Since many state parks in Ohio are offering full hookups, I’d like to know the correct etiquette when it comes to dumping black and gray tanks before leaving a site. Do you rinse with the freshwater spigot? Do you just flush and then go to the dump station? I have never heard of any correct and sanitary way of dumping at your full-hookup site. Please enlighten me.
St. Clairsville, Ohio
Bob: Good questions, Gerry. I venture to say that most owners will dump their holding tanks at the site if hookups are provided. And, as you probably have already observed, not everyone is tidy when it comes to dumping the tanks.
I suggest that you remove the freshwater hose from the spigot and rig and store it before dumping the tanks. If you plan on rinsing the tanks—and that should be part of your regular procedure when dumping—use a separate hose that is dedicated to this service only.
You should dump the black tank first so the gray water can be used to clean out the hose. I prefer to rinse the black tank using a built-in device to which a hose (used for this purpose only) is connected. I usually rinse thoroughly, filling up the tank with water twice so that no contents are left in the tank. If you do this, the dump hose will become well rinsed by the end of the process.
Unfortunately, people tend to hold the dump hose under the spigot for rinsing. That will likely contaminate the spigot. Most people don’t even think about contamination; it’s a logical process, since the spigot and dump connection are in close proximity to each other. Your best defense is to sanitize the spigot before attaching the water hose when you arrive at your site. You can do this by mixing bleach and water in a bottle and spraying the spigot thoroughly before using.
It goes without saying that owners must clean up if they have an accident or spill contents on the ground.