b'Little Oaks Campground Relies on Hands- Dump stations are a normal sight at RV parks and campgrounds, but more parks are exploringthe option of providing full hookups that offer sewer hookups right at a campers site.On Approach When It Comes to KeepingIts Septic System in Optimal ConditionBY RON BARGER kind of seepage, any smells, anything like that.Beyond the access to electrical outlets, Were also regulated on how often we have toclean water, a level place to park and a swim- empty our tanks, which is every five years re-ming pool for the kids, the No. 1 and most dis- gardless of whether they need it or not. creetconveniencemoderncampgrounds In this restrictive environment, LaPorta hasprovide is septic systems and waste manage- become quite an expert on what can turn sep-ment.tic systems upside down and cause grief forMany campgrounds have come a long way her and her guests. since the days of campers heading by the dump I call them guidelines with my campers onstation to empty tanks before hitting the road. how theyve got to use the septic system, be-Today, some campgrounds provide a dump col- cause it can be quite costly, she shared. I but you cant put in a new system without the four-inch pipe weve replaced. lection service that empties tanks at the camp- have seven septic systems servicing our 59- going through some pretty tough permitting She noted that in some areas she still hassite and hauls it to a central dump station as a site campground. They range in size from 2,500 with the DEP, the Board of Health and your local old iron pipe, on which cloth and fabric prod-paid service. Others, such asLittle Oaks Camp- gallonstotwoside-by-side3,750-gallon county. Ive had to replace one system, only be- ucts will get hung up. ground in the Cape May area of New Jersey, tanks.cause somebody ran over it and crushed it. Generally speaking, if I have to go in andoffer direct septic hookups at every site. Her guidelines for what campers can flush When I came here the campground prob- clean it out, the whole pipe is coming out andWe dont have any are based on real hands-on inspections of the ably had anywhere from three- to four-inch pip- Im putting all brand-new stuff in to avoid it indump stations, Judy La- tanks. ing, she added. It was like paper straws and the future, LaPorta noted. Porta, owner of the 59- Kind of a gross subject, but every so often I have replaced everything with four-inch piping She does get outside help on pumping thesite park told Woodalls well lift that lid to see whats floating on the and increased the grade of piping that is used. tanks. CampgroundManage- top, LaPorta said frankly. Sometimes you When I replaced piping, I generally replaced it We have to pump the tanks every fivement (WCM).Every- have to remind people that certain things dont with maybe a 25-foot run and then an opening years, so we rotate them to keep the systemthing is running into a go down the toilets and into my tanks. With and a 25-foot run so that I would be able to un- healthy, with plenty of enzymes, she advised.tankdirectlyfromthe seven systems servicing 59 sites it makes it clog the system at almost any level without hav- Ive been able to keep everything going so thatRV.easy because I know what sites are on each ing to fish all the way down.Im actually just pumping out liquid as opposedJudy LaPorta Sheisgoingon20 tank, and I dont mind going out there and LaPorta said that after the tank, she fills the to a hard sewer.years of park ownership and has learned how telling campers if there is an issue. ditch with the appropriate pea gravel and then Because were only open seven monthsto do it all.She said she learned to run a backhoe and always goes back over the four-inch pipe with and were closed five months, the systems getWere very controlled here in New Jersey how to lay a sewer pipe to save money, but perforated holes. time to rest, LaPorta continued. We have toby the Department of Environmental Protection didnt do too well on electricity, as it takes I generally will put a landscape fabric in pay attention to them because we dont want(DEP), lamented LaPorta. We have to keep longer to master. Keeping the old system run- there on top so that I dont have tree roots com- them to dry up to the point where it could causemonthly logs and so that means we have to in- ning well and healthy wards off the pitfalls of ing into it as easily and then cover it all up, she harm. If we dont have enough water, enoughspect the tanks and the areas around themreplacement.explained. Ive been here awhile so my tank rain or enough snow, we maintain some waterwherever they are locatedto see if theres any You can repair a system, LaPorta said, systems are probably 50 years old except for all flow for enzyme health.WCM26 -October 2020Woodalls Campground Management'