8 Places to Dump Your RV Black Water and Waste, How to Do it, and Much It Costs

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While it’s not exactly a pleasant task, emptying the black water tank plays a key role in shaping the outdoor experience of RVers. If you neglect the tank, it should overflow sooner or later which leads to all sorts of issues, especially hygiene ones. 

Since the black water tank contains waste from the rig, you cannot empty it wherever you want on the road. In most of the cases, only locations with facilities for processing waste can handle the content inside the black water tank. Therefore, before heading out, there is one question that you must answer: where to dump black water? Here’s how to do it safely so you don’t have to worry about black water overflowing. 

RV Black Water Basis 

Ok, so first, what is black water? There are usually 3 types of RV tanks: fresh, gray and black. 

  • Fresh water tanks: In layman’s terms, fresh water tanks provide fresh water to faucets, showers, toilets and other water facilities onboard. When you move between locations, tanks of the type serve as the main water supply of the rig.
  • Gray water tanks: Designed for waste storage, gray water tanks receive everything that comes out of water facilities beside toilets. For example: if you take a shower inside your camper, water from it would go into tanks of the type. It’s worth pointing out that depending on the model, travel trailers may carry more than one gray water tank. 
  • Black water tanks: Similar to gray tanks, black water tanks hold the responsibility of storing waste too. Still, tanks of the type exclusively deal with liquid and solid waste that pass through toilets. Owing to the hazardous nature of black water, you have to exercise caution around black water tanks, especially during the disposal process. 

You don’t have to be an expert to realize the impacts of dumping black water at random locations. Consisting of feces, urine, bacteria and so on, black water not only causes health issues but also poses a threat to the environment. Because of that, whenever you plan to empty the black water of your rig, you have to look for the right area. 

Here are the Best Places to Dump Black Water 

Where to dump black water from an RV? Well, a number of places could manage black water but if you like to keep things simple, remember these locations. 

RV Parks

Once it comes to supporting facilities for RV, RV parks tend to be second to none. Boasting everything that RVing enthusiasts require to sustain themselves and their rigs, RV parks prove to be excellent waypoints for outdoor adventures. At RV parks, you can hook up your vehicle to shore power, water supply and of course, dumping stations. Thus, if your black water tank is about to overflow, it’s strongly recommended that you visit nearby RV parks at the earliest opportunity. 

RV Repair, Maintenance And Storage Stores 

Owing to work requirements, RV repair, maintenance and storage stores usually feature facilities to accommodate campers. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to find sewage hookups in such stores and that comes in handy if you need to dump black water. However, for good measure, it’s suggested that you call the store in advance to determine whether they could accept your black water. Assuming that things proceed as expected, you would be able to resume traveling with an empty black water tank. 

Campgrounds 

As the name indicates, campgrounds (private and public) allow people to camp for a period of time. Nowadays, thanks to the incorporations of sewer hookups for RV, most campgrounds have an easy time supporting the disposal of black water. Certain campgrounds set up dedicated dumping stations that let RVers dump black water at any time as well. Interestingly, by paying a small service fee, you could use dumping stations without having to stay at the campground.

Gas Stations 

Not all gas stations that you visit have what it takes to process the black water of travel trailer. That being said, multiple private-owned gas stations include onsite dump points accessible for the average rig. Don’t know where to empty black water tank in a hurry? Then you may want to scout around for gas stations with dump points in the vicinity and spend some bucks to use their facilities. 

Sporting goods stores

A dump station may be found in certain stores such as Canadian Tire, which is teeming with like-minded individuals.

Marinas

A boat treats waste water in a similar way than an RV, so they’ll usually allow you to drop your used water there.

Waste Treatment Plants 

In the case that you have trouble locating the above locations, you should consider going straight to the local waste treatment plants. For your information, various waste treatment plants install dumping stations for public use. Normally, such dumping stations can take care of the waste from black water tank of RV with relative ease. Unsurprisingly, among discussions regarding where to dump RV waste, waste treatment plants show up from time to time as viable options. 

Recycling centres

No all of them will accept RV waste water, but if you’re close to one it might be worth a call.

How To Find Places to Dump Your Black Water Near You?

The Sanidumps website and smartphone app are a simple and reliable tool for locating dump stations. Simply type in a location by county, state, city, or zip code to get a list of locations where dumpsites are accessible. Each site is well-described with GPS coordinates, a map, and contact information, as well as phone number and cost

In addition, there are numerous websites that can assist you with your DMV test. RVdumps.com is one such website maintained by people who manage interstate rest areas. It’s an excellent method to locate rest stops with dump stations accessible to travelers of any state.

Allstays Pro is a data service that displays independent dump points and any dump stations found at service stations, campgrounds, rest areas, etc. It’s a fantastic tool for getting an overall picture of RV stops and other RV-related information.

How To Empty RV Black Water Tank

All in all, it’s good to have a general idea about where to dump black water while traveling on RV.  Nonetheless, knowledge of the disposal process is critical too unless you want to leave behind a mess. 

Preparation 

You cannot open the valve to the black water tank and hope that the waste would go where you want. To ensure that the dumping of black water progresses smoothly, you must gather a couple of items. 

  • Hoses: With so many models available for purchase on the market, you should have no trouble grabbing proper hoses for waste disposal. You still have to pay attention to issues such as length, width, weight, material and so on. The last thing you want to do is to spend big bucks on unsuitable hoses that don’t meet your demands. Feel free to use the way you empty your black water tank as references. 
  • Attachments: While some regard them as optional, attachments like elbows, stands, … help a lot as you dispose of waste at the black water dump station. Hence, it’s widely advised that you pick up several attachments for the black water tank hose. 
  • Personal protective equipment: Since it’s impossible to be too careful next to fecal matter, you should put on personal protective equipment: goggles, gloves, facemask, etc. For the ease of convenience, you may purchase disposable equipment so you could throw everything away in the end. 

Execution 

  • Step 1: Park your rig on even ground 
  • Step 2: Put on personal protective equipment and don’t remove anything till the end 
  • Step 3: Connect the black water tank of your RV to the dumping station via a house 
  • Step 4: If the connection seems secured, open the valve to initiate the disposal process 
  • Step 5: The moment the black water tank is empty, close the valve

Note: Following the dumping of black water, you should move on to the grey water tank. By emptying the grey water tank after the black one, you could dislodge most of the gunks that get stuck in the hose. However, it’s best to flush the hose with fresh water once again as a precaution. When you finish flushing the hose, put it back to storage on your RV for future use.

How much does it cost to dump your RV’s black water? 

It could go between 0$ and 30$. You might be able to find a city service that will take your used water for free, but generally, camping and water treatment plants will charge you around 20$ for it.

FAQs About Black Water Disposal

How often do I need to empty the black water tank?

Countless factors affect the ideal disposal frequency for black water of RV: tank capacity, RVers, water facilities and so on. To stay on the safe side, you may want to empty the black water tank every three to five days. Still, if you notice that the black water tank is around ⅔ full, look for a place to dispose of the waste immediately. It’s unwise to allow the waste to fill the tank to the brim before emptying it. 

Is there a way to see all the dumping stations around me?

A wide range of websites, applications and services could show RVers where to dump black water in the neighborhood. For instance, various people visit the Sanidumps website as well as the associated app while researching sewage hookups for incoming trips. In addition, RVdumps is also a great website for those who plan their travel around rest stops. Lastly, as a service that deals with all things RVing, Allstays Pro contains excellent descriptions regarding nearby support facilities for RV including dumping stations. 

Do I have to wait long for the disposal of black water to wrap up?

Overall, the time it takes to empty the black water tank of an RV changes from case to case. Usually, you could speed up the process by positioning your rig on high grounds, increasing the disposal frequency, adding waste treatment and others. 

May I dump black water on the ground in an emergency?

In many regions, it’s illegal to dump black water on the ground no matter the situation. To avoid getting into trouble with the authorities, it’s a good idea to head toward dumping stations to empty the black water tank. 

What must be done to keep the black water tank clean?

The nature of the black water means cleaning the black water tank is not a walk in the park. Nonetheless, if you clean your black water tank every now and then, you could keep issues like odor, bacteria, … under control. The best time to clean the RV back water tank is after the disposal of black water. To clean the tank, all you need is a combination of water, bleach, baking soda, vinegar, etc.

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About Peter Wade

Peter Wade is a co-ordinator and writer at www.RVTalk.net. His hobbies are coffee, RV camping and photography. He now enjoys exploring the U.S. by RV with his two dogs. After obtaining a MA degree in Public Relations and Journalism, he had 8 years of experience working for the R&D Department of Outdoorsy. Peter provides a unique look and insightful knowledge about the RV lifestyle, and fills his blog with everything from RV camping guides to reviews about necessary RV accessories. If you are an RV enthusiast and want to get the most-updated trends of the RV industry, Peter’s articles are the must-visit contents.

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