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Old 21-09-2015, 18:29   #136
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
OK, my turn to ask the "I don't get it..." question. To those of you who have no holding tank and direct discharge: How do you deal with small enclosed anchorages where there is little flow? Do you not go to these sorts of places? Do they not exist where you cruise? Do you dump anyway?



I have absolutely no issue with direct discharge in areas of high volume and/or high flow. The solution to pollution IS dilution. Absolutely. But when dilution capacity is limited, what do you do?



BTW, I've never been persuaded by the argument that goes: My little contribution makes no difference b/c everyone else is so much worse than me. This may be true, but it is the kind of thinking that leads to collective disaster. I can only control my actions. Just b/c someone else is acting poorly does not mean I should.

Good post Mike. My learning experience was when we were in the Bahamas and I was spearfishing behind the boat with a good current running. My wife pumped the head and released the brown cloud that rapidly descended upon me with the rapidly flowing current. This was not a crowded anchorage but really got me thinking.


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Old 21-09-2015, 18:30   #137
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
OK, my turn to ask the "I don't get it..." question. To those of you who have no holding tank and direct discharge: How do you deal with small enclosed anchorages where there is little flow? Do you not go to these sorts of places? Do they not exist where you cruise? Do you dump anyway?

I have absolutely no issue with direct discharge in areas of high volume and/or high flow. The solution to pollution IS dilution. Absolutely. But when dilution capacity is limited, what do you do?

BTW, I've never been persuaded by the argument that goes: My little contribution makes no difference b/c everyone else is so much worse than me. This may be true, but it is the kind of thinking that leads to collective disaster. I can only control my actions. Just b/c someone else is acting poorly does not mean I should.

Mike, I think this is another one of those guns, anchors, spade rudder, religion, politics, diet type subjects. This thread could go on for 127,842,012 pages and at the end of the day there probably won't be many, if any, minds changed.
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Old 21-09-2015, 19:40   #138
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

The worst thing about the dump it in the anchorage crowd is that it gives the "don't let those dirty yachts anchor here" lot more amunition to pass laws to reduce our freedoms.

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Old 21-09-2015, 23:24   #139
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
OK, my turn to ask the "I don't get it..." question. To those of you who have no holding tank and direct discharge: How do you deal with small enclosed anchorages where there is little flow? Do you not go to these sorts of places? Do they not exist where you cruise? Do you dump anyway?

I have absolutely no issue with direct discharge in areas of high volume and/or high flow. The solution to pollution IS dilution. Absolutely. But when dilution capacity is limited, what do you do?

BTW, I've never been persuaded by the argument that goes: My little contribution makes no difference b/c everyone else is so much worse than me. This may be true, but it is the kind of thinking that leads to collective disaster. I can only control my actions. Just b/c someone else is acting poorly does not mean I should.
Yes, direct discharge via a macerating head. We look down at the enormity of the ocean, millions of gallons beneath and around our boat... Natures composting biomass and know that our minute contribution will be consumed within 100ft of the boat... Chopped up into micro bits. We're not anchored within swimming distance, even though other boaters are doing the same thing since they also don't have a holding tank, we're always at least 500 meters off the beach due to our 7.5ft draft. Personally, I have no issues with swimming in the water and neither do my underwater buddies who hang out under the boat. Here's a few I photographed just yesterday.

Unlike boats in North America which have a large holding tank that tends to get discharged all at once in a large "brown cloud," this never happens on our boat... Just small amounts throughout the day, an amount the biomass can handle. This photo was taken on the bottom of a busy anchorage with over a thousand people enjoying the beach maybe 400 meters away.

And contrary to what most seem to believe in North America, some of the finest dive spots I've discovered are adjacent to marinas and popular public beaches here in the Med and over in the Caribbean where the kind of discharge I've described is taking place. A good example would be Grand Turk island, where I experienced my best scuba 400 meters off the public beach and small cruiseship town. Apparently nature loves an occasional blast of organic material. Outside those areas... An ocean desert.

Mike, you need to get out and see it for yourself firsthand. Seeing is believing.... When the light above your head turns on, your composter will become an artificial reef.
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Old 21-09-2015, 23:50   #140
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

What sort of wee capacity is good for two people, with occasionally more for a once a day emptying cycle? Of course if I have a big party, with lots of alcohol, or maybe lots of cups of tea, I will probably need a sly empty during the evening. The trade offs being it getting to heavy if it's to big, and having to empty it too often if it's too small.

I'm thinking 5 litres (one gallon) or so, but I could easily fit a 10 litre container in if needed.

Progress on the toilet so far.
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Old 22-09-2015, 01:40   #141
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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What sort of wee capacity is good for two people, with occasionally more for a once a day emptying cycle? Of course if I have a big party, with lots of alcohol, or maybe lots of cups of tea, I will probably need a sly empty during the evening. The trade offs being it getting to heavy if it's to big, and having to empty it too often if it's too small.

I'm thinking 5 litres (one gallon) or so, but I could easily fit a 10 litre container in if needed.

Progress on the toilet so far.
Are you being serious, or are you lampooning the thread? I honestly can't tell.

What you have created is nothing more than a bucket with a toilet seat and lid attached, not..... a composting head. IMHO.

Mike is discussing something entirely different, and from what I've seen at the boat shows.. the offerings by companies such as Airhead, a composter is more complex and of higher quality. I don't question the function of a quality composter, I just question the need and practical aspect for having one.
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Old 22-09-2015, 01:56   #142
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

Bugger the symbiotic ebb and flow, the great explosive expurgation or massive free flowwer are two of lifes great experiences.
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Old 22-09-2015, 04:38   #143
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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Are you being serious, or are you lampooning the thread? I honestly can't tell.

What you have created is nothing more than a bucket with a toilet seat and lid attached, not..... a composting head. IMHO.

Mike is discussing something entirely different, and from what I've seen at the boat shows.. the offerings by companies such as Airhead, a composter is more complex and of higher quality. I don't question the function of a quality composter, I just question the need and practical aspect for having one.
Ken, you obviously know nothing about how a dry head works. What you have shown is a completely different type, a plain bucket without any urine separation is a wet head, mine is a commercial separett camping system that is being modified to fit on a boat, as has been successfully done by Raindog, elgatogordo, and in many canal boats and shacks around the world.

It seems you are currently cruising in an area where dumping your crap anywhere is allowable. This behavior is not acceptable in many coastal areas in the USA , Australia or NZ.

I hope if you come down this way you will do the right thing and use your holding tank, rather than dumping it into our waterways. Sadly, it seems even though you have the holding tanks aboard you seem quite happy to still flush your turds into waters near swimming beaches in the misguided belief that the seawater will kill any pathogens immediately. To me that is truly disgusting and rude. At the very least you could easily hold it aboard during the day when at anchor, and release it at night. So others are not unwittingly swimming in your macerated feces.



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Old 22-09-2015, 05:33   #144
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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We owned 2 ElectroSan units before we purchased our first composting head and they took a ton of maintenance and power. Being the Chesapeake is fresh water, don't you have to ad salt yo your deposit before flushing using the Lectrasan?

Not sure, don't have one, and have only done some cursory research

Raritan makes two current treatment models, Purasan and Electroscan (the latter's predecessor was the Lectro/San, or some such).

The Electroscan needs salt, although I'm told that a raw water supply from the Atlantic is generally sufficient. OTOH, I'm also told that here in the more brackish Chesapeake, an additional salt injection of some sort would be required. That suggests using a freshwater flush anywhere (Atlantic, wherever) would maybe also require the salt injection.

Purasan apparently injects something, too, dunno what... but doesn't have the same electrical load.

Their Hold 'n' Treat system is a small holding tank (or one can use an existing holding tank) plus either of the two treatment systems.

I'm guessing there are pros and cons of these systems... compared to each other, but also compared to a simple holding tank/pump-out/macerator overboard pump... and compared to the composting heads. Winterizing, for example, might bring some issues... and so forth.

So I only really mentioned it to touch on the comment about the Chesapeake and NDZs.

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Old 22-09-2015, 07:30   #145
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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Not sure, don't have one, and have only done some cursory research

Raritan makes two current treatment models, Purasan and Electroscan (the latter's predecessor was the Lectro/San, or some such).

The Electroscan needs salt, although I'm told that a raw water supply from the Atlantic is generally sufficient. OTOH, I'm also told that here in the more brackish Chesapeake, an additional salt injection of some sort would be required. That suggests using a freshwater flush anywhere (Atlantic, wherever) would maybe also require the salt injection.

Purasan apparently injects something, too, dunno what... but doesn't have the same electrical load.

Their Hold 'n' Treat system is a small holding tank (or one can use an existing holding tank) plus either of the two treatment systems.

I'm guessing there are pros and cons of these systems... compared to each other, but also compared to a simple holding tank/pump-out/macerator overboard pump... and compared to the composting heads. Winterizing, for example, might bring some issues... and so forth.

So I only really mentioned it to touch on the comment about the Chesapeake and NDZs.

-Chris
It is illegal to pump sewage overboard within Florida state waters. Treating your sewage does not make it legal to pump overboard. The writing is on the wall, eventually it will be illegal to pump overboard in all US waters. Whether you believe pumping overboard harms the environment (I don't) or not is irrelevant. And here's a news flash: if you have a flushing head you don't know something the rest of us don't know. We've all had flushing heads, many for decades. We all know how they work.
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Old 22-09-2015, 08:29   #146
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

Though I disagree about some points Valhalla 360 is correct that moisture is an issue with dry heads when crusing in tropical climates. We are in the george town Exumas and have had to dramatically increase our peat usage to offset this increase in moisture. I also throw a scoop off poo powder ( you can get it on Amazon) to help the dessicating process. You can dessicate in the tropics, it just requires more medium.
We also needed to add a 5 gallon bucket with lid to the set up ( it hangs off the stern) to allow storage for the used peat. Since we do not agitate like the commercial dry heads, we create smaller batches to dispose of. This allows the peat to not get overwelmed by moisture. But storage of used peat is a tricky thing, as a sealed bucket allows condensation and the dessication process turns to more of a composting process.. Really as soon as we throw the used peat in the dumpster the dessicated peat will then be exposed to moisture. So it is a tight rope you walk I guess. And that could be it's biggest flaw if folks don't understand that this is a DRY head, not a true composting head.

If you want, you can treat it like a traditional composting head, but it will be a different process of breaking down the poo and urine (composting heads don't usually separate urine as moisture is needed in the process). Plus to get the heat needed to truly compost, to kill the bad bacteria, you need a larger bin.
So i think we are talking about the difference between dessication vs biodegregation( I think) here is a study to help a bit it compare the two processes to a degree.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC93126/

Another study.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.mtu.edu/peacecorps/programs/civil/pdfs/daniel-hurtado-thesis-final.pdf&ved=0CB4QFjAAahUKEwje9svm6IrIAhUJpIgKHZo RB8I&usg=AFQjCNHmj17FqtRgZiuGEJrmLcKQGS5A-Q&sig2=lwrl6ZBj9Rs4Vq8QQjvkiQ

I know these studies are of third world issues but you can still estrapulate some good directions from them.

Our on board sanitation system has been a learning process, but as soon as I understood that our dry head is not using a traditional compost process,
, ( at least, that is not how we are using it ) things became much easier. Dry the poo, throw it away. Simple.
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Old 22-09-2015, 09:25   #147
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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It is illegal to pump sewage overboard within Florida state waters. Treating your sewage does not make it legal to pump overboard. The writing is on the wall, eventually it will be illegal to pump overboard in all US waters. Whether you believe pumping overboard harms the environment (I don't) or not is irrelevant. And here's a news flash: if you have a flushing head you don't know something the rest of us don't know. We've all had flushing heads, many for decades. We all know how they work.

It's legal to dump treated sewage in all of Florida except the designated no discharge zones, which would include all the Keys, Destin Harbor and a few others I believe. I may be behind in news, maybe all of Florida has been designated no discharge recently?
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Old 22-09-2015, 09:38   #148
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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What sort of wee capacity is good for two people, with occasionally more for a once a day emptying cycle? Of course if I have a big party, with lots of alcohol, or maybe lots of cups of tea, I will probably need a sly empty during the evening. The trade offs being it getting to heavy if it's to big, and having to empty it too often if it's too small.

I'm thinking 5 litres (one gallon) or so, but I could easily fit a 10 litre container in if needed.
Hi Snowpetrel. I'm not familiar with your head, but our Nature's Head comes with a 2.2 gallon urine tank (and we have two). Under normal use for the two of us we empty the "wee" tank every two to three days. I'm happy with this setup. The tank is still quite easy to slug around, but allows us a reasonable time between dumps.
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Old 22-09-2015, 09:57   #149
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

The C-Head uses 1 gallon milk jugs. Very easy to remove & empty although the urine diverter can be plumbed into a tank.
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Old 22-09-2015, 22:08   #150
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

Thanks Mike and scout, good to get a baseline idea of how long they last. I'll start with my 5 litre bottle, and work up as needed. I'd rather empty a small container more often, than have it sitting around getting smelly. Cheers.

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