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How Dangerous Is Black Tank Water?

How Dangerous Is Black Tank Water?

It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. Today, we’re talking about your dreaded black tanks and the water they contain. While it may smell horrendous and gross you out, how dangerous is black tank water?

Let’s take a look and see if you should be taking a few extra precautions the next time you’re dumping your tanks.

Let’s go!

What Is Black Water?

Any liquids and solids that go down your toilets are black water.

This is a combination of solid and liquid sewage and the water used for flushing the toilets. Due to the high amounts of bacteria, it’s important to store and dispose of black water in a sanitary manner. 

What Are the Hazards of Black Tank Water?

Black water can contain high amounts of dangerous fungi, bacteria, viruses, and even parasites. Prolonged exposure to these can cause infections, illnesses, and long-term respiratory issues.

However, you may also experience diarrhea, fever, cramps, vomiting, headaches, weakness, or even loss of appetite.

This is why you must always handle and dispose of black tank water in a sanitary manner.

Take the time to educate yourself and know how to properly empty your RV tanks or hire a professional to dispose of black tank water for you.

Tips for Handling Your Black Tank Water Safely

Handling your black water tank can be less than ideal for anyone. However, we have a few tips for handling your black tank water safely.

Wear Gloves

You should always have a good set of disposable rubber gloves on hand when you’re handling black tank water. You want to reduce the risk of it coming into contact with you, especially your hands.

Keep a box of disposable gloves in a place that makes them easy to access while dumping your tanks.

We highly recommend disposable gloves for this task. There’s typically a trash can or dumpster nearby where you can toss them as soon as you’re done. This way, you don’t have to worry about cross-contamination of any items inside your RV.

Avoid Inhaling Any Fumes

We don’t see why it would be a temptation, but you should resist the urge to inhale fumes while dumping your tanks. Fumes can contain bacteria spores, which could find their way into your respiratory system.

Doing so can lead to illnesses and other health conditions.

The best way to avoid inhaling fumes is to keep your distance while dealing with black water.

If it’s not possible to keep a safe distance, it can help to wear a mask or face covering to help provide some protection from the fumes.

Only Dump in Approved Sites

You can’t just dump your black water anywhere you want. You want to confirm that wherever you’re dumping is an approved site. Failure to do so could not only cause pollution or contamination but legal issues as well.

Approved dumpsites are typically available at campgrounds, RV parks, rest stops, and truck stops.

Use apps like Campendium and iOverlander to help locate a convenient dump station near you. 

Wash Your Hands

Even if you’ve done everything you can to keep black water off of you, you should always wash your hands when finished. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer available for moments like these.

It can help ensure you never find yourself with dirty hands before hitting the road.

Failure to properly wash your hands can lead to transferring germs and bacteria to the surfaces you touch. This includes door handles, steering wheels, or even your face.

You don’t want to risk cross-contamination and spreading germs and bacteria to others.

Does Black Tank Water Get More Dangerous the Longer It Sits?

The longer black tank water sits, the more bacteria can grow. This bacteria can grow and become more dangerous.

This can lead to a higher risk of infection and serious illnesses. It’s important that you properly dispose of black tank water promptly and as sanitarily as possible. 

Can Coming Into Contact With Black Water Send You to the E.R.?

Coming in contact with black water can create a very serious situation. Because of the large amounts of bacteria and parasites, black water can lead to serious illnesses.

If you or someone close to you begins to show signs of sickness or illness after coming in contact with black water, a trip to the E.R. may be necessary.

However, if you follow proper safety precautions for handling black water, these risks are very minimal.

Where Can You Dump Black Tank Water Safely?

You want to find an approved dump station to dump your black tanks. These are often rather easy to find at campgrounds, RV parks, and sometimes even community parks.

You may also encounter them at rest stops and travel plazas along the interstate as well. You should always confirm that a dump station is approved for dumping before dumping your tanks. 

While we can’t make handling black tank water enjoyable, we hope you now feel prepared to handle it safely. By following the tips we’ve shared with you today, you can avoid many of the health issues that can arise from mishandling black tank water.

However, accidents or spills can occur, and it’s important to make sure you know how to respond when they do. If you’ve been RVing for long, you’ve surely got a black tank water story.

Let’s hear them!

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  1. Thanks for the comments your advice is very important it can keep a person safe and save lives