By Russ and Tiña De Maris
In this day of fastidiousness and the injection of antibacterial chemicals in nearly every product, there’s a strange movement out there: Dumping holding tanks with your bare hands. A survey at RVtravel.com revealed that nearly one-third of our readers never or seldom use gloves when dumping.
We’ve sometimes wondered why anyone would take on this bacteriological nightmare without protection. From those that don’t, we sometimes hear the excuse, “It’s just too much bother and I can’t see much advantage to it.”
Another reasoning runs, “The stuff stays in the hose, so what’s the big deal?” In a perfect world it’s a good line of reasoning. But since we’re not living in a perfect world, the ‘stuff’ doesn’t always cooperate and stay in the hose. Pinhole leaks can occur and a misaligned bayonet fitting can pop off, unloading an unholy amount of stuff. File that under, “Been there, done that.”
“So you get a little doo-doo on your hands, just wash it off,” is the next comment. Good idea, a thorough washing with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Meantime, make sure none of it gets off elsewhere and ends up in your mouth or nose. And hope in the meantime that you have no minor breaks in your skin. If so, the damage may already be done, no matter how much you wash afterwards.
What can happen with a bit of misplaced sewage bacteria? Here’s the short list:
•Gastroenteritis, characterized by cramping stomach pains, diarrhea and vomiting.
•Hepatitis, characterized by inflammation of the liver, and jaundice.
•Infection of skin or eyes.
Not sure of any RVer who’d like to have a bout of any of those manifestations. Washing up even when using gloves is still a good idea, and an outside “shower” unit that many RVs are equipped with is just great for it.
For those that glove up before going into the ring with the sewer hose we can only say, we gotta hand it to you. Good disposable gloves are best. Gloves you reuse over and over can easily get contaminated.
Here are some quality, disposable gloves from Amazon.com that will be good for 100 dumps.