Not wearing gloves while dumping? Big mistake!


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. 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.”

bacteria-745Another 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.

Why not throw-away gloves? They typically tear easily and if one of the support wires in your sewage hose gets loose (not an uncommon event) it’ll easily rupture your “safety” net.

For those that glove up before going into the ring with the sewer hose we can only say, we gotta hand it to you.

Here are some quality, inexpensive gloves from that will be good for 100 dumps.


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Nick DiPietro
4 years ago

+ They do make heavier duty throw away gloves. Can usually be purchased at most Auto stores

Roy Ellithorpe
4 years ago

Seriously, use the same gloves over and over? How do you protect your hands from those filthy things while you’re putting them on? So much silliness.

Roy Ellithorpe
4 years ago

I believe that the reason people are sick so much is not enough natural immunity, people (not me) spend way too much time NOT eating dirt. By the way, I shower and wash my hair EVERY DAY, I’m just not afraid to get dirty in between.

Larry W. Larsen
4 years ago
Reply to  Roy Ellithorpe

RVing for 65 years now and not sick once. I’ve never used gloves but do wash after. Does anyone use rubber gloves when they change the baby’s diapers?
There is probably as much “sewage bacteria” on the child seat of a grocery shopping cart. Think about that the next time you put your food on the seat.

J LaMonica
4 years ago

Also… You state that it’s a huge problem if you get sewer water in your nose , eye, or mouth. Gloves won’t help remedy that. Making sure your hoses and connections are secure and not compromised and washing your hands appears to be the most reasonable solution and precaution..

4 years ago

If that stuff coming out your hose is bad, where did it start from?
Not your neighbor.

4 years ago

If “throw-away’ surgical gloves are safe enough for healthcare givers and their patients, I see no reason why they aren’t safe for dumping. What good are reusable gloves if they are mishandled in any way? I would rather throw mine away than take a chance 100 times over with reusable gloves.

JIm Stein
4 years ago

Good gloves will protect your hands from physical injury but do little to prevent bacterial/microbial transfer. Normal personal hygiene is sufficient. Also, use of anti-bacterial soaps provides little additional protection and their use is having a negative effect on water treatment plants and the environment in general,
Understanding the science is better protection.

Keira Bianchi
4 years ago

My sister works as a health inspector for the county health department. There was a time when gloves were recommended for many uses, including food handling. Actual research has repeatedly shown that gloves do not help prevent sickness. They often give a false sense of safety. When you look at the statistics, wearing gloves ends up making more people sick. The real problem is training people to sanitize after they touch anything that might have germs, whether they have gloves on or not.

Richard Smith
4 years ago

Use the Waste Master Hose system from Drain Master and you won’t have to worry about any of this.