What is Gray Water? Gray water is water that has been used for cooking, washing, dishwashing, or bathing and contains soap, detergent, food scraps, or food residue.
Why is it a problem? While gray water is a lot less harmful the environment than wastewater from toilet facilities, which is called black water, gray water is still technically sewage and can run-off or leach through the soil to enter waterways and aquifers, resulting in algal blooms or other water quality issues.
It is part of your responsibility to properly dispose of your grey water. Be kind to the environment – do not dump anything that would cause harm! Foodstuff and oil should never be disposed of on the ground.
What can I NOT do with my gray water? Please do not dispose of any gray water within 100 feet of the stream or other surface water. Do NOT put it in the Potty, either the on-site facilities or the portajohns! Each potty can handle only pee, poop, and special toilet paper — absolutely nothing else. Toilets are for black water, not gray water.
What CAN I do with my gray water? You can manage gray water that is environmentally conscious. All food and solid matter should be manually removed from your dishes, cooking and serving equipment. Any water used for cooking or cleaning dishes in your camp should be manually strained to remove particulate matter – a mesh colander works well. Strained, non greasy gray water can be spread on the ground 100 feet or more from the stream or other surface water. While there are several sinks at the site which can be used for washing dishes, please remove grease or particulate matter prior to using these resources as to avoid causing plumbing or septic problems for our hosts.
For more significant grey water issues, you & your camp should prepare an LNT (Leave No Trace) plan to carry out your gray water.