Water and Waste - The Camping and Caravanning Club
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Water and Waste

Man filling up water tank on motorhomeWe tend to take clean, healthy drinking water for granted at home. Even if we drink bottled water, we’re still used to having fresh water on tap wherever we go.

It’s not quite so simple when you’re camping and you should certainly give some thought to protecting your health and welfare by ensuring that any water you use for drinking or washing is clean and wholesome.

Even the smallest campsite will have a drinking tap and you can normally trust that water supply.

Keeping containers clean

Later in this section we’ll talk about moving and storing water but whatever containers you use you need to be aware that any water in a container (particularly one that lets in light) can develop algae or bacterial growths, so it’s a good idea to get into the habit of washing out all containers using a suitable cleaning chemical before you fill it with fresh water at the start of your trip.

Camping shops sell tablets and fluids for this purpose and similar chemicals are available from chemists, who often sell them to home beer and wine makers.

An excellent liquid product for this purpose is the sterilising liquid sold for cleaning babies' bottles (and if it’s good enough for baby it’s probably good enough for you).


Be careful with hoses used to fill containers or onboard water tanks. They really should be food quality hoses and fittings, and whatever they’re made from, make sure they’re clean and that the ends don’t get dragged through puddles or dipped into drains.

Water facilities on kingsbury Club SiteWater carriers

Water is heavy and moving it from tap to pitch needs some thought. Camping shops sell all kinds of bottles, jerry can, and even folding containers. They come in all sizes and the larger ones are often fitted with convenient taps.

The Aquaroll

Caravanners will usually use a product such as the Aquaroll to transport and store water.

It’s simply a tank that, when filled with water, can be fitted with a handle and rolled to your pitch.

There is a fantastic product called the Eye-Ball. This allows caravanners the ability to see the water level within the Aquaroll without having to look inside!

The Eye-Ball gives you an indication of the water level by using a manometer tube along with an indicator float showing you the exact level of the water. The Eye-Ball can be used whether your Aquaroll is vertical or horizontal.

Careful manoeuvres

Many motorhomes have onboard tanks. Many campsites have special facilities to make things easier for motorhome users – on Club Sites they’re known as Motorhome Service Points. Here you can drive up close to offload grey water as well as use a fresh water tap and use a hose to fill the onboard tank. It’s useful to have a long hose available, so you don’t need to be too accurate in your parking.

If there’s nowhere to park your motorhome near a tap, a clean and sterilised watering can is a useful tool to help fill your unit.

Try not to drive around with too much water onboard. It can slop from side to side and doesn’t help the stability of your motorhome on the road.

Be aware of mixing water and waste

One thing to be very careful of - don’t mix fresh and waste water. It should go without saying but we’ll say it anyway – never use the same container for fresh and waste water, however well you think you can clean them.

The best campsites have a drinking water tap well away from the waste water drain and that waste drain will have its own flushing tap. Never mix the two. Make sure you use the right tap and drain for the right purpose.

And never, never take your chemical toilet for filling, flushing or cleaning anywhere near either of those taps. Always use a dedicated chemical toilet point or bring the water to the chemical toilet in a container dedicated to that use only.

Apart from being inappropriate, it’s illegal to discharge your waste water on the road or in laybys. On some smaller campsites the owner may suggest you pour your grey waste water (from washing up, etc) into a hedgerow or similar – but only do so if you are told to. And never dispose of black waste (from your toilet) in this way.

Moving waste water

When it comes to moving waste water you can buy tanks with wheels, which make moving large, heavy quantities of water from your pitch to the campsite drain much easier.

Wheeled trolleys are available too, onto which you fix your container either to obtain clean water from the tap or to carry your waste away.