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Old 08-07-2015, 00:30   #31
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

Hi all,
fighting with space all the time on 26 footer I thought about a composting exit.
BUT - what about countries (Turkey, Med, Europe etc.) that insist on having a black water tank, can you convince them to accept the natural way?

El
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Old 08-07-2015, 00:42   #32
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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Hi all,
fighting with space all the time on 26 footer I thought about a composting exit.
BUT - what about countries (Turkey, Med, Europe etc.) that insist on having a black water tank, can you convince them to accept the natural way?

El
Have only ever seen one pump out station in Europe .... And it was out of order( or I think the staff just did not want to use it...)
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:23   #33
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

Given what med cruisers say about overboard discharge, it seems people over there don't care two hoots about their poops . But for what it's worth, Nature's Head claims to be US Coast Guard certified:

"USCG Certified!
The Nature’s Head composting toilet meets all “No Discharge” regulations and is a U.S Coast Guard Approved type III marine head."


Remember, in form and function, a composting head incorporates a holding tank. So it is the same thing as a normal marine head. The challenge might be in convincing officials who have never seen one before, but I've not heard of anyone having a problem anywhere.
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:28   #34
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Given what med cruisers say about overboard discharge, it seems people over there don't care too hoots about their poops . But for what it's worth, Nature's Head claims to be US Coast Guard certified:

"USCG Certified!
The Nature’s Head composting toilet meets all “No Discharge” regulations and is a U.S Coast Guard Approved type III marine head."


Remember, in form and function, a composting head incorporates a holding tank. So it is the same thing as a normal marine head. The challenge might be in convincing officials who have never seen one before, but I've not heard of anyone having a problem anywhere.
I'm sure you would have great difficulty getting any official to inspect your holding tank or whatever comes before it.......
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:29   #35
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Given what med cruisers say about overboard discharge, it seems people over there don't care too hoots about their poops . But for what it's worth, Nature's Head claims to be US Coast Guard certified:

"USCG Certified!
The Nature’s Head composting toilet meets all “No Discharge” regulations and is a U.S Coast Guard Approved type III marine head."


Remember, in form and function, a composting head incorporates a holding tank. So it is the same thing as a normal marine head. The challenge might be in convincing officials who have never seen one before, but I've not heard of anyone having a problem anywhere.
Vessel Operators: No person may operate any Vessel having an installed toilet facility unless it
is equipped with an installed and operable MSD of a type approved by the U.S. Coast Guard to
meet the requirements of 33 CFR Part 159.
Approved MSDs: There are three different types of MSDs that can be certified by the U.S.
Coast Guard to meet the requirements in 33 CFR Part 159, each having its own design,
certification, and discharge criteria. For more information see 33 CFR 159.53.
 Type I is a flow through discharge device that produces effluent having a fecal coliform
bacteria count not greater than 1,000 per 100 milliliters and no visible floating solids.
This type of device is typically a physical/chemical based system that relies on
maceration and chlorination. Type I MSDs are issued a Certificate of Approval.
 Type II is a flow through discharge device that produces effluent having a fecal coliform
bacteria count not greater than 200 per 100 milliliters and suspended solids not greater
than 150 milligrams per liter. This type of device is typically a biological or aerobic
digestion based system.
 Type III is a device that prevents the overboard discharge of treated or untreated sewage or any waste derived from sewage. This type of device is typically a holding tank and may include other types of technology including incineration, recirculation, and
composting.

33 CFR 159.53
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:58   #36
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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... Type III is a device that prevents the overboard discharge of treated or untreated sewage or any waste derived from sewage. This type of device is typically a holding tank and may include other types of technology including incineration, recirculation, and
composting.

33 CFR 159.53
Exactly. Of course, whether other jurisdictions care what the USCG says is another matter. In fact, I just went looking for Canadian regulations, and can't find them. I assume we're lock-step in line with our US friends here, but can any fellow Canuck point to the actual regulation up our way?
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Old 08-07-2015, 06:28   #37
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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Exactly. Of course, whether other jurisdictions care what the USCG says is another matter. In fact, I just went looking for Canadian regulations, and can't find them. I assume we're lock-step in line with our US friends here, but can any fellow Canuck point to the actual regulation up our way?
I can't find the regulations but I recall on the Trent-Severn they are not accepted.

The logic if I recall was you could dump them overboard...of course a holding tank with a locked overboard discharge could never be unlocked and relocked.

Not sure if it was waterway specific or general.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:09   #38
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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I can't find the regulations but I recall on the Trent-Severn they are not accepted.

The logic if I recall was you could dump them overboard...of course a holding tank with a locked overboard discharge could never be unlocked and relocked.

Not sure if it was waterway specific or general.
Odd. I passed through a very small part of the Trent-Severn last season (going into the Bay of Quinte). No questions asked. Strange that one small part of the Great Lakes would have different regs than the rest. And you're right, a tied-off Y-valve is just as easy to open than dumping over the side. Crazy.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:49   #39
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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Odd. I passed through a very small part of the Trent-Severn last season (going into the Bay of Quinte). No questions asked. Strange that one small part of the Great Lakes would have different regs than the rest. And you're right, a tied-off Y-valve is just as easy to open than dumping over the side. Crazy.
Unfortunately, I'm not finding the link. It might be all of the great lakes or inland waterways or some such thing.

I seem to recall something about it being equivilent to a porta-potty which they had an issue with.

Then again, as is often the case, just because it's a rule doesn't mean anyone enforces it.
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Old 09-07-2015, 07:05   #40
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

Raindog posted a great explanation of what "composting heads" really are and how to build your own. Best explanation I've seen and a very practical solution, https://raindogps34.wordpress.com/head-project/

Check it out !

Bob
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:11   #41
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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Raindog posted a great explanation of what "composting heads" really are and how to build your own. Best explanation I've seen and a very practical solution, https://raindogps34.wordpress.com/head-project/

Check it out !

Bob
Some nice ideas for building your own but the whole desicating issue is wrong except for the fact that the process rarely is complete for a liveaboard who must dispose of the contents before completion if they are to continue to use the unit (the c-head with two buckets is an exception).

Basic principals of composting:
- There are two primary types of bacteria: Aerobic (can't survive without oxygen) and Anerobic (can't survive with oxygen).
- In a traditional holding tank system, there is negligible available oxygen. Even when vented, the water surface severly limits the introduction of more oxygen. Once used up, the Anaerobic bacteria take over. Anaerobic bacteria give off the nasty smells you normally associate with poo.
- The goal with a composting toilet is not to desicate. Desication implies all moisture is eliminated. Think bone dry desert. While that will work to reduce the weight/volume of the solids, it is not what composting toilets do. To achieve that would requrie some sort of heater to basically boil off all moisture. If that were the goal, there would be little point in using peat in the system. In fact, the Incinolet toilets do just this...going even further turning the results to ash. The downside for cruisers is they require a lot of power.
- The goal of composting toilets is to develop a moist situation with no free standing water. Just like in a holding tank, the surface of free standing water creates a barrier to introducing more oxygen and quickly causes the material to go Anerobic and smelly.
- As long as the material stays only moist, the good Aerobic bacteria have a near ideal home as oxygen can penetrate throughout in the air spaces between the particles but there is plenty of water available for them.
- In a humid marine environment, it's near impossible to achieve true desication anyway. The bigger concern is too much moisture gets in (urine diverter not working, case of the trots, etc...)
- Your solid deposits make an excelent food source for Aerobic bacteria. Given a few weeks thier left overs and waste result in a nice potting soil type mixture. I would be hesitant to use to use it on food crops but that is mostly the ick factor as it would be very unusual for bad bacteria to survive the composting process.
- The only complaint with calling them composters is in a full time use setting, there is no way to seperate the early deposits that are fully composted from the most recent deposits that are early in the composting process. The c-head is an exception. By using two buckets, you have the ability to pull one bucket out and let it contune to compost while new deposits go into the second bucket. Since most cruisers are simply disposing of the contents, it's not really a big deal other than the potential of seeing something that looks like (and is) poo.

So yes, Composting Toilet is the correct term.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:24   #42
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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...

My reason for converting to a composting (actually desiccating) head was the difficulty in fitting a holding tank of reasonable capacity. ...
Composting vs desiccating may be an important distinction in terms of waste disposal.

Although these heads are marketed and commonly referred too as "composting" they really are not, beacause the waste material simply is not held long enough to compost completely.

The distinction may be important because disease pathogens dont survie the complete composting cycle. There are studies to confirm this, but does anyone know whether the same is true of desicating systems?

I have composting heads ashore. They are "batch" type design. Meaning the container is rotated our periodically and allowed to finish the full composting process. We set them aside for at least 3 months before using the compost material (which you can't distinguish from rich soil by then). Volume is also greatly reduced. The pic attached is of a compost bin and its emptied contents after finishing. It was used by 2 people for almost a full year. Leaves and other organic matter are added periodically during use to help with aeration of the compost pile.

The end product is safe to use as compost or to dispose off without special considerations. Is the same true of dedicating?
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:19   #43
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

I don't have a composting or dedicating head but am interested in how this all works. Lots of information available, it does get confusing the way terms get used and exchanged.

I was told most municipalities do not allow human waste to be disposed of in the garbage collection system. Unless the waste is kept on board the vessel to continue the process it could be a problem to empty a head legally ?

Some "experts" advise against using composed human waste in vegetable gardens without special processing, Using Humanure In Gardens – Is It Safe To Compost Human Waste

At the end of the day it's still not clear to me how I would dispose of the material, regardless of how well composed it was, unless of course I was offshore.

Bob
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:22   #44
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

This 'end of cycle' deposit question is one reason we changed both heads to composters on our boat. We have an alternative.


And I will never willingly share a hull with a holding tank, hoses, and valves again. That's a ridiculously filthy, smelly, space and time consuming approach, requiring holes in your boat.


Composters also give you several options of what to do with your waste products. You could just bag and store them if you wanted. A months worth will be the equivalent mass of a basketball size bag of dirt, from what we've seen so far.
Personally, I feel no remorse at all in dumping soil into the ocean. In a marina, into a dumpster.
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:33   #45
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

What Canibul says

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... I was told most municipalities do not allow human waste to be disposed of in the garbage collection system. Unless the waste is kept on board the vessel to continue the process it could be a problem to empty a head legally ?
All I have to say is: disposable diapers. Heck even feminine hygiene products... Where do they go?

I'm not a fan of dumping the remains of my Nature's Head into the landfill. I work hard to avoid it, and so far have never had to, but I can see a day when it might happen. On the scale of what ends up in the dump, I'd say the stuff that comes out of composting toilets (whether it's fully composted or not) is not very concerning.
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