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Gray Water / Leave No Trace Policy


Gray Water Policy

Please Note:  The Tamaqua site has no water.  You are responsible for bringing enough water for the duration of the event and for packing out the water you can’t disperse when you leave.  

Water leaves a trace and should be used thoughtfully.  Each participant should have a plan on how to disperse the water properly in place, and haul out what you can’t disperse.

What is Gray Water? Gray water is water that has been used for cooking, washing, dishwashing, or bathing and contains soap, detergent, food scraps, or food residue.

Why is it a problem? While gray water is a lot less harmful the environment than wastewater from toilet facilities, which is called black water, gray water is still technically sewage and can run-off or leach through the soil to enter waterways and aquifers, resulting in algal blooms or other water quality issues.  It is part of your responsibility to properly dispose of your grey water. Be kind to the environment – do not dump anything that would cause harm! Foodstuff and oil should never be disposed of on the ground.

A Gray Water Plan will make water management easy, and a good plan had two components:  disperse and pack out.

  • Disperse:  In general, small amounts of “light” gray water such as shower water that used biodegradable soap can be sprinkled around on the ground so as not to make a puddle.  For dishwater that used biodegradable soap, best practice is to use a fine strainer to remove fine food particulates and add a drop of bleach to sanitize before sprinkling about.  By using biodegradable soaps for both yourself and your dishes means that the majority of your water waste will be dispersed.
  • Pack out:  All other gray water and greasy messes must be packed out.  Packing in an empty 5 gallon bucket with lid is an easy way to have space to carry out any gray water that can’t be properly dispersed.



Leave No Trace is an important but simple principle of our community. The goal is to leave no trace of our amazing event. If possible, to leave things in better condition than we found them. That means to not leave trash, cigarette butts, poop, feathers, sofas, bacon grease, beer cans, glitter, or sequins behind when we leave. That means to not harm the environment by burning something improperly, or altering or destroying trees or existing structures. We also don’t leave problems for other people to deal with, including leaving trash in “public” places like near the porta-potties.

No Public Trash Cans, No Dumpsters, Pack It In - Pack It Out!
There are no public trash cans at this event. There are no dumpsters.  At all times, at all places on the site, you are responsible for the trash you create. Don’t ask someone if they have a trash can - they don’t.  NO dumpsters are provided at the end of the event: please create a plan to take your garbage with you when you leave.