If you have an RV campground, you know that having a dump station is a key attraction for your visitors. Having a convenient place to dump their RV wastewater helps guests enjoy their stay and their journey. 

However, building the perfect RV dump station is more than just digging a hole so campers can connect to the sewer line. You need to consider the legalities and some engineering elements. 

To get it right you need to start with a plan, collect all the right equipment and take time to build it. Here are some easy steps you can take to create an RV dump station at your campground.

What is an RV dump station?

An RV dump station is a designated area, such as a specific sewer line or septic tank, where you can dump the black or gray water contents of your RV. For those new to the RV world, black water is the wastewater that comes from your RV bathroom. Gray water is the other wastewater from your RV that is produced by tasks like washing dishes, washing your hands, etc. It is important that both of these tanks are emptied regularly so that you prevent damage to your RV and an unfortunate situation while camping. 

While it is not essential to have on your property, an RV dump station can make life and travel easier for your guests. Having a nearby place where they can drain their RV wastewater means less headache of trying to locate one nearby the campground. 

Legal requirements for black water dump station

Rules and regulations for dumping RV wastewater can vary from state to state, however, it is safe to assume that dumping black water anywhere but an official dump station is illegal. There are also regulations that govern RV dump stations at campsites. You should always get in touch with your local municipalities to see if there are any specific regulations in your area for building an RV dump station. From building design to site security to environmental protections, most states have their own set of rules and regulations that campgrounds need to operate within if they have an RV dump station.

Some of the things that you need to consider while planning your RV dump station design includes:

Environmental protection - your sewer line needs to be equipped with tight sewer caps to secure the line and prevent the wastewater from leaking. RV wastewater can be a hazard to animals and water supplies in the area. It is the campground’s responsibility to prevent the waste in their tank or dump station from causing an environmental problem. This includes securing the site from being tampered or destroyed. 

Permits - you will need to get the right permits before you can start building. That means that you will require permission from your local government body. Part of this process will include submitting your RV dump station plans for approval. That is why it is important to incorporate all the safety and security elements into your plans. 

One way to ensure that your design will get approved is to contact a local plumber for their insight into your plans. They may also be able to tell you about any bylaws that will impact your site. By doing some research into the requirements in your area, you will be able to design a dump station that is within legal parameters. Being prepared before you begin can help save you time and money down the road. 

Engineering requirements

The practical requirements for a campground RV dump station may vary from state to state but some of the most important elements you should build into your dump station include:

  • Have at least one dump station for every 100 campsites. For those campgrounds that offer both tent and RV sites, you only need to account for the RV sites. 
  • Each RV dump station needs to have designated water for flushing. There should be clear signs indicating the water is for flushing the line, not for drinking so that guests are not confused about its purpose. 
  • Campground RV dump stations need to put some extra measures in place to protect the water supply in the area. This means you need to have equipment that will prevent backflow at the dump station. 
  • In addition, for RV campgrounds, the dump station needs to be equipped with a tank that can hold a thousand gallons of water. However, if you are connecting to a sewer line rather than a septic tank you need to ensure that the piping is maintained and leak-proof. 
  • Each dump station should have the right hoses and caps that prevent the site from being tampered with. Sewer caps like the footloose RV site sewer camp offer high-quality and tamper-free security for your RV dump station line. 

How to build one

Building your RV dump station can take some time. There are a few steps you should take to ensure you get a station that works. By following these tips, you can avoid costly mistakes along the way. 

  1. Research - find out if there are any limitations in your area by contacting a plumber or your municipality. Ask about bylaws that may impact the design or location of your dump station. 
  2. Plan - look around your property and determine the best location for your dumpsite. Consider how close guests will be able to park their RVs to the site and the size of your hoses. 
  3. Prepare - before you begin to build it, get all the tools and supplies you need. This includes having the right hose sizes and proper fitting sewer cap before you build. 
  4. Build it - depending on whether you are connecting to a septic tank or your municipal sewer line, the steps to building it will be different. But once you know the rules, have a plan design and all your supplies, you are ready to start building it. 

RV dump station plans 

There are some things that you will need to include in your RV dump station plans, depending on where you live. It is a good idea to contact your local municipality to find out any bylaws that may impact your design. 

However, here are some of the basic requirements that you need to include in your plans:

  1. Concrete pad - the drain where you are going to dump your wastewater should have a concrete pad around it that is sloped. This helps prevent the wastewater from spilling on the ground and becoming environmental contamination. 
  2. Self-closing cap - the drain is required to have a tight-sealing, self-closing cap such as the Footloose RV site sewer cap. Keeping your new dump station safe and secure is key to making the most of it. 
  3. Flushing water - you should ensure that there is a water source that allows you to flush the dump station pipes. This prevents buildup in the pipe, which can cause damage as well as a foul odor. A sign shall be posted "Not for Human Consumption Use for Flushing and Cleaning Purposes Only."

Is it legal to dump raw sewage?

When it comes to disposing of black and gray water, it is illegal to just dump it anywhere. That includes anywhere in the wilderness. Our wastewater can cause damage to the environment. It can also pollute the water that wildlife depends on for survival. That is why there are designated RV dump stations where campers can safely dispose of their RV’s wastewater. If anyone is caught dumping RV wastewater illegally, they could face some heavy fines and even be prohibited from camping at that site again. For a quick guide to camping ethics visit the National Park Service’s “Leave No Trace” guidelines.

Unfortunately, RV dump sites are not always easy to locate. Campsites do not have to build and maintain a dump station, but your guests will appreciate it. It is simple to design and build a dump station on your property that your guests can use when they need to. This can also attract campers to your location as they know they won’t have to travel off the site to clean out their tanks. You may add the location of your new or existing dump station on Sanidumps website. 

Benefits of having a good RV dump station

There are a number of good reasons to consider building your own RV dump station. These include:

  1. Extra revenue - by allowing your guests to dump black and gray water on your property, you will be able to earn some extra revenue. Not every site offers RV dump stations as an amenity to guests and your campsite will stand out if you decide to build one. Most sites already have access to their local municipalities sewer lines, which makes adding a tank for your RV wastewater simpler and more affordable in the long run. 
  2. Convenience - locating a designated RV dump station can be time-consuming and take away from the enjoyable experience that travelling and camping are meant to be. By having a dump station on your site, guests can clean their RV waste tanks at their own convenience. 

RV campsite owners may have many other reasons they want to have an RV dump station on their property. Whatever your reasons, designing and building one can be easy. 

Equipment/tools/supplies required 

There are a number of tools and supplies you’ll need to properly build your backyard RV dump station. 

  1. Hose - you will need the right size of hose to connect your RV wastewater tanks with your sewer line. 
  2. Secure cap - you’ll want to ensure your tank has the proper cap on it to keep the wastewater contained. The FootLoose Sewer cap is one of the most reliable in the industry. It meets all the requirements municipalities have when it comes to building and securing your dump station. 
  3. Water source - keeping the hose and lines clean requires you have a water source to flush them with. Be sure to label the flushing water so that people don’t mistake it for drinking water.  

If your campsite relies on the municipal sewer grid, building an RV dump station is still possible. You will need to find the short pipe that is connected to the larger sewer line. This is called the cleanout. These pipes often have a safety cap that can be removed to check or clean the line. You will need to open up the line before you connect your RV to the sewer for dumping.  

Once you have identified the cleanout, see how close an RV can park to that pipe. It is ideal if your wastewater pipe can connect directly to this pipe. Then your RV dump station is set. 

Integrating with a septic tank

If you want to build an RV dump station that integrates with a septic tank on your property, there are a few things you will need to consider. 

Cleanout pipe - If you are able to access the cleanout pipe, simply place your output hose into it. However, if you are not able to access the pipe, you can put the input pipe between your house and septic tank. You may also opt to directly drop your output hose into the septic tank. If you do this, try and get the hose a few feet under the water to help the solid waste settle on the bottom of the tank. 

Lastly, your septic tank relies on specific bacteria and microorganisms to break down the waste. Using soaps or detergents in your RV can destroy those bacteria and microorganisms because they end up in the gray water. Look for environmentally-friendly soaps and detergents that won’t harm these essential septic tank elements. You may also want to make a note for your guests about the type of soap they should use.

Tips for using

Once you have your RV dump station running, there are some ways that you can help make the cleaning process better. These include:

  1. Two-thirds waste rule. Ensure your guests know they should dump RV wastewater when the tanks are two-thirds full. This helps prevent overuse of your dump station. 
  2. Post a reminder to your guests that they need to have manners when they use your dump station. This includes keeping it clean for other users. Some campsite managers have opted to close their dump stations because visitors and guests were not doing their part to keep it cleaned and maintained. 
  3. Flush it. Once guests have drained their RV wastewater tanks, it is important that the hoses are flushed with water. This keeps the lines clean and prevents solid waste from sticking to the sides of the tank. 

Conclusion

Having an RV dump station on your campsite can be a convenience for those who love to travel and it can also bring in some extra revenue for your business. Visitors will enjoy not having to worry about finding a dump station along their route and you can attract other campers in the area to your site.  

Whatever the reasons you want to build your own RV dump station, having the right equipment and tools are key to ensuring you have a dump option that works and avoiding expensive repairs down the road. 

If you are looking at building your own RV dump station, be sure that you have all the right supplies you’ll need, including the Footloose RV site sewer cap to secure the line.

Photo by Luke Besley on Unsplash

If you have an RV campground, you know that having a dump station is a key attraction for your visitors. Having a convenient place to dump their RV wastewater helps guests enjoy their stay and their journey. 

However, building the perfect RV dump station is more than just digging a hole so campers can connect to the sewer line. You need to consider the legalities and some engineering elements. 

To get it right you need to start with a plan, collect all the right equipment and take time to build it. Here are some easy steps you can take to create an RV dump station at your campground.

What is an RV dump station?

An RV dump station is a designated area, such as a specific sewer line or septic tank, where you can dump the black or gray water contents of your RV. For those new to the RV world, black water is the wastewater that comes from your RV bathroom. Gray water is the other wastewater from your RV that is produced by tasks like washing dishes, washing your hands, etc. It is important that both of these tanks are emptied regularly so that you prevent damage to your RV and an unfortunate situation while camping. 

While it is not essential to have on your property, an RV dump station can make life and travel easier for your guests. Having a nearby place where they can drain their RV wastewater means less headache of trying to locate one nearby the campground. 

Legal requirements for black water dump station

Rules and regulations for dumping RV wastewater can vary from state to state, however, it is safe to assume that dumping black water anywhere but an official dump station is illegal. There are also regulations that govern RV dump stations at campsites. You should always get in touch with your local municipalities to see if there are any specific regulations in your area for building an RV dump station. From building design to site security to environmental protections, most states have their own set of rules and regulations that campgrounds need to operate within if they have an RV dump station.

Some of the things that you need to consider while planning your RV dump station design includes:

Environmental protection - your sewer line needs to be equipped with tight sewer caps to secure the line and prevent the wastewater from leaking. RV wastewater can be a hazard to animals and water supplies in the area. It is the campground’s responsibility to prevent the waste in their tank or dump station from causing an environmental problem. This includes securing the site from being tampered or destroyed. 

Permits - you will need to get the right permits before you can start building. That means that you will require permission from your local government body. Part of this process will include submitting your RV dump station plans for approval. That is why it is important to incorporate all the safety and security elements into your plans. 

One way to ensure that your design will get approved is to contact a local plumber for their insight into your plans. They may also be able to tell you about any bylaws that will impact your site. By doing some research into the requirements in your area, you will be able to design a dump station that is within legal parameters. Being prepared before you begin can help save you time and money down the road. 

Engineering requirements

The practical requirements for a campground RV dump station may vary from state to state but some of the most important elements you should build into your dump station include:

  • Have at least one dump station for every 100 campsites. For those campgrounds that offer both tent and RV sites, you only need to account for the RV sites. 
  • Each RV dump station needs to have designated water for flushing. There should be clear signs indicating the water is for flushing the line, not for drinking so that guests are not confused about its purpose. 
  • Campground RV dump stations need to put some extra measures in place to protect the water supply in the area. This means you need to have equipment that will prevent backflow at the dump station. 
  • In addition, for RV campgrounds, the dump station needs to be equipped with a tank that can hold a thousand gallons of water. However, if you are connecting to a sewer line rather than a septic tank you need to ensure that the piping is maintained and leak-proof. 
  • Each dump station should have the right hoses and caps that prevent the site from being tampered with. Sewer caps like the footloose RV site sewer camp offer high-quality and tamper-free security for your RV dump station line. 

How to build one

Building your RV dump station can take some time. There are a few steps you should take to ensure you get a station that works. By following these tips, you can avoid costly mistakes along the way. 

  1. Research - find out if there are any limitations in your area by contacting a plumber or your municipality. Ask about bylaws that may impact the design or location of your dump station. 
  2. Plan - look around your property and determine the best location for your dumpsite. Consider how close guests will be able to park their RVs to the site and the size of your hoses. 
  3. Prepare - before you begin to build it, get all the tools and supplies you need. This includes having the right hose sizes and proper fitting sewer cap before you build. 
  4. Build it - depending on whether you are connecting to a septic tank or your municipal sewer line, the steps to building it will be different. But once you know the rules, have a plan design and all your supplies, you are ready to start building it. 

RV dump station plans 

There are some things that you will need to include in your RV dump station plans, depending on where you live. It is a good idea to contact your local municipality to find out any bylaws that may impact your design. 

However, here are some of the basic requirements that you need to include in your plans:

  1. Concrete pad - the drain where you are going to dump your wastewater should have a concrete pad around it that is sloped. This helps prevent the wastewater from spilling on the ground and becoming environmental contamination. 
  2. Self-closing cap - the drain is required to have a tight-sealing, self-closing cap such as the Footloose RV site sewer cap. Keeping your new dump station safe and secure is key to making the most of it. 
  3. Flushing water - you should ensure that there is a water source that allows you to flush the dump station pipes. This prevents buildup in the pipe, which can cause damage as well as a foul odor. A sign shall be posted "Not for Human Consumption Use for Flushing and Cleaning Purposes Only."

Is it legal to dump raw sewage?

When it comes to disposing of black and gray water, it is illegal to just dump it anywhere. That includes anywhere in the wilderness. Our wastewater can cause damage to the environment. It can also pollute the water that wildlife depends on for survival. That is why there are designated RV dump stations where campers can safely dispose of their RV’s wastewater. If anyone is caught dumping RV wastewater illegally, they could face some heavy fines and even be prohibited from camping at that site again. For a quick guide to camping ethics visit the National Park Service’s “Leave No Trace” guidelines.

Unfortunately, RV dump sites are not always easy to locate. Campsites do not have to build and maintain a dump station, but your guests will appreciate it. It is simple to design and build a dump station on your property that your guests can use when they need to. This can also attract campers to your location as they know they won’t have to travel off the site to clean out their tanks. You may add the location of your new or existing dump station on Sanidumps website. 

Benefits of having a good RV dump station

There are a number of good reasons to consider building your own RV dump station. These include:

  1. Extra revenue - by allowing your guests to dump black and gray water on your property, you will be able to earn some extra revenue. Not every site offers RV dump stations as an amenity to guests and your campsite will stand out if you decide to build one. Most sites already have access to their local municipalities sewer lines, which makes adding a tank for your RV wastewater simpler and more affordable in the long run. 
  2. Convenience - locating a designated RV dump station can be time-consuming and take away from the enjoyable experience that travelling and camping are meant to be. By having a dump station on your site, guests can clean their RV waste tanks at their own convenience. 

RV campsite owners may have many other reasons they want to have an RV dump station on their property. Whatever your reasons, designing and building one can be easy. 

Equipment/tools/supplies required 

There are a number of tools and supplies you’ll need to properly build your backyard RV dump station. 

  1. Hose - you will need the right size of hose to connect your RV wastewater tanks with your sewer line. 
  2. Secure cap - you’ll want to ensure your tank has the proper cap on it to keep the wastewater contained. The FootLoose Sewer cap is one of the most reliable in the industry. It meets all the requirements municipalities have when it comes to building and securing your dump station. 
  3. Water source - keeping the hose and lines clean requires you have a water source to flush them with. Be sure to label the flushing water so that people don’t mistake it for drinking water.  

If your campsite relies on the municipal sewer grid, building an RV dump station is still possible. You will need to find the short pipe that is connected to the larger sewer line. This is called the cleanout. These pipes often have a safety cap that can be removed to check or clean the line. You will need to open up the line before you connect your RV to the sewer for dumping.  

Once you have identified the cleanout, see how close an RV can park to that pipe. It is ideal if your wastewater pipe can connect directly to this pipe. Then your RV dump station is set. 

Integrating with a septic tank

If you want to build an RV dump station that integrates with a septic tank on your property, there are a few things you will need to consider. 

Cleanout pipe - If you are able to access the cleanout pipe, simply place your output hose into it. However, if you are not able to access the pipe, you can put the input pipe between your house and septic tank. You may also opt to directly drop your output hose into the septic tank. If you do this, try and get the hose a few feet under the water to help the solid waste settle on the bottom of the tank. 

Lastly, your septic tank relies on specific bacteria and microorganisms to break down the waste. Using soaps or detergents in your RV can destroy those bacteria and microorganisms because they end up in the gray water. Look for environmentally-friendly soaps and detergents that won’t harm these essential septic tank elements. You may also want to make a note for your guests about the type of soap they should use.

Tips for using

Once you have your RV dump station running, there are some ways that you can help make the cleaning process better. These include:

  1. Two-thirds waste rule. Ensure your guests know they should dump RV wastewater when the tanks are two-thirds full. This helps prevent overuse of your dump station. 
  2. Post a reminder to your guests that they need to have manners when they use your dump station. This includes keeping it clean for other users. Some campsite managers have opted to close their dump stations because visitors and guests were not doing their part to keep it cleaned and maintained. 
  3. Flush it. Once guests have drained their RV wastewater tanks, it is important that the hoses are flushed with water. This keeps the lines clean and prevents solid waste from sticking to the sides of the tank. 

Conclusion

Having an RV dump station on your campsite can be a convenience for those who love to travel and it can also bring in some extra revenue for your business. Visitors will enjoy not having to worry about finding a dump station along their route and you can attract other campers in the area to your site.  

Whatever the reasons you want to build your own RV dump station, having the right equipment and tools are key to ensuring you have a dump option that works and avoiding expensive repairs down the road. 

If you are looking at building your own RV dump station, be sure that you have all the right supplies you’ll need, including the Footloose RV site sewer cap to secure the line.

Photo by Luke Besley on Unsplash