How Big Of A Holding Tank For Septic For Summer Camping? (Solution found)

  • Above ground septic tanks are available in sizes ranging from 250 gallons up to 440 gallons. These holding tanks are designed to accept rubber couplers and clamps with recessed ports to accommodate various plumbing configurations. They are opaque and come in colors of black or gray.

How big of a septic holding tank do I need?

The larger your home, the larger the septic tank you’re going to need. For instance, a house smaller than 1,500 square feet usually requires a 750 to 1,000-gallon tank. On the other hand, a bigger home of approximately 2,500 square feet will need a bigger tank, more than the 1,000-gallon range.

How big of a septic tank do I need for a camper?

The size of the tank changes with the size of the RV. However, they’re often more accomodating than most people expect. In a small RV, you can expect at least 15 gallons for the black water and a gray water tank of 30 gallons. A larger RV might easily have tanks as large as 50 gallons each.

How often does a 1000 gallon holding tank need to be pumped?

The size of the tank is one determining element regarding how often it ought to be pumped. For a household of 4 with a 1,000-gallon tank, it’s advised that it be pumped every 2.6 years, but for a 1,500-gallon tank, the time can be extended to 4.2 years and up to 5 years for a 2,000-gallon tank.

How often does a 2000 gallon holding tank need to be pumped?

How often does my holding tank need to be pumped? A holding tank may need to be pumped every 30 to 90 days depending on how much waste is generated and the size of the tank.

Is a septic tank the same as a holding tank?

HOLDING TANKS ARE DIFFERENT FROM SEPTIC TANKS However, instead of releasing treated wastewater into the ground through a drainfield, the holding tank temporarily stores the effluent for removal and transportation to a treatment facility.

How do you calculate holding tank capacity?

How to Calculate the Septic Tank Capacity in Gallons. 3.14 x radius squared x depth (all in feet) = cubic capacity. Cubic capacity x 7.5 = gallons capacity.

How much sewage can a camper hold?

A typical RV holding tank size will range from 10 gallons to 100+ gallons. Generally, the bigger the RV, the bigger the septic system for RV will be. Travel trailer holding tanks will generally be smaller than motorhome holding tanks because trailers are usually smaller than motorhomes.

Can you pee in an RV shower?

In general, you should not pee in the RV shower. The water from the shower goes straight to your gray water tank, and urine should go to the black water tank. However, sometimes urine ends up in the greywater tank.

Can I empty my RV into my septic tank?

In summary, yes you can dump RV waste water into house septic systems. Don’t use chemicals in your black water tank that may destroy your tank’s natural ecosystem. When dumping from an access port, try to make sure you’re on the correct side of the baffle.

How often does a 2500 gallon holding tank need to be pumped?

A 2,500-gallon tank used by the same size family will need a pump every 5.9 years, while a 500-gallon tank’s pumping frequency may be as short as 7 months.

How much does it cost to pump a 1000 gallon septic tank?

The typical costs for septic pumping are as follows: National average cost for a septic tank pump out: $295-$610. Up to 750-gallon tank: $175-$300. Up to 1,000-gallon tank: $225 -$400.

How long do septic holding tanks last?

A properly maintained septic tank can last up to 40 years. With proper maintenance, including inspections, pumping, and repairs as soon as a problem arises, septic systems are the perfect choice for homeowners looking for an alternative to city sewage.

How often does a 500 gallon holding tank need to be pumped?

But here are some general guidelines: Family of 2, 500-gallon tank – pump every 2.5 years. Family of 3, 1000-gallon tank – pump every 4 years. Family of 5, 1000-gallon tank – pump every 2 years. Family of 5, 1500-gallon tank – pump every 3.5 years.

How do you know if your holding tank is full?

How to tell your septic tank is full and needs emptying

  1. Pooling water.
  2. Slow drains.
  3. Odours.
  4. An overly healthy lawn.
  5. Sewer backup.
  6. Gurgling Pipes.
  7. Trouble Flushing.

How do I know when my holding tank is full?

You can tell when the gray water tank has reached it’s max capacity by looking in the shower, if you have water in the bottom of the shower and it won’t go down your gray water tank is full. If you flush the commode and it doesn’t go down, well you waited just a little to long to dump.

Everything You Need To Know About Your RV Holding Tanks And How To Manage Them

Kelly Beasley contributed to this article. Date of publication: January 5, 2020 The most recent update was on February 7, 2022. A recreational vehicle (RV) is simply a mobile home. Whether it’s a travel trailer or a motorhome, it’s likely to include everything you need for a home away from home, from sinks with running water to a furnace to electricity, which may be supplied by batteries or a generator. It comes with RV holding tanks to keep the water and waste you send down the drain if the RV has a kitchen sink, a shower, and/or a normal toilet, among other features.


Some individuals choose to camp on public lands or in regions or campsites that do not provide utilities such as water, electricity, or a sewage hole for dumping, while others prefer to camp in private land.

Freshwater tanks, black water tanks, and gray water tanks are all included.

Fortunately, our civilization forbids the dumping of sewage or other contaminated water just about anyplace, especially on our valuable and endangered public lands and waterways.

Fresh RV Waste Holding Tank

For dry camping (i.e., when you are not linked to utilities), the fresh water tank comes in handy. Because you will not be linked to a water source when camping, you will need to bring your own fresh water supply with you when you go. Water tanks for campers are not available in any conventional size. Instead, the volume of your water tank might range anywhere from 10 gallons to more than 100 gallons. As a result of this, the fresh water tank in your RV is often the largest of all of your holding tanks.

These can be found in petrol stations, dump stations, campers, and other similar establishments, among other places.

Is It Ok To Travel With My Water Tank Full?

It is OK to travel with your fresh water tank completely filled. RVs are built to withstand the weight of a fully-filled water tank while traveling on the road. What would be the purpose of having one if you didn’t use it? Many sites do not supply water, so you will need to carry your own along with you. As a result, be certain that you are aware of the true weight of your RV when it is fully loaded.

Do not exceed the maximum weight that the manufacturer has stated it is capable of supporting. Your water tank might be full when you fill your water tank if your location is close to it. It is preferable not to be near at all if you want to get maximum driving or hauling performance.

Grey Water Waste Tank

Following that, your RV is likely equipped with a separate grey water tank. After fresh water has been used in the sink or shower, it runs down into your grey camper waste holding tank, where it is retained until you are ready to dispose of it. Everything but sewage is contained within this camper waste tank. Having said that, some extremely compact recreational vehicles do not have a grey waste tank. They only have a portable sewage tank in their RV. In this situation, the water from the sinks and showers is sent to the black tank for disposal.

This means that it’s filthy and stinky.

Black Water RV Holding Tank

The black water tank is the most noxious and frightening of the three types of RV holding tanks available. It has the ability to instill fear of God in even the most powerful muscle truck driver in the world. Having a black water tank spill at the dump station is something that no RV owner in their right mind wants to happen. I had a tiny accident right here! Why? Because your RV’s black water tank also serves as its sewage tank! When you produce waste, it is sent through the facilities and into the trailer sewage system.

It’s simply awful, yet it’s a necessary evil that must be endured.

The grey RV wastewater tank is waiting for you when you arrive at the dump station.

How Does A Camper Septic System Work?

A camper septic system works by simply functioning as a holding tank for the sewage generated by your camper or RV. It is not the same as a SEPTIC TANK that operates in a home. There are no leach fields, no breaking down required (at least not in the traditional sense), and none of that with an RV septic system. It will store your sewage until you can dispose of it. That’s all there is to it! You go to the bathroom and flush the toilet. The water, as well as your contributions, are channeled via a tube and into your tank, which may be any size.

When you dump the waste water from your RV, it remains in the trailer holding tank until you open the associated RV waste valve.

How Big Are RV Septic Tanks?

RV septic tanks will be available in a variety of different sizes. The capacity of a typical RV holding tank will range from 10 gallons to more than 100 gallons. In general, the larger the recreational vehicle (RV), the larger the septic system for RV. Because travel trailers are often smaller in size than motorhomes, the holding tanks in travel trailers will typically be smaller than those in motorhomes. Aside from that, RVs are often designed to transport bigger loads. (Full holding tanks for recreational vehicle use are quite hefty!)

How To Dump Your RV Holding Tanks

Dumping your RV’s holding tanks is a straightforward procedure, albeit it might be intimidating the first few times. Locate a garbage disposal facility. Place your vehicle such that the holding tank outlet is close to the sewage hole. Connect your sewer hose to your RV’s sewer hole as well as the sewer hose fitting. To begin, open the black valve on your camper’s sewage tank. Close the valve on the black water tank after you’re finished. Now is the time to turn on your gray water valve. The valves are often labeled in black or gray to ensure that you don’t make a clerical error.

After the waste tanks in the camper have been drained, remove the RV end of the hose and thoroughly clean it with the city’s water supply.

After allowing the majority of the water to drain out, remove the end of the sewage hose and store it somewhere safe. Once you’ve completed your work at the dump station, double-check that you’ve closed both valves.

How Often Should An RV Septic Tank Be Emptied?

The frequency with which an RV septic tank should be emptied has everything to do with the tank capacity and the number of people that are using them, as well as how cautious you are with your water consumption. Showering frequency and duration are important factors in deciding how long you will be able to go without emptying your camper sewage holding tank before it has to be emptied. The shower is by far the most significant single source of waste water entering your camper’s waste water tank.

Some individuals must empty their RV wastewater holding tanks once a week, while others must empty them more regularly.

How Do I Clean My RV Holding Tank?

In order to clean your RV holding tank, you must first choose which RV dump tank you want to make sure is thoroughly cleaned. The black RV sewage holding tank is the most difficult to clean, while the fresh water holding tank is the most important to maintain (since you often drink the water from this tank). Your RV’s sewage tanks require very little care and maintenance during their lifetime. The fresh water tank is most likely the most in need. We’ll return to the fresh water tanks down below later.

Let’s start with the component of the RV septic system that contains the black tank.

Learn more about what to do with this waste holding tank as you continue reading this article.

Black Tank Maintenance

Clogging is the most serious problem that may arise with your RV’s septic tank. This is the exact opposite of what you want to happen. It is possible for your tanks to become clogged in one of three ways:

  1. There is an excessive amount of toilet paper and not enough water. Using toilet paper that is not septic-friendly
  2. The unintentional construction of a “poop pyramid” in your RV’s poop tank

All of these problems with RV waste tanks are largely preventable. We all have to go to the bathroom! Just make sure to stay away from the poop pyramid in your black tank!

How To Avoid Black Tank Clogs

Secret1: First and foremost, we strongly advise against flushing your toilet paper into the toilet. If you follow these instructions, you will never have an RV septic tank blockage. Secret2: Don’t like the sound of that concept? Then you should never use toilet paper that is not septic-safe. Alternatively, shred whatever you have before using it. Even dividing a single line of toilet paper into three smaller ones can assist. The third and last secret is to never leave your black tank waste valve unlocked while your campground is connected to a sewage system.

Solids are left behind, and they will congregate in the areas where they have landed. This is referred to as a ‘poop pyramid’ in the industry. It is inevitable that your camper septic tank may become clogged with poop pyramids.

What Can I Put In My RV Septic Tank?

Three things can be disposed of in your RV’s septic tank (which holds black water from the toilet): Poop, urine, and septic-safe toilet paper are all on the menu. Putting anything else down the toilet is not a good idea, including tampons, baby wipes, diapers, and so on. The gray RV waste water tanks will store everything you flush down the toilet or drain from the shower or sinks. You should avoid allowing food waste to enter your RV’s waste water holding tanks and use ecologically friendly cleaners while cleaning your RV waste water holding tanks (soaps, shampoo, etc.).

See also:  What It Means Septic Tank? (Solution found)

Grey Tank Maintenance

You shouldn’t have to do much maintenance on your grey camper dump tank. The worst that may happen is that it develops a leak or falls out from underneath your recreational vehicle. This, however, is an extremely unusual occurrence. (It HAS occurred in the past!) Hopefully, the worst thing that occurs to your tanks is that they emit a nasty smell. Keep in mind that these tanks, as well as the pipes that lead to them, function in the same way that your home’s plumbing do. The ‘P’ traps in your RV sinks are designed to contain water, preventing the odours from entering your RV from the grey tank.

It’s possible that there has been a build-up of junk in there that has to be removed.

The only thing I’ve had to do with my gray tank in the 5.5 years that I’ve been full-time RVing is clean out the ‘P’ traps once or twice.

Fresh Water Tank Maintenance

For the most part, this tank maintains a somewhat clean environment. This is especially true if you use a filter every time you fill your tank. If you want to clean and disinfect this camper tank, there are a few things you may do.

Can I Put Bleach In My Holding Tank?

The answer is yes, you may use bleach in your RV’s fresh water holding tank. As a matter of fact, this method of cleaning (sterilizing) the holding tank is the most recommended. However, you must completely clean it out before using any of the water! When sterilizing water, a basic rule of thumb is to use 1/4 cup bleach for every 15 gallons of water that is being sterilized. You’ll never be able to completely clean the inside of your aquarium tank. There are, however, treatments available on the market that are meant to sanitize the fresh tank as well as the pipelines going from the water camper holding tank.

If you use the same hose that you use to rinse out your sewer hose, you can assume that it will pollute your drinking water.

How Do I Check The Water Level In My RV Tank?

Using the tank monitor panel, you can simply check the water level in your fresh water RV tank without having to open the tank. It is probable that your RV comes equipped with a monitoring panel that allows you to keep track of the levels in all of your holding tanks. By pressing a button, you will be able to determine approximately how much water you have. Depending on the monitor panel, the measurements will be made in thirds (empty, 1/3, 2/3, full) or quarters (empty, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, full), as shown in the diagram.

The camper waste water tanks will also include buttons that will allow you to check the level of the tanks.

When it comes to holding tanks for campers, the fresh water level reading is usually the only one that is accurate after a certain length of time has passed.

Unless, of course, you have the sort of device that reads in percentages, which employs a different sensor technology that does not become clogged as easily as the cheaper (and more often found) sensors. An example of a common tank monitoring panel.

How Do You Deodorize An RV Holding Tank?

An RV holding tank treatment is required in order to deodorize an RV holding tank. Yes, the scent of a camper toilet may emanate from your black RV tank. In my opinion, this is less than ideal. The majority of the time, this occurs while your rig is operating in extremely hot conditions. When I was in Florida during the summer, the only time I required a black tank treatment was when I was there. The heat has a tendency to make a travel trailer’s waste tank smell a little foul. If this occurs to you as an RV owner, you might consider purchasing one of a few items.

Tank Techs RX or Happy Camper RV tank treatment are two options for treating your RV tanks that we recommend.

Tank Techs RX, in particular, can maintain everything clear so that the sensors on your camper waste tanks do not become covered by Struvites over time.

These solutions, which are put in the grey tank, help to eliminate smells from any septic system in a motorhome or trailer.

Do I Need An RV External Holding Tank?

In most cases, you will only require an RV external holding tank (also known as an RV portable waste tank) if you will need to dump at a distant dump station before you will be moving your RV. There are a variety of brands available, some of which are superior than others. (See the RV portable waste tank reviews for more information.) It is possible to dump into an external tank and then carry that tank to a proper RV sewage system disposal with these portable waste tanks. In my 5.5 years of full-time travel, I’ve never had to use one, but if you’re going to be stationary for long periods of time, it would be beneficial to have an external camping waste tank.


It is only necessary to have an RV external holding tank (also known as an RV portable waste tank) if you need to dump at a remote dump station prior to moving your RV. The market is flooded with many brand names, each of which is superior to the other in some way. Reviews of RV portable waste tanks may be found on the web site. With these portable waste tanks, you may dump into an external tank and then carry that tank to an appropriate RV sewage system disposal location. An external camping waste tank is something I’ve never utilized in my 5.5 years of full-time travel, but if you’re going to remain stationary for a long period of time, it may be beneficial.

A Beginner’s Guide To RV Holding Tanks

Liz Wilcox contributed to this article. RVing may take you to some breathtaking destinations and provide you with the opportunity to make lifelong memories. However, not every aspect of RVing is visually appealing. It’s an unglamorous — but vital — aspect of any RV excursion to keep up with and empty your septic system on a regular basis.

And if this system is not properly maintained and cared for, things may get rather unpleasant. Whether you’re a first-time RV owner or you’re planning to rent an RV via Campanda, it’s crucial to understand how to properly maintain your RV tanks. This helpful guide will assist you in getting started:

What does an RV septic system look like?

Liz Wilcox is the author of this article. When you travel by RV, you may see some breathtaking destinations and make some fantastic memories throughout your travels. While RVing is a beautiful experience, not everything about it is such. It’s an unglamorous — but vital — element of any RV excursion to keep up with and empty your septic system on a regular basis. And if this system is not properly maintained and cared for, things may quickly become a mess. It’s critical to understand how to properly care for your RV tanks, whether you’re a first-time RV owner or planning to rent an RV via Campanda.

1. Fresh Water Tank

An RV typically has three tanks: one for fresh water, one for gray water, and one for black water. This tank is used to store fresh water, as the name implies. This is the water that comes out of your faucets and showers.

2. Grey Water Tank

The grey tank is responsible for storing the waste water from your RV shower and kitchen sink. It is possible that some secondhand campers and older RVs may not have this tank.

3. Black Water Tank

For novice RVers, this is the one that gives them the creeps. The black tank is responsible for storing waste water from the toilet. This tank is used to collect all filthy water if your RV does not have its own separate gray tank. Any one of these tanks, if not properly maintained, might pose difficulties for the owner.

How often should I empty my RV tanks?

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to how often you should empty your tanks; it all depends on how frequently you use them. The frequency with which you should empty your tanks is a matter of personal preference. If you are traveling with a large group of people, it is possible that you may need to empty your tanks every two days. If you and your spouse are the only ones in the house, once a week may be plenty. As a general rule of thumb, you should wait until your tanks are approximately two-thirds full before empties them.

Some recreational vehicles are equipped with devices that allow you to see exactly how much fuel is left in your tanks.

This type of sensor begins to malfunction after a few years of use.

Keeping track of how much water waste you generate is critical to staying on top of the situation.

How do I empty my RV tanks?

Your recreational vehicle’s holding tanks should be prominently labeled. If you’re renting an RV, make sure you obtain a tour from the RV owner before leaving. Before you start your first waste water dump, make sure you have a sewage hose and some gloves to keep your hands safe from the chemicals. Next, make a note of the valves that are located on the outside of your RV. These will be prominently labeled with the words “grey” and “black.” Connect your sewage hose to the RV’s waste water shutoff valve.

  • Before pulling the valves, double-check that it is securely attached on both ends.
  • It’s important to remember that the toilet waste water empties straight into this tank.
  • Dump stations are always prominently labeled and easily identifiable.
  • When you can no longer hear any liquid coming through the line, turn off the valve and remove the hose.
  • This is critically crucial.
  • It will force all of the liquid to drain out, leaving no route for the particles to drain out as a result.
  • Pull the grey tank valve once you’ve made sure the valve is completely closed.
  • Some RVers choose to keep the gray tank valve open outside the RV and allow it to drain continually to save time.
  • Flushing the gray tank after flushing the black tank can assist in flushing any sediments that have been caught in your sewage pipe.

When removing the sewage pipe, go cautiously to avoid creating a mess. When the hose is not in use, many RVers store it in a bucket or tub to keep it contained.

How do I maintain my RV septic system?

Starter kits like this one are available at places like Walmart and RV retailers. Once you’ve gotten the hang of emptying the tanks in your recreational vehicle, the task can be completed fast and efficiently. However, there is more to properly operating your tanks than simply emptying them – upkeep is just as vital and will help you avoid problems down the road if done correctly. In general, flushing your system on a regular basis, as well as cleaning and sanitizing your tanks, will keep your system up and running relatively trouble-free.

Other things to know about your RV holding tanks:

The fresh water tank, however it is the least frightening of the three tanks, nonetheless need care from time to time. When connected to water or filling the tank, only use a potable water hose to avoid contaminating the water. Because of their white tone, they are simple to distinguish. When using this tank, it is critical to pay close attention to the weather. Insulate your hose during freezing weather and drain your fresh water during periods of excessive heat to avoid water stagnation and evaporation.

It’s the least frightening of all of the RV holding tanks.

To clean the tank, use regular household bleach.

  1. Pour 14 cup of bleach into your tank for every 15 gallons of water it holds. Continually run the water until you detect the fragrance of bleach Continue to run the machine until all of the bleached water has been removed. Allowing your tank to rest for 24 hours is recommended. Ensure that your tank is fully refilled and that the water is running until the bleach smell is gone. Use as you normally would

Gray Water Tank

Once again, here is the location where the water from your sink or RV shower is collected. Large travel trailers and fifth wheels may have two gray tanks to accommodate the additional space. It’s vital to notice that the drain into this tank is rather modest in diameter. Take all necessary precautions to guarantee that food particles do not end up in the sewer. Even something as little as a pea has the potential to block a drain.

See also:  How Often To Drain A 2000 Gallon Septic Tank? (Perfect answer)

Black Water Tank

You should only ever empty your tanks at a dumping site that has been authorized for that purpose. There are a few basic rules of thumb to follow in order to keep the dreaded black tank from causing problems:

  1. Single-ply toilet paper should be used. Two-ply might cause a blockage in the tank. Flush the toilet on a regular basis, always adding water to the bowl before flushing
  2. After you’ve dumped your tank, disinfect it. Special chemicals for this may be found in the RV area of any large box shop
  3. However, they are not inexpensive. Pouring a garden hose down the toilet is a good way to keep this tank clean. This should assist in flushing your system and clearing out any buildups that have occurred.

Although draining sewage may not be a part of your RVing dreams, it is a very real and necessary element of the RVing experience. Ideally, it should be a short and painless process if everything is done correctly. Follow the instructions above, and after a few trips to the dump station, you’ll be an expert at dealing with your RV’s septic system! Even though emptying your RV’s tanks is not a pleasant task, it is an essential aspect of RV life. Are you apprehensive about the prospect of emptying your own recreational vehicle tanks?

By clicking on the following link, you may view Campanda’s variety of trailers, motorhomes, and campers: To Rent, Please Click Here.

An RVDo you want to experience the delights of RVing — black water tank and all — with other RV enthusiasts? Consider purchasing an RV. You may rent out your RV on Campanda and convert your investment into a second source of income! To List Your Recreational Vehicle, Please Click Here.


Septic tank and holding tank are two words that are frequently used interchangeably. Despite the fact that they are both sanitation systems, there are significant variances between them. Both types of tanks collect wastewater from the home, but they each manage this effluent in a different manner than the other. If you want to learn more about installing a holding tank, continue reading to discover more about this type of sanitation system. 1. HOLDING TANKS ARE DIFFERENT FROM SEPTIC TANKSA septic tank is a large vessel that collects household wastewater through an inlet pipe, treats the effluent through a bio-action process, and releases the treated water into a drainfield where the water percolates underground.

  1. A holding tank is also used to collect wastewater from the home, which is accessed by an inlet.
  2. Secondly, STORAGE TANKS REQUIRE CONSTANT PUMPING It is recommended by experts that you pump your septic tank every two to three years, depending on factors such as the size of your family or structure.
  3. If you want to utilize the holding tank on a regular basis, it is possible that you will need to clean the unit every 6 to 8 weeks.
  4. The frequency with which the alarm will sound will be determined by a variety of factors, including the size of the tank and the number of people within.
  5. Avoid putting unsuitable objects down the drain, such as food particles and grease, to ensure that your holding tank lasts as long as possible.
  6. 3.
  7. Many factors go into the construction of a functioning and fail-safe holding tank.

Additionally, you must determine the proper depth for building the subterranean tank as well as complete complex plumbing operations.


Holding tank owners in California are obliged to get the necessary permits from their local Environmental Health Officer and to pay the associated costs before constructing a holding tank.

Once your holding tank has been installed, you must wait for clearance from the local health authorities before you may begin using it.


In addition to permit fees, labor costs, and site conditions will all influence the cost of establishing a holding tank.

Holding tanks, on the other hand, may have a greater maintenance cost than other types of units due to the constant pumping of these units.

Overall, when comparing the upfront costs of building, running, and maintaining a septic tank to the cost of a holding tank, the holding tank comes out on top for property owners looking for the most value for their money.

It can be used in a variety of situations. Do you want to put up a holding tank at your plant to store waste? You can rely on the professionals at Pete’s Outflow Technicians to complete the work correctly. Make a phone call now to talk with one of our knowledgeable professionals.

Waste holding tank for camp? (Bangor, Auburn: buying, construction, disposal) – Maine (ME)

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Location: High Bridge, NJ3,858 posts, read9,270,109timesReputation: 3364
Obviously the legality of these would vary by town, etc.but does anyone here use a waste holding tank that they periodically pump?It’s not an ideal solution, but if I could pick up a reasonably priced large polyethylene tank it would be a reasonable stopgap until we can put a septic in.The plan would be to only send black water from the toilet to the tank-nothing else.A sign will be posted above the throne saying “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.”Sorry if that was a little too graphic for someAll grey water from the shower, bathroom sink, and kitchen sink would be sent to a dry well.With current toilets I figure roughly 2 gallons of sewage go down with each flush (1.6 gallons of water + waste), so if I figure on three flushes per person per day, with five people using the cabin at any given time, that would be 30 gallons per day.A 1000 gallon tank would give me 30 days of use plus some wiggle room, plus I believe I’m overestimating the amount of flushes, so it would likely be closer to 45 days.Regardless, the camp would only see use for about two weeks at a clip, maybe six weeks over the summer if we’re lucky and two weeks during hunting season which would equate to 3 pumpouts a year.Does anyone know what I could expect to pay for pumpout service?That’s the big question in my mind.Find the tank, installing it, and plumbing everything would be easy-a new tank and a half day of backhoe work would be a little less than $2000.However, if the pumpout/disposal fees are prohibitively expensive it’s back to the drawing board.
Location: Forests of Maine33,824 posts, read55,434,208timesReputation: 24710
When I did my building permit, I was told that I needed a septic system. It had to be designed for this site. I could not use a holding tank, or composting system; until after I had first installed a septic system.If it is an old camp, it may have a preexisting outhouse. Which can be used forever.The soil-scientist / septic design engineer that I hired to design our septic system, told me that after our septic system was in place. Then we would be able to use a composting toilet, or any other alternative setup we wanted to use.Each municipal jurisdiction may be slightly different though.
Location: Maine’s garden spot3,398 posts, read6,580,343timesReputation: 3827
You won’t get a permit for a holding tank, unless there is no other way.
Location: High Bridge, NJ3,858 posts, read9,270,109timesReputation: 3364
Quote:Originally Posted byAustinBYou won’t get a permit for a holding tank, unless there is no other way.I managed to some LURC/LUPC documents that confirm your statement.A 1000 gallon poly septic tank is 8′ 6″ long by 5′ high by 5′ wide.It would fit neatly into one end of a 40′ shipping containerIf I were to buy a piece of land, set the container on 8×8 timbers, and get my water from a surface well, would I need any permits at all?
Location: Maine’s garden spot3,398 posts, read6,580,343timesReputation: 3827
Quote:Originally Posted byBadfish740I managed to some LURC/LUPC documents that confirm your statement.A 1000 gallon poly septic tank is 8′ 6″ long by 5′ high by 5′ wide.It would fit neatly into one end of a 40′ shipping containerIf I were to buy a piece of land, set the container on 8×8 timbers, and get my water from a surface well,would I need any permits at all?Yep. You would need permits. No water is to escape the building, except by buckets, without a legal septic of some sorts.
Quote:Originally Posted byAustinBYep. You would need permits. No water is to escape the building, except by buckets, without a legal septic of some sorts.Not only that, I had a camp in an unorganized territory once and had a chance to have a well put in for free.(well driller owed me a favor)I called LURC to make sure I was OK to do that.The LURC representative told me without a waste treatment plan in place, you legally couldn’t carry a bucket of water into the place.First thing required now days for any development is a site plan for septic.Don’t think you can get a building permit without it.
Location: High Bridge, NJ3,858 posts, read9,270,109timesReputation: 3364
Quote:Originally Posted bykellysmithNot only that, I had a camp in an unorganized territory once and had a chance to have a well put in for free.(well driller owed me a favor)I called LURC to make sure I was OK to do that.The LURC representative told me without a waste treatment plan in place, you legally couldn’t carry a bucket of water into the place.First thing required now days for any development is a site plan for septic.Don’t think you can get a building permit without it.To quote NMLM it does seem that the LUPC is the LURC just bigger and meaner.A shame for sure since most of Maine appears to be within their jurisdiction.I would guess that towns that are less restrictive than the LURC are probably difficult to find as well.I certainly can put in a septic, but it seems to add quite a bit of unpredictability to buying a piece of property.I’ve gone through threads on this board where someone says they paid $10,000 for a septic in one part of Maine, and another says that’s a bargain and that they paid close to $30,000.In a state as large as Maine I guess it’s not hard to see why that would be the case.Quote:Originally Posted byNorthern Maine Land ManIt varies by locality. You can indeed use a holding tank. You can use an Elgjen indrain for your grey water. You can use a privy. You can incinerate your waste.Well speak of the devilI suppose what you mean is that in the right town (ie: not in UT) you can do these things?Does it vary wildly from town to town or is it generally known that towns in X county have less restrictive building codes (or maybe none at all)?
Location: Maine’s garden spot3,398 posts, read6,580,343timesReputation: 3827
You are exactly right, you can use any or all of these waste systems. You will need to get a permit, approved by the state, saying the system is ok.
Location: High Bridge, NJ3,858 posts, read9,270,109timesReputation: 3364
Quote:Originally Posted byAustinBYou are exactly right, you can use any or all of these waste systems. You will need to get a permit, approved by the state, saying the system is ok.So the state has the final say in what subsurface wastewater treatment system you use anywhere in the state whether you are in UT or a municipality?If that sounds like a dumb question I’m sorry but I’m just trying to get the lay of the land here.
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Large-Capacity Septic Systems

Septic tank and holding tank are often used interchangeably by the general public. There are several distinctions between the two, despite the fact that they are both sanitation systems. In contrast to each other, both types of tanks collect and treat wastewater from the home in a unique manner. Interested in learning more about installing a holding tank? Continue reading to discover more about this sanitation system. The difference between holding tanks and septic tanks is that the former collects domestic wastewater through an intake pipe, while the latter cleanses the effluent through a bio-action process before releasing the treated water into a drainfield where the water percolates underground.

  • However, rather of discharging treated wastewater into the earth through a drainfield, the holding tank temporarily holds the effluent until it can be removed and transported to a treatment facility for further treatment.
  • Owners should pump holding tanks significantly more regularly than they do septic tanks, as they are only meant to be temporary storage facilities.
  • Holding tanks are equipped with an alarm that will sound when the tank is full and it is time to pump the tank out.
  • Septic overflow might come from a failure to pump, which can severely impair the sanitary conditions in your house or business.
  • If you want to prevent clogging the system, consider utilizing tissue that is designed for holding tanks.
  • PROFESSIONAL INSTALLATION OF HOLDING TANKS IS REQUIRED Building a functioning and fail-safe holding tank requires significant effort.
  • In addition, you must determine the proper depth for placing the subterranean tank and complete complex plumbing operations.


You will also be required to provide a site layout, a holding tank design plan, and a plan explaining how you intend to maintain the unit in addition to your other supporting documentation.

When it comes to the installation and maintenance of a holding tank, a competent holding tank installation specialist can assist you in complying with the applicable laws.

In addition to permit fees, labor costs, and site constraints will all influence the cost of establishing a holding tank.

Given the frequency with which holding tanks are pumped, it is understandable that they have a greater maintenance cost.

These include drainfields, baffles, and effluent filters.

A holding tank is a dependable, temporary waste management solution that may be used in places where the construction of a septic tank system is not practical.

It can be used in a variety of situations. What if you wish to put a holding tank in your business? It is possible to put your faith in the professionals at Pete’s Outflow Technicians to do the task. Dial our number right now to talk with one of our knowledgeable specialists.

What is a septic system?

A septic system is a technique of treating and disposing of sanitary wastewater that is installed on-site. A typical septic system will typically have the following components:

  • Untreated sanitary wastewater can be treated and discharged through a septic system, which is located on the premises of the home owner. In most cases, a conventional septic system will have the following components:

Grease traps and other pre-treatment devices may be installed in septic systems as well. Advanced designs may contain many tiny septic tanks that drain to a dry well, or connections to multiple absorption zones that are used on a rotating basis, among other features. People in rural and suburban regions that rely on ground water for their drinking water are more likely to have septic systems installed. The presence of septic systems in drinking water sources is minimal when they are properly sited, built, constructed, managed, and maintained, according to the EPA.

What is a large-capacity septic system?

The term “big capacity septic system” refers to a septic system that takes exclusively sanitary waste from many houses or from a non-residential enterprise and has the ability to service 20 or more people per day, depending on the circumstances. In general, LCSSs may be found providing services to the following types of facilities:

  • The following types of structures: apartment buildings
  • Trailer parks
  • Schools and religious institutions
  • Office and industrial buildings
  • Shopping malls
  • State parks and campsites
  • And other similar structures. Parks for recreational vehicles (RVs)
  • Rest spots on highways
  • Stations for trains and buses
  • Hotels and restaurants
  • Casinos
  • And other entertainment venues

What is not a large-capacity septic system?

LCSSs are no longer considered to be large capacity septic systems (LCSSs) once they are utilized for anything other than sanitary waste injection into the system. For example, the dumping of industrial waste into an LCSS qualifies it as an industrial waste water disposal well in the United States of America. A motor vehicle waste disposal well is a type of septic system that accepts trash from vehicle repair or maintenance that is disposed of in a landfill. The unchecked passage of toxic substances via these networks may allow them to infiltrate the ground water, where they may damage USDWs.

  • Learn more about motor vehicle waste disposal wells by reading this article. Find out more about cesspools with a huge capacity.

Why does EPA regulate large-capacity septic systems?

Underground Injection Control (UIC) programs, which safeguard underground sources of drinking water (USDWs) against contamination caused by injection operations, are required to meet minimal federal criteria under the SDWA, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (such as placing or discharging waste fluids underground). Construction, operation, and closure of injection wells are all subject to strict control as part of the protection standards. The UIC program is intended to safeguard USDWs while also providing safe and cost-effective methods for industry, towns, and small companies to dispose of their wastewater, recover mineral resources, and store water for the future.

  1. Environmental Protection Agency.
  2. Preventing the pollution of natural resources safeguards the general population as well as the economic wellbeing of communities across the country.
  3. If a state or tribe receives such power, they must comply with the bare minimum federal criteria; but, states and tribes have the option of imposing more restrictive restrictions.
  4. An LCSS is a kind of Class V well, and it is classified as such.
  5. However, if these systems are installed, operated, or maintained incorrectly, they can have a negative impact on water quality.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the ability to handle defective systems on an individual basis. As a result, states and local governments may have their own criteria for dealing with these hazards.

What are the minimum federal requirements for large-capacity septic systems?

As long as the wells fulfill the following basic federal standards, the vast majority of Class V wells, including LCSSs, are “approved by regulation.”

  • In order to be “approved by regulation,” the vast majority of Class V wells, including LCSSs, must first fulfill the following minimal federal requirements:

The phrase “authorized by regulation” indicates that an individual authorization is not necessary. There may be more strict local, state, or tribal standards controlling these wells than federal regulations in some cases. Consult with your state’s permitting authority to learn more about the LCSS standards in your state. The following items are included in the inventory:

  • The name and location of the facility
  • Name and address of the proprietor or operator
  • The nature and kind of injection well are discussed here. The current state of operations

If the presence of a contaminant in a USDW may cause a violation of any primary drinking water regulation or adversely affect public health, the second minimum federal requirement prohibits injection that allows the movement of fluids containing any contaminants (such as pathogens, solvents, or heavy metals) into the USDW. There are a range of site-specific variables that influence the likelihood of pollutants posing a threat to USDWs, including:

  • Solvents
  • Hydrogeology
  • Wastewater properties
  • System design

Therefore, soil should be considered while constructing an LCSS that will only receive sanitary waste, since it is a vital aspect of the overall design of an efficient system. As the septic tank effluent flows through the earth beneath the drain field, it is attenuated by the surrounding environment. Unsaturated soils below the drain field have the potential to attenuate the presence of dissolved organic matter, pathogens, and certain inorganic elements. If the LCSS is correctly built, operated, and maintained, it should not pose a threat to USDWs in most situations.

  • Learn more about the minimal federal standards for Class V wells by visiting the following link. Find out who is in charge of granting permits in your state
  • And

How is EPA helping to improve the performance of large-capacity septic systems?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is collaborating with state and local health authorities to ensure that the minimum federal criteria for Class V wells are completed before an LCSS is approved for construction. In addition to training septic system owners and operators, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers a comprehensive range of tools and resources to help state and local governments in improving the management and operation of sewage treatment plants. Because of the cooperative partnership between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states, and communities, it is possible to guarantee that all LCSSs are managed and controlled at the local level uniformly in a manner that safeguards drinking water sources.

A Beginner’s Guide to RV Holding Tanks

Please be aware that this content may contain affiliate links for your convenience. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of our links, we will get a small compensation at no additional cost to you. This income allows us to keep this blog and its free content up and running for you all! When you move from a traditional home to a recreational vehicle, you become acutely aware of your water, electricity, and sewage use. For first-time campers, we’ve put together this fast and easy beginner’s introduction to RV holding tanks, which we hope will clear up some of the confussion.

  • To begin, there are three varieties of water: fresh, gray, and black.
  • Fresh water is defined as water that is pure and safe to consume.
  • The sewage from the toilet is contained in black water.
  • Fresh|Gray|Black|Emptying|Cleaning|Storage A normal garden hose may be used to connect a campground spigot to your city water connection or to the fresh water tank on the side of your RV.
  • When we arrived to a couple of state parks where the water and power hookups were at different ends of the campsite, we realized we had made the wrong decision in purchasing the 25-footer.
  • This Zero G flex hose with a length of 50 feet is an excellent choice.
  • Protect your hoses and pipes from damage caused by high-pressure city water with a water pressure regulator that connects to the spigot.

An RV water filter, a connector splitter adaptor that allows us to utilize the outside spigot in the event that we need to use it, and a 90-degree hose elbow that connects directly to the RV connection were also acquired.

Gray water

Water from sink and tub/shower drains may include food particles and other microorganisms that are harmful to human health. As much residue as possible from dirty dishes is caught in the sink drains, in an effort to maintain the sink drains as clean as possible. Dishes are scraped thoroughly, and the drain trap is used to capture the majority of the remaining particles that might cause blockages in the future. Some RVers, on the other hand, are far less cautious. The RV has two holding tanks, one for gray water and the other for black water, both of which are accessible from the bottom of the vehicle.

It is possible to quietly (and legally) remove small volumes of gray water directly on the ground when camping or boondocking in rural places, depending on where you are camping or boondocking in remote locations.

Please bear on mind that we leave the gray tank open until a couple of days before we are due to leave a campsite.

Although it may seem unpleasant, dealing with septic tanks is not as as unpleasant as it may appear at first glance.

how often to empty RV holding tanks

The frequency with which you must empty your black tank will vary depending on how frequently you use it. For us, it usually comes down to 1-2 times a week. Several RVs are fitted with digital sensors that may be used to monitor the levels of water in your freshwater, graywater, and blackwater tanks, among other things. Unfortunately, you can’t always rely on them since the black water contents of the tanks frequently become trapped on the edge of the tanks, causing the sensors to malfunction.

how to prevent rv septic clogs

Because on the frequency of use, the amount of time you spend emptying your black tank will vary. As a result, we wind up doing it once or twice a week on average. In many cases, digital sensors are included in RVs, which allow you to see how much water is left in your fresh, gray, and black water tanks at any one time. Unluckily, you can’t always rely on them since the black water contents of the tanks frequently become trapped on the sides of their tanks, causing the sensors to malfunction.

STORing your rv septic supplies

The frequency with which you empty your black tank will vary depending on how frequently you use it. It ends up being 1-2 times each week for us. Many RVs are fitted with computerized sensors that can tell you how much water is left in your fresh, gray, and black water tanks, among other things.

Unfortunately, you can’t always rely on them since the black water contents of the tanks frequently become trapped on the edge of the tanks and cause the sensors to malfunction. When in doubt, I just press my foot down on the toilet flush pedal and shine a flashlight down the dark hole!

how to empty the rv septic tanks


  1. The day before you want to empty your black tank, close the grey tank valve. When you’re ready to empty the bathroom, ensure sure the fan is turned off. Release the valve on the outside of your RV that controls the black tank. Wait until it has completely emptied. Using the Rhino Blaster tank rinser, back-fill the black tank (leave the rinser valve closed). Activate the Rhino Blaster valve. Continue until the water runs clear
  2. If necessary, add more water. Ensure that the black tank is closed. Open the grey water tank, allowing the grey water to drain and, in effect, cleaning out your sewage pipe. Keep the grey water tank open. Optional: In order to prevent black tank odours and blockages, place a sewer tank pod or some liquid fabric softener in the toilet tank and flush the toilet a couple of times. When you need to empty the black tank again, simply repeat the process from the beginning.

*Keep in mind that when you are backfilling your black tank, you should keep an eye on the water level. A timer or having a spouse monitor the level from the inside have been suggested by various RVers I’ve spoken with about. I wouldn’t base my decision on the RV sensors. Since purchasing our camper, ours has been inconsistent at best. It has been brought to my attention that some tourists have had disastrous results after leaving their campers unattended throughout this process.** Bonus tip: Close the gray tank valve a couple of days or so before you plan to empty your black tank to give the gray tank enough time to fill up before you empty your black tank.

However, while it is not a substitute for consistently cleaning your black tank, it does assist to reduce the odor.

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