Some Final Thoughts:
Grey Water is not the major issue it is often raised as, much is said in Social Media about the thorny subject of Grey Water retention and so called “Fully Self Contained” camping conditions. “Fully Self Contained” should be used as a definition ONLY for those camps which have a legally stated requirement, or a condition imposed by the site owner, for campers to retain all their grey water so that we all understand what is needed when looking for a campsite. The reality is that from the listings in Free Range Camping there are currently (2019) significantly less than 250 camps with this requirement (Paid and free) in the whole of Australia. Some camps which started out by having this requirement because they were established under the CMCA guidelines have now dropped the requirement, either to attract more campers, or due to dry conditions. Those of us who have lived in areas of severe water restrictions (Brisbane pre 2011 floods for example) will know that many Councils encouraged grey water to be used for the garden and some even subsidised diversion kits. We should, however, all be responsible when running our grey water out; scrape food scraps off plates and containers before washing, and it is not difficult to run the grey water hose to gardens, bushes or trees or at least to move the hose around a little; most camping areas will quickly absorb the water and there is no high toxicity in grey water when not held in a tank; any toxicity is eliminated in about 2 hours in sunlight. By contrast, grey water kept in a holding tank for 2 days or more is more toxic than the Black Water from your toilet. This brings into question the suitability of emptying grey Water tanks into Dump Points which feed into a Septic Tank, especially considering the volume (135 litres from our own van)?
There are many caravans which do not easily have the capabilities of fitting a grey water tank because they are not designed for that, external containers have become more acceptable but there are, in reality, only minor inconveniences considering the small number of sites where the requirement exists.
I am not opening the inevitable “can of worms” here, just pointing out a few facts so let’s not start the whole debate all over! Remember as well that there are many Caravan Parks which do not have sullage facilities and where your grey water is discharged into the gardens and lawns.
This is, undoubtedly, the growth sector in RV accommodation and is going to continue to be so for the foreseeable future. This does not mean the end of Caravan Parks but a change which all interested parties will have to adapt to and some are resisting. Wherever we choose to rest for the night, or week or longer, there is some cost being borne by some body or organisation no matter how small. If, for example, a Council has to continuously bear the cost of removing “your” rubbish from a road or creek side area then you may find the area is no longer available to you when next you pass by – PLEASE remove your rubbish!
In the same way, if you find yourself in a “Donation” camp, please make a contribution, no matter how small; if you are on a really tight budget just spare a gold coin or two, the local community will appreciate every dollar – and your night’s rest will be there next time.
Discussions on Freedom Camping are not going to go away; the following is a summary of relevant accommodation by “bed nights” expressed in Millions and decimal from Austrade for March 2018 compared with March 2019:
|Accommodation Type||March 2018||March 2019||% Increase|
|Caravan Parks and Campgrounds||31.846||33.233||4.3%|
The interesting factors in the background of these figures is that in NSW, SA and WA there are increases in both categories; in VIC there is an increase in Caravan Parks and a substantial Decrease in Other, in part this may be attributable to more fees being charged by National Parks for camping in Victoria; in QLD, NT and TAS there are small decreases in Caravan Parks/Campgrounds and Increases in Other Camping. Maybe we can draw our own conclusions from that?
Disclaimer: Any information contained in this, or any other, article on this website which may imply a legal requirement is sourced from freely available published documentation from various relevant authorities.