Disposal of greywater from trains: On the track or in the tank?

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by ainsworth74, 30 May 2015.

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  1. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    As I'm sure most of us are aware the discharging of toilets directly onto the track is now greatly frowned upon and we are slowly moving towards all trains having retention tanks fitted.

    A question that has occurred to a few people I was with today however concerns greywater (i.e. water from sinks or showers rather than toilets). The new Caledonian Sleeper stock will have showers on board and we were wondering if they will be allowed to dump this greywater onto the track or if it will also have to be stored for later disposal/treatment? If it also has to be stored then presumably the Mk5s will have to have very large water tanks for the showers and very large storage tanks for the greywater from the showers!
     
  2. satisnek

    satisnek Member

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    I don't see why it should be a problem. In the world of inland waterways there has never been an issue about discharging water from sinks and showers overboard.
     
  3. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I agree that it would be very surprising if they have to store this as it isn't classed as hazardous - it isn't (shouldn't be?) contaminated with anything more than soap residue.
     
  4. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I raised this issue in a previous thread (can't remember which) and opined that in a world where crucial retention tank capacity is limited, it was stupidity to use it up with harmless grey water from sinks. I remember being told that apparently it is not allowed to even dump grey water on the tracks from new stock these days.
     
  5. D365

    D365 Established Member

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    Wouldn't it be possible to reuse the greywater from the sinks and showers to flush the toilets? Or would that need another tank? This recycle process happens in 'eco-friendly' buildings.
     
  6. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    It'll probably take a long search to find the specific legislation, but Waste Exemption D2 implies that grey water discharge is still allowed under what they refer to as the latest standards for train design.
     
  7. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    If that's true, then question answered. Certainly makes sense to me.
     
  8. table38

    table38 Established Member

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    Clearly then with the new stock, you'll no longer be able to have a sneaky wee in the sleeping compartment sink, rather than getting dressed and traipsing all the way down the corridor to the toilet :)
     
  9. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    If New Zealand, the most ecologically focused country in the world, is happy for its enormous amount of camper-vans to dump greywater in all but the most ecologically significant places I can't see why trains in the UK wouldn't be able to.
     
  10. Bodiddly

    Bodiddly Member

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    You don't do that do you? Tsk, some people! :lol:
    As said earlier, it would make sense to reuse grey water for toilet flushing.
     
  11. kermit

    kermit Member

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    I'd be prepared to bet that at some point over the years, more than one delightful customer has gone that bit further than the "sneaky wee".

    I expect it doesn't do to dwell............:shock:
     
  12. Bodiddly

    Bodiddly Member

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    Oh yes! That was an interesting day. We had to get a specialist cleaning firm in at significant cost as our traincare bods quite rightly refused to clean it up. The whole coach was minging and had to be locked off until they were finished!
    It's not very common though, I think it's only ever happened twice at Inverness. If anyone has any ideas just remember that your name is linked to your berth and you will be found!
     
  13. SpacePhoenix

    SpacePhoenix Established Member

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    Assuming greywater gets stored in separate tanks, can it be pumped from the train in many more places or just wherever the retention tanks are emptied?
     
  14. PaxVobiscum

    PaxVobiscum Established Member

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    OK - I just had to google to find out what the other colour of water is designated: black, apparently. :D

    Interesting - if black water is really being flushed from your toilet, either your or your house's plumbing needs help fast.
     
  15. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I believe that on units where it is stored, it goes into a common tank with the black water. The only requirement is that it not share common plumbing so that a blockage in one doesn't result in liquid being forced into the other...

    In my Internet searching earlier I did come across plans to store grey water and use it for flushing toilets. Using the water twice would reduce the total amount of water being carried around - which is good as it's very heavy stuff.
     
  16. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    "Help! They said the next stop is Blackwater!"
     
  17. Elecman

    Elecman Established Member

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    And I bet it's going to Blackpool
     
  18. badger1badger

    badger1badger Member

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    Present sleeper stock in Scotland is this retention tanks ?
     
  19. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    I've previously read how modern train toilets are very sophisticated, as simply having a tank of water to flush the toilet at a high level, which empties down a lower level retention tank as the journey progresses would cause problems to the centre of gravity of the carriage as water is incredibly heavy.

    With a shower, I imagine this would be even more of an issue?
     
  20. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Well if it can be done here:

    http://www.emirates.com/uk/english/flying/cabin_features/first_class/first_class.aspx

    It should be easy on a land-based vehicle. :)
     
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