- My Ultimate RV Sewer System Modification
- RV Toilets: Top 3 Best RV Toilet In 2019
- RV Toilet Etiquette Tips For The New RVer
- Building a Better RV Sewer System
- Useful renter guides, incredible owner stories & super cool rigs
- RV Rentals Near Houston, TX
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- RV Toilet Etiquette Tips for Newbies
- RV Rental Houston, TX
My Ultimate RV Sewer System Modification
Walter- thanks for the inclusion.
So sewer treatment plants. Tricky subject. There are 4 aspects to water / sewer.
Where does the water come from? City, well, stream, spring, truck etc... Who makes it clean- so do you need a water treatment plant, and if you do, what are you adding or removing. You should pre test the water, and then engage the state to see what they require. This can be very expensive depending on the state, and (I am not making any political statement or judgments here)- and the president is changing some of the epa regulations through executive order that mandate some changes on ALL public water supply and treatment systems regardless of the size of the community they service.
These same regulations do not apply to businesses. So while I might serve a few hundred people with water daily, and the strip mall / gas station etc up the road might serve water to the general public, our water is not treated the same- so be careful when you read the regs your reading the right ones.
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We have 10s of thousands of dollars of treatment equipment, while the place across the street that pumps 5 times the water, has zero. The regulations are not evenly placed. Now the water runs through your system and you need to treat it, and then- dispose of the treated water and dispose of the heavy solid waste that is left.
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So I use a 'packing plant'. Sewage enters a tank, it is run through a pump and grind system and moved to an aeration tank. This is a huge tank- 15' wide x 50' long by 12' deep that has lots of air bubbles in it. It looks like a roaring, bubbling hot tub. This tank had chambers that separate the water that no longer has solids in it, from the water that still is holding solids.
This tank is loaded with 'bugs'. Little microscopic bugs that eat / treat the raw sewage.
Building a Better RV Sewer System
Well- this tank has 4 total chambers- the last is a narrow well that takes the 'clean' water through a pipe where chlorine is added. Later in the pipe the chlorine is removed and then the water goes to a finishing pond. The pond, about 50' round and 10' deep allows any solids left over to settle, and lets the sun treat the water prior to the water being pumped about a mile to a stream.
There is one more tank set off to the side, where 'heavy' solids are skimmed from the aeration tank and allowed to settle. We pump air into this tank, then stop, allowing the water to rise and separate. The water is pumped back into the aeration tank, while the solids- well they are really solid.
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Like very, very heavy mud. These solids must be pumped out of the tank and disposed of.
So- a few costs involved. Engineering and environmental impact study's and reports. Then the hard costs of the equipment.
We service 76 home sites- and if I needed to just replace my system today, without the cost of the initial permits, engineering and impact study's, it would set me back $300,000.
Maybe up too $400,000 if I had to increase sizes due to new regs. From scratch- my system would cost 450,000 to $550,000.
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This is just the sewer plant- not my water treatment system. If the stream was closer- that could knock off 50 - 75K.
Every state is different in what they allow, but what is tricky is the EPA.
You do NOT want to make mistakes. My plant has a certified operator- required by law.
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So does the water treatment system. I spend- $40,000 yearly on just salaries to have these guys show up and watch over the systems.
The state requires our water operator be onsite like 2 hours daily, while his duties only take him about 15 minutes. The sewer plant needs to be checked daily- though we check it a few times a day.
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Lastly... there are large self contained systems that can be bought to do the treatment. They might be military surplus, or some other use like man camps. I have looked at them as backups in case something went very wrong and I needed a quick fix.
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Ebay sometimes has some listed. They run between 50,000 and 500,000 depending on what they really do, and how much water they treat. Remember when dealing with the EPA you will be sizing for the heaviest use.
So if you service 76 sites like I do- they size me for the 4th of july, when they figure EVERY home has EVERY relative and the community looks like a grateful dead outdoor free concert venue. So the system is oversize and underused- which creates other issues but this is now a runaway post and I best stop...
That is probably more than you wanted to know about packing plants... but look at all 4 aspects- where water comes from, what needs to be done prior to drinking it, how to treat it, there where does the finished product go.
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one more thing- what do the water rights cost- and can you even purchase them. If your park was in Colorado- the water rights would probably cost more than the system.