, could be offensive to the next person to use the pitch. Similarly, we never open the waste tap and allow the grey water to dribble out whilst driving. Grey waste isn't just soapy water; just like waste from household sinks it contains grease (the stuff which water companies keep reminding us blocks drains). The presence of grease means that dumping grey waste in one spot from the tap is, therefore, far different from spreading it over wider area of a garden or hedgerow from a container. Most roadside drains (unlike household drains) are storm drains which lead to water courses without treatment. They are not meant for the dumping of grey waste into them. It has been said that grease dumped on roads might cause problems for cyclists (motor and pedal). How true that may be is open to question but non-motorhomers can gain the impression that it is black waste being dumped, which obviously does not work in the interests of motorhomers. It has often been said that there is worse pollution dropped from farm carts, cattle trucks and badly maintained vehicles. That may well be so but two wrongs don't make a right. Dropping grey waste on the road is, if nothing else, a potential hazard and extra pollution which need not be created.

We originally used a 20 litre black jerry can for emptying the grey waste. It was easily transported when full on the folding trolley used for the fresh water jerry can. However we found that it was too deep to fit underneath the Burstner. Fiamma used to make a low tank but had replaced it with one which was also too tall so we bought a Kampa Waste Away, the lower end of which fitted easily and which came with its own wheels for ease of use. Subsequently we found a wheeled container (WeCamp 25L waste tank) similar to the Fiamma one but lower so able to fit - and sold the Kampa!

We have never been on any site (permanent or temporary) where there are no facilities for dumping grey waste. Some Warners show leaflets say there are no grey waste facilities but all that means is that there is nowhere to drain a tank into directly. At some temporary sites (and some CLs/CSs, especially in dry weather) the instruction will be to dump the grey waste in hedgerows or the like. In the absence of anything else, grey waste can always be dumped into the black waste facility.

When we bought the Autoquest we also bought some Thetford Blue liquid for the cassette, as recommended by the dealer. We didn't like the smell much so started using the Thetford Green and, subsequently, Elsan Organic. We were then told how effective supermarket own brand bio washing liquid was and started using that. The different liquids result in a different colour to the cassette contents when it is emptied but, otherwise, we have found the bio washing liquid to be just as effective and much cheaper. The bio washing liquid also prevents build up of limescale and other deposits on the cassette base and walls.

On returning home after each trip I empty the cassette (luckily we have a second toilet downstairs), give it a thorough rinse out with cold water a couple of times and recharge it ready for our next trip (which is hopefully only a week or two later). A couple of times a year or more I half fill the cassette with a solution of bio washing liquid in hot water and give it a good shake before emptying it. I then remove the cover, seal and vent so that I can more easily gain access to give the mechanism a better clean with toilet wipes and an old toothbrush, then lubricate the seal with olive oil and put everything back together. The job is completed by rinsing again with a solution of bio washing liquid in hot water then rinsing with cold water a couple of times before recharging it.

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Last updated: 26 May 2016