Where Does Shower Water Go?

Most people will tell you that shower water comes from a storage tank fed either by the municipal water line, the rain, or the borehole. However, very few can tell where the water goes after showering. So, where does shower water go?

If your drains connect to the sewer line, your shower water goes to the sewer and ends at the sewage treatment plant. But if your shower drain connects to the septic tank, then your shower water goes to the septic tank.

Overall, the water cycle is a complicated process that I’ll try to break down in the simplest way possible. I’ll help you understand how the water that you dispose of as waste comes back for reuse.

More importantly, I’ll address essential questions about the subject, such as where shower water from a caravan, boat and tiny home go.

Let, however, start with your house!

does shower water go into septic tank

Where Does Shower Water Go from Your House?

The destination of your house showering water depends on what connects your drain, and that brings us to two things; sewer and septic tank.

Route 1 – The Sewer Line Route

Generally, all home drains (shower, toilet, kitchen sink, etc.) end up in one place, what we call the sewer. The sewer carries all municipal wastewater to a treatment plant, and here are the steps involved:

Step 1 – Sewer

Once you shower, wastewater goes into the sewer, which collects all household water. This water is usually contaminated, and so often, we use the term sewage.

Step 2 – Treatment

Once the sewer collects the wastewater from different sources, including your house, it directs it to the nearest treatment plant, where a couple of processes takes place before the water is recycled or released to the environment.

These processes include:

  • Primary treatment

The primary treatment stage involves the mechanical removal of 60% of solid matter, including poop (human waste), rocks, fabric fragments, grease, sand, and cans.

Upon removing these solid matters, they deposit into a landfill.

  • Secondary treatment

The remaining liquid from the primary treatment goes through an aerobic (bacteria breakdown) process in the secondary treatment stage.

Here, bacteria consume most of the remaining organic matter and combine them into blocks or flocks before removal.

  • Tertiary treatment

This is the last treatment stage which involves filtration and disinfection. So, wastewater that goes through this stage is free of organic matter and other contaminants.  As a result, this water is safe for reusing or releasing into the environment.

Step 3 – Recycling

Once the water is safe for use, it can be pumped back into a storage tank for reuse. So, you may end up drinking, cooking, or showering with it. It’s also the same water that some people use to irrigate their farms.

where does shower water go in an rv

Step 4 – Release

Lastly, some treated water may be released into the environment, mainly through lakes, rivers, and streams to support aquatic life.

Some people may also harvest the water from the water bodies and use it at home or pump it to their farms for irrigation.

Route 2 – Septic Route

Not all homes have a septic tank, but if yours has it, that’s where the shower water and even the sink and toilet water go.

The septic tank, like the sewer, collects wastewater from all the drains in your house and temporarily stores it. After that, the septic tank’s aerobic conditions encourage the solid matter to separate from the liquid matter before the two take different directions.

First, the liquid matter flows to the drain fields, where scavenger bacteria feed on its nasties. The liquid matter then gets drawn by the plant through the soil.

Lastly, the water goes through either an evapotranspiration process where it escapes to the environment or percolates underground to form part of underground water.

After that, bacteria continue to clean it up as it goes through a recycling process. So, before you know it, you could be reusing your shower water.

Where Does Water Go After Shower in an RV, Tiny House, And Boat?

After looking at where showering water from your house go, let’s look at the RV, tiny home, and boat below:

Where Does Shower Water Go in an RV?

An RV shower system features a hose that runs from the intake point to the outside. This particular hose brings water into the bathroom, toilet, and kitchen sink and takes the wastewater to the RV’s external.

However, the water doesn’t just spit out but goes into a holding tank under the vehicle, awaiting expulsion when you get to a comfortable place to drain it out.

Where Does Shower Water Go in A Tiny House?

Tiny houses usually have a greywater tank, where wastewater, including shower water, go.

Most tiny house builders, however, fit a bucket under the shower to collect the greywater. They then take the bucket when it’s full and drain the water, mainly down the toilet or use it within the tiny house. So, they recycle it.

Does shower water go to sewage

Where Does Shower Water Go On a Boat?

Boat showering water collects at its lowest point (known as the bilge), where it’s pumped and tossed overboard. But still, the water can reroute to the bilge through the water basin.

Essentially, boats spill out shower water and other wastewater to keep the bilge water-free and enable it to do its job well.

What Happens to Shower Water After Treatment?

After treatment of bath water as part of the sewage, it’s pumped back into the environment either as underground water or surface water.

Some of it even feeds the plants through direct irrigation.

So, contrary to most assumptions, the showering water doesn’t go to waste. Even the shower water that goes into the septic tank always come back to the environment for reuse. That’s after the bacterial degradation and evapotranspiration processes.

Does Shower Water and Toilet Water Go to The Same Place?

All household water, including toilet water and showering water, ends up in a single place (the sewer). From the sewer, the water goes to a waste treatment plant for treatment.

Once the showering water and toilet water moves to the sewer, we no longer refer to it as water but sewage or wastewater.

Does Shower Water Go to Sewage

People Also Ask

1. Does Shower Water Go into Septic Tank?

Not all drains connect to the septic tank. Some connect to the municipal sewer line. However, if your shower system leads to the septic tank, then the showering water will go there when you bathe.

But before that, the bathtub water first goes through a special vent pipe, known as the wet vent.

2. Is Shower Water Recycled?

Most household water is recycled, more so if it goes through the sewer line route, including the showering water.

Usually, showering water ends up in the sewer and then moves to the waste treatment plant for treatment before being pumped back into groundwater or lakes, rivers, and streams for reuse.   

3. Does Shower Water Go to Sewage?

If the shower drain connects to the municipal shower line, then YES, water goes to the sewage. In that case, the showering water and all other household water join wastewater from other lines in the sewer. All wastewater then heads to the treatment plant for treatment.

4. Where Does Shower Water Drain to?

Shower water either drains to the septic tank or sewer, depending on the system that your drains connect to. If you get your shower water from the municipal, the chances are that your showering water drains to the sewer. But if you have a septic tank outside, that’s where the showering water goes.

5. Does Shower Water Go into Waste?

Though you probably don’t know about it, the most showering water does not go to waste, more so if it drains to the municipal shower line. Such water is treated as sewage and then pumped back into the environment for reuse.   

6. Where Does Caravan Shower Water Go?

Most caravans feature a filler-fitting on their external, which leads to a water tank. When you shower, the showering water goes to the water tank through the filler-fitting.

Others have a set of outlet hoses that directs the greywater outside the caravan when you are ready to drain it.

7. Where Does Water Go in A House?

Water in your house either goes to the septic tank or sewer line, depending on what you connect to. That includes bathing water, toilet water, sink water, and bottle tap water.

But either route, the water finds itself in the environment through release from the treatment plant for recycling.

Where Does Shower Water Go? Closing Thought:

Now you know that showering water either goes to the septic tank or sewer. That depends on the system that connects to your drain.

However, this water doesn’t go to waste, regardless of the route it follows. So, you may end up reusing it, which is a good thing if you are always eco-conscious!


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