Waste water, also known as grey water is the water that goes down your sink and/or shower and collects in an onboard contained waste tank in your vehicle. Sometimes this is also piped into a separate holding tank that you attach to your vehicle.
This is the water that has been used to wash up, used for cooking or used for washing yourself in your campervan or motorhome. Generally it is pretty harmless but it does depend on what chemicals you are using and it can also contain pieces of food waste etc
This water, the same as your toilet/black waste should be emptied at a campsite disposal area to go into the sewage system for proper treatment. Although this area will be different to that where you empty your toilet waste. You will see the signs for “Grey waste disposal” and it will normally be a gully to drive along side that drains into an appropriate drain or a grate/manhole cover that you drive over and position your waste water tap on the vehicle to empty your grey waste into.
You should not empty your grey waste water anywhere other than a designated area on a campsite or motorhome service point. Do not empty your water in parking areas, on roads or laybys. Many of the drains on the road side are rain water drains and not suitable for water contaminated with chemicals or possible light food waste. Not only is this a health and hygiene risk it can also attract animals to the roadside which increases the risk of accidents.
If you are hiring a campervan or motorhome, make sure that you are shown where the waste tank drain points are and it is demonstrated how to empty the waste water. If you are not shown, do not leave until you are shown!
Refilling your onboard fresh water
Most campervans and motorhomes have onboard tanks that can hold fresh water for you to use for drinking, cooking, cleaning and washing.
It is very important to make sure that you are filling your tank safely and using water that is safe to drink, don’t just assume that water coming out of the tap is drinking water if there is not a sign. We are very lucky in Scotland to have fresh water supplies but for your welfare, always check.
Make sure that when you are using a fresh water point that you use the correct hose! Do not use a hose that has ever been used for emptying waste water as this could well be contaminated and make you very sick.
Always keep your fresh water hose of the ground as you do not want it to touch mud, grass, drains or anything that could cause an illness when you then put it into your fresh water tank.
If you are hiring a motorhome, you should be shown how to properly fill your fresh water and what hose to use. If you are not provided with a hose you must ask for one!
If you are really not sure about the cleanliness of that water, you can buy bottled water to drink very cheaply, please make sure to recycle the plastic responsibly!