Gray water containers

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Rusted Iron
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Gray water containers

Postby Rusted Iron » Tue May 02, 2017 5:34 pm

This year our camp is considering renting a gray water tank, to be delivered and picked up by a service. I contacted USS and found that their tanks are too big and too costly for our camp's needs.

A couple of years ago we were camped next to someone who had a small flat rectangular container, one that a shower could be easily built over. I haven't been able to locate the company that rents them. Does anyone know?

Thx.

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Popeye
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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Popeye » Wed May 03, 2017 3:00 am

Something like this?
http://www.homedepot.com/b/Building-Mat ... 5yc1vZaq89

Shop around, there are larger ones.
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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed May 03, 2017 7:35 am

I use either 55-gallon or 30-gallon plastic barrels. They're relatively cheap at surplus stores - although they seem to be getting harder to find. They have screw on caps and seal up well, and most strategically, you can move them. You can roll them flat, tilt them on edge and roll them, or carry on a dolly.

Square tanks get awfully heavy when full and awfully hard to move. And awfully hard to drain.

With the barrels, I just stop at a rest stop that has an RV dump, push the barrel over and unscrew the cap and let it dump.

Get a really large funnel for filling the barrels, as big as you can find. That makes splash-free loading easy.

Let your neighbors deal with their messy clunky evap ponds that are caked in mud at the end of th week!
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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Rusted Iron » Wed May 03, 2017 8:35 pm

I guess I unclear. We're looking for a drop off and pick up service. United Site Services does it, but their tanks won't work for our needs: Big square blocks for mucho money.

There's a surplus store nearby that sells the large barrels but trucking them out full of fluids is a lot of weight.

We'll probably try to work the bugs out of the evaporation system that's never worked all that well.

(Here I am looking out for the camp's needs when I have a travel trailer with a shower... and a lockable door...)

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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed May 03, 2017 10:22 pm

If you trucked all that water IN, you can truck it out!!
There USED to be a thing called radical self reliance. Seems to be long gone.
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Papa Bear
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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Papa Bear » Thu May 04, 2017 9:20 am

Rusted Iron wrote:We'll probably try to work the bugs out of the evaporation system that's never worked all that well.


How big is your camp, and what kind of evap system are you using?

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Chowski
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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Chowski » Thu May 04, 2017 11:51 am

I run a camp which fluctuates between 15 and forty people depending on the year, and we have a surefire grey water system. No public grey water, no grey water evap. No showers of any kind allowed - although our campers are instructed how to clean themselves using a garden sprayer over a towel. No cooking pasta or rice, or boiling potatoes - no food which creates grey water. You bring it, you use it, you take it away. Each camper or couple brings a five-gallon bucket with a tight-fitting lid, and they put their own grey water into it. At the end of the week, they take it home. Problem solved. Sometimes, the best solutions are the simplest. Radical Self-Reliance only. If a person cannot handle themselves, they shouldn't be going to Burning Man, and they certainly aren't camping with us.

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Re: Gray water containers

Postby maladroit » Thu May 04, 2017 2:57 pm

No one expects the Pasta Inquisition.

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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu May 04, 2017 6:16 pm

Chowski wrote:Radical Self-Reliance only. If a person cannot handle themselves, they shouldn't be going to Burning Man, and they certainly aren't camping with us.


Every "seeking a camp" post should be answered with this!!!!!
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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Rusted Iron » Thu May 04, 2017 8:25 pm

Answers:

About 20 people.

We have been trucking the gray water out for many years. Nearly decades. There are problems associated with it that we are looking to improve. A commercial service was one of our camp mates' suggestion. We are discussing other options as well.

Our system has been a evaporation pond with a central cloth-covered tumbler wheel. It can't handle too much so we end up containerizing the rest. We also bring large jugs for the gross fluids like cooking grease and pasta water. That stuff just gets tossed out in Reno.

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Eric
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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Eric » Thu May 04, 2017 11:01 pm

Just a warning on the commercial services - as a small camp you operate on their hours, not yours. You may have to sit around waiting for them to service it, and someone from the camp has to sit there and wait until they pick it up. One year our neighbors wanted to head out, but United hadn't shown up to pick up their grey water tank. They tried to pay us to watch it, but that's over the line - we have our own schedules. If memory serves they had to wait 8+ hours before United showed up - their contracts with BMorg take precedence.
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some seeing eye
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Re: Gray water containers

Postby some seeing eye » Fri May 05, 2017 7:37 am

There are all kinds of "gray water tanks" available to own in a large city, from tank suppliers, farm supply and RV suppliers. Another option is to buy and store an "IBC tote." They are often found on Craigs and at shipping/pallet suppliers. You need to be very clear on what was in it its previous lifetime. 4 person lift empty. It should be possible to erect a shower on top of one for the view.

Obviously above a certain capacity, everything will have to be pumped by the BMORG sole supplier, because of weight. The BMORG has info on that. The question is how dependable flag-down vs pre-contracted pumping is. Obviously the pump wand is black, not gray.

The tote could double for rain water or grey water reuse the rest of the year. How residential gray water meets plumbing code is evolving. I always thought they would make a good ghetto Japanese soaking tubs.
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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Rusted Iron » Sat May 06, 2017 7:24 am

Good points all.

I think the commercial route isn't for us.

I have a great idea: I am going to assign the gray water problem to cammates Tom and Tommy... let them come up with improvements.

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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat May 06, 2017 11:04 am

Or just stop providing services to campers who don't take care of themselves out there.
The more you provide them, the more of the problem you are.
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Re: Gray water containers

Postby some seeing eye » Sat May 06, 2017 5:31 pm

In support of CG, if you bring in 1-2 gallons of water per day, you should be able to bring half-1 gallon per day of gray water back out with you, right?

Otherwise you are trying to make your waste an externality of the market system. Maybe for your camp, part of the dues is one large garbage bag and 5-8 gallons of gray water outgoing? That fits easily in 1-2 gallon water containers people bring and at least they would get 2 uses in their life of virgin polyethylene.
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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Papa Bear » Sat May 06, 2017 6:58 pm

some seeing eye wrote:Maybe for your camp, part of the dues is one large garbage bag and 5-8 gallons of gray water outgoing? That fits easily in 1-2 gallon water containers people bring and at least they would get 2 uses in their life of virgin polyethylene.


That does raise the question of how to collect said gray water and get it back into the containers. In most cases (*) that's a tractable problem - easy for cooking water, more complicated if you're supporting showers.

(*) Most cases doesn't include my camp, but we obviously bring that on ourselves.

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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat May 06, 2017 7:32 pm

No it doesn't. Build the shower so it's up a few feet, let the showeree bring their own bucket to catch their own grey water.
If that's too hard for them and they can't deal with their water, they don't belong in Black Rock City.
If they flew in from the south of Slapistan and can't bring what they need, MAYBE THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE!

If you can't handle your own logistics, don't go!! Since when did "Radical Inclusion" mean those who aren't willing to be self reliant?
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Re: Gray water containers

Postby maladroit » Sat May 06, 2017 7:42 pm

The Captain is being a bit harsh about something that doesn't seem all that important, but it's a good point. If you bring it in, you can bring it out. I get as clean as anyone else just doing a sponge bath on top of a towel, which dries quickly. For two people last year, we brought back about 1 total gallon of gray water. Neighbors piped their RV into an evap pond which took care of most of it...but at the end of the week, we were helping them trickle rank-smelling water into any empty container that would hold it. About 30 gallons worth.

Don't use more water than you really need. Come up with some clever gray water evap system, that's cool...but have a backup plan to easily store all the remaining gray water and bring it back.

If we each individually solve our own problems, they remain small and manageable. If you offload a bunch of those small problems to one person, they become a huge problem if that person ever fucks up a tiny bit.

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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun May 07, 2017 9:50 am

You're right I do get more disgusted as time goes on by the wave of won't-take-care-of-themselves "burners". I feel like the new Bob the Couch although I'll never profess to have his knowledge and experience.
Pay attention to Maladroit's excellent point: if everyone in camp depends on one or two people to handle one of the most important logistics like the grey water, you're really screwed WHEN something goes wrong. The reasons for covering your own ass in BRC go beyond just the principle of it.
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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Papa Bear » Sun May 07, 2017 6:26 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:You're right I do get more disgusted as time goes on by the wave of won't-take-care-of-themselves "burners". I feel like the new Bob the Couch although I'll never profess to have his knowledge and experience.


So, just to be clear, I pointed out that the gray water collection problem is more complicated for showers than dishwashing, but also tractable for most camps. A raised shower platform with a way to direct gray water into a 5 gallon bucket is a clear example of that - not as simple as just pouring a small tub into the bucket, but still not technically difficult. So I don't think we actually disagree there.

That said, I do think it's an overreaction to paint any attempt by a group of people to pool resources for common infrastructure as a lack of self-reliance. There's nothing wrong with saying, "ok, you're a better cook, and I'm a better engineer and have more cargo capacity - if you handle 3 meals a day, I'll handle shade, showers, and gray water". Or, for that matter, to share the cost of a single cargo truck and have some people come in on the bus rather that drive those extra cars cross-country. Planning and working together as a group is a perfectly legitimate approach to ensuring your needs are met.

Sure, dividing up duties can introduce "single points of failure" that screw you over if and when they happen. Someone screws up the gray water collection system, everyone needs to stop generating it or figure out a way to haul their own. If the truck carrying everyone's stuff crashes and it all goes up in flame, everyone better be prepared to hit the local stores and improvise replacements. That's part of the deal, though - being self reliant includes planning well enough to handle those contingencies.

IMHO, the point at which things actually become a problem is the point at which someone is so divorced from the reality and work of making the camp happen that their primary material contribution is just money. Unfortunately there's way too much of that shit out there (and in terms of sheer numbers, even the luxury PnPers make up only a small fraction of that problem).

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Re: Gray water containers

Postby maladroit » Sun May 07, 2017 8:31 pm

Papa Bear wrote:IMHO, the point at which things actually become a problem is the point at which someone is so divorced from the reality and work of making the camp happen that their primary material contribution is just money. Unfortunately there's way too much of that shit out there (and in terms of sheer numbers, even the luxury PnPers make up only a small fraction of that problem).


What we're doing right now is part of the experiment. In a society, at what point is money no longer a substitute for hands-on work? I guess the extreme case would be something like 19 CEO's paying one average guy to row the lifeboat to shore...he's going to get fed up no matter how big the paycheck is, and the CEOs will be seen as lazy even if they own the boat, the sinking ship, the shore, and the ocean.

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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Roundabout » Mon May 08, 2017 5:45 am

Good point maladroit. These matters and issues are perceived on a relative scale. The pendulum of radical self reliance vs radical acceptance swings back-and-forth from year-to-year. Some burners get mentally stuck at one end of the pendulum swing. We are always testing the boundaries of our social experiment.
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Re: Gray water containers

Postby maladroit » Mon May 08, 2017 5:54 am

I think it's more about immediacy than decommodification. Something you did off-playa is (hopefully) not as relevant as what you're doing right now. Sure, you did well on the stock market this year. Yeah, you could probably pay us all a week's pay to set up camp for you. Anyway, start sorting out those dome struts and remember you're on grub duty tonight.

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Re: Gray water containers

Postby lucky420 » Mon May 08, 2017 9:03 am

you could buy a few life straws for camp and everybody does their best...
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Rusted Iron » Tue May 09, 2017 9:44 pm

Our camp members work hard building and running an interactive camp. I can't begrudge them a shower or two. Some of them crowd into small cars and can't carry out much with them. Most of our shower water is ice chest melt. It has to to go somewhere...

buckets... that's a nice simple idea.

We have a couple of work days coming up. we'll be dividing up in teams, one of which will be building a new system. (Not me. I get to work on signage and a Ritual Rat platform.)

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Re: Gray water containers

Postby BBadger » Wed May 10, 2017 3:25 pm

So you really can't just get a 55 gallon barrel, tell everyone to take their dirty shower water and dump it in the barrel with some bleach, and then wait until a USS truck comes buy to wave them down to pump it for some cash? That's how we do it. When it's getting full we just inform everyone to keep their eyes open and to flag down a USS truck when they see one to have them help us out.

Even if you don't get it drained at the end and want to go, if you get it done mid-week you'll be trucking out far less than a full barrel.
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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed May 10, 2017 7:16 pm

And who's CHOICE was it to show up in the middle of nowhere in a tiny car unable to carry their shit?
Man I'm tired of people who don't cover their own ass making excuses why THEY shouldn't need to.
"I carried water in, but I can't carry my dirty water out!
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Re: Gray water containers

Postby Elorrum » Wed May 10, 2017 9:16 pm

Adult disposable wash cloths, and you can actually wash your hair with about one liter of water. I take home less than the five gallon grey water tank I bring.
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Re: Gray water containers

Postby maladroit » Thu May 11, 2017 9:27 am

You don't really need a shower because everyone's nose is jammed up with dust, they can't smell you. Oh sweet Larry what will happen to Burning Man if they move it someplace without dust!

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Re: Gray water containers

Postby [jim] » Tue May 16, 2017 7:12 am

what I've done in the past is buy a shower shelter, a plastic washing machine pan from lowesdepot, an oil drain pan from pepzone, and a 12v shower pump.

set up shelter. make hole in washing machine pan. build small platform large enough to hold pan and high enough to slip the oil drain pan underneath. let the platform have a slope that allows the water to drain out the hole you made into the washing machine pan.

after shower water is collected in the oil drain pan, dump into an RV tote or some other holding tank with RV fittings so that the itinerant RV grey water trucks can suck it dry.

since some oil drain pans can be sealed and hold 4+ gallons, maybe each camper could 'bring their own' and pack their own grey water out? surely each camper can do 'a shower or two' with 4 gallons?


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