SB-317: To many people, that might just be a nondescript, meaningless number code for something they know nothing about. To others—particularly avid RVers in California—though, SB-317 changes a whole lot about the way they go about their RVing! In this article, we’ll break down what California’s SB-317 bill is and what it means for you as an RVer!
Let’s just be honest—legal writing can be insanely dense and complicated! Most people don’t want to wade through a legal bill, but they still want to understand the basics of what that bill means for them. Well, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to break down and summarize SB-317—so you don’t have to!
At its most basic level, California’s SB-317 bill bans the use of certain toxic chemicals in RV holding tank treatments. The bill comes on the heels of concerns about polluting the groundwater in California because of toxic chemicals that make their way into the groundwater via septic systems at RV campgrounds, RV parks, or other dumping sites. In addition, there are several cases in which RV campgrounds’ septic systems experienced complete failure because of waste filled with toxic chemicals. All in all, the bill seeks to limit the environmental and practical impact of toxic chemicals that are often found in RV holding tanks.
A couple of the most notable chemicals that the bill bans is formaldehyde and bronopol. RV holding tank treatments that use formaldehyde and bronopol will kill beneficial bacteria in septic systems. When this occurs, the system fails to treat waste effectively, which means that solids can pass out of the septic tank, clog the leach field, and cause the entire system to discharge inadequately treated wastewater into the ground.
Chemicals that CA SB-317 bill bans:
Not only does California’s SB-317 bill ban the use of these chemicals in RV holding tank treatments, but it also addresses the issue at its source, banning companies from including these chemicals in RV holding tank treatments for sale within the state of California.
If you would like to read California’s SB-317 bill for yourself, touch or click here.
In light of the previous section, the simplest way to make sure you don’t violate SB-317 (which is, as the bill states, a crime!) is to purchase and use only safe, non-chemical products that do not contain the above-mentioned chemicals. This is fairly simple to do if you’ve already been following The Unique Method, which encourages you to never use caustic chemical products! Instead, The Unique Method advocates that you use bacteria and enzyme-based products—like Unique RV Digest-It—in your holding tank.
As a high-quality, safe holding tank treatment, Unique RV-Digest-It only uses the best, most effective strains of bacteria to break down waste in your holding tank without using any harmful chemicals! For more information about The Unique Method and our products, touch or click here.
In addition to not using products with these chemicals, there are other things you’ll need to make sure you do in order to be in compliance with SB-317. Specifically, the bill states the following: “Under the act, persons discharging waste are required to file with the appropriate regional board a report of the discharge and the discharge is subject to waste discharge requirements prescribed by that regional board.” In other words, if you are a campsite, travel center, RV park etc. with RV dump stations onsite, you’ll need to file a report with the appropriate authorities. We recommend that you check with your local authorities, a full link to California SB-317 rules can be found here.
In addition to reporting your dumping, campsites, travel centers, and RV parks must display a sign making guests aware of changes to California law. We have made a sign that is compliant with these rules here:
All and all, while it can seem complicated, California’s SB-317 bill shouldn’t negatively affect you if you have already been implementing the RVing habits we recommend:
If you follow these recommendations, you should be in complete compliance with SB-317!
We hope that this article has helped you to understand what California’s SB-317 bill is and how it affects you as an RVer! We understand that this is a complicated topic, so if you have any further questions, concerns, or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to chat with you!