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Old 16-09-2015, 19:39   #76
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

Humans not part of nature? Is Darwin a fraud?
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Old 17-09-2015, 06:00   #77
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Apparently, those without a sense of smell have traditional holding tank systems that don't smell. I've yet to come across a holding tank system that didn't smell.

I'm guessing: You must not have been aboard many boats? And the "odiferous" boats you were on may not have been very well maintained.

We find many assume any odor they perceive must be "head" (or holding tank) odor... when actually it's often something else anyway (stagnant bilge, stagnant sink P-traps, etc.).

About a thousand boats in our club at any given time, only one or two have found legitimate "head" odors, most often explainable by loose fittings or expired tank vent filters. Rarely permeated hoses, although one owner is testing that now.


Not a defense of holding tank systems; just an alternative observation.

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Old 17-09-2015, 06:04   #78
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
I'm guessing: You must not have been aboard many boats? And the "odiferous" boats you were on may not have been very well maintained.

We find many assume any odor they perceive must be "head" (or holding tank) odor... when actually it's often something else anyway (stagnant bilge, stagnant sink P-traps, etc.).

About a thousand boats in our club at any given time, only one or two have found legitimate "head" odors, most often explainable by loose fittings or expired tank vent filters. Rarely permeated hoses, although one owner is testing that now.


Not a defense of holding tank systems; just an alternative observation.

-Chris
My head don't smell seriously
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Old 17-09-2015, 06:56   #79
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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Manatee poop, porpoise poop & bird poop are all natural & cannot [be] considered harmful. Humans, especially when in boats, are not part of nature & their waste is a deadly toxic slime that must be stopped or it will mean the end of everything we hold dear.
Heh...that's why people run their water makers when near guano islands...

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Old 17-09-2015, 09:24   #80
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

We have had composting head for a couple years, and it works very well, no objectionable smell, and far less upkeep/cost.
The deal for me is that any marine head will need hoses replaced, valves replaced, have to unclog them from time to time, have to find a pump out station, all of them with no exception go thru this process. With a composting head one never has to go through that process.
On top of that, a fair amount of space becomes available when the marine head system is removed, adding to your available storage volume, and that's a good thing.
From our experience the composting head is very viable as a long term solution for cruising.
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Old 19-09-2015, 05:02   #81
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

After dealing with one of these in a cottage for a number of years I would NEVER have one of these disgusting things on a boat!
Periodic maintenace on a normal head isn't fun, the regular cleaning out of one of these is repulsive, and I used to work with septic systems!
Then you have bags of toxic crap (literally) to dispose of after you shovelled out your "litter box", and leaning in to clean it out is just so much fun, rubber gloves up to your armpits in an attempt to stay clean.
Then there were the occasions it got infested with some kind of small flies, not often but it did happen.
More power to those that think they are great, good on you. I hate these things personally. IMO just different and more disgusting issues than a regualy head and tank.
Don't even ask about the time we discovered the vent fan on that thing failed during the week, you couldn't go in the cottage due to the stink. Guess who got to fix that? Wasn't even my cottage! The ex's.....
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Old 19-09-2015, 05:11   #82
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

After dealing with one of these in a cottage for a number of years I would NEVER have one of these disgusting things on a boat!
Periodic maintenace on a normal head isn't fun, the regular cleaning out of one of these is repulsive, and I used to work with septic systems!
Then you have bags of toxic crap (literally) to dispose of after you shovelled out your "litter box", and leaning in to clean it out is just so much fun, rubber gloves up to your armpits in an attempt to stay clean.
Then there were the occasions it got infested with some kind of small flies, not often but it did happen.
More power to those that think they are great, good on you. I hate these things personally. IMO just different and more disgusting issues than a regualy head and tank.
Don't even ask about the time we discovered the vent fan on that thing failed during the week, you couldn't go in the cottage due to the stink. Guess who got to fix that? Wasn't even my cottage! The ex's.....
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Old 19-09-2015, 05:31   #83
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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Originally Posted by Siberianhusky View Post
After dealing with one of these in a cottage for a number of years I would NEVER have one of these disgusting things on a boat!
Periodic maintenace on a normal head isn't fun, the regular cleaning out of one of these is repulsive, and I used to work with septic systems!
Then you have bags of toxic crap (literally) to dispose of after you shovelled out your "litter box", and leaning in to clean it out is just so much fun, rubber gloves up to your armpits in an attempt to stay clean.
Then there were the occasions it got infested with some kind of small flies, not often but it did happen.
More power to those that think they are great, good on you. I hate these things personally. IMO just different and more disgusting issues than a regualy head and tank.
Don't even ask about the time we discovered the vent fan on that thing failed during the week, you couldn't go in the cottage due to the stink. Guess who got to fix that? Wasn't even my cottage! The ex's.....
I have two fresh water toilets installed at the moment and both with holding tanks and have been considering replacing one of them with a composter in the future.We generally cruise or should I say anchor in areas that are total no discharge zones and MT the tanks off shore however I really do not like using the tanks and they are useless at most Marinas given the lack of pump outs therefore considering the composter.
While I obviously realised that I would be the one disposing of all the waste I had not considered the toxicity of the solid waste after a few weeks or so in the actual toilet.Is it really toxic and how difficult ,read potential spills,is it to bag or throw over the side in appropriate areas.
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Old 19-09-2015, 05:50   #84
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

From experience the stuff on the bottom MAY be partially decomposed, the stuff higher up is plain old turds. Plus unless you wait a while before emptying it the liquids make it a sodden mess in the bottom.
If you can't directly discharge your tank in an area I cannot see it being legal to dump the contents of a composting toilet overboard. What you put in it yesterday will not be broken down much at all! Just be peat covered turds!
Pretty disgusting to dump it in the garbage to let the trash collector deal with, then you have untreated sewage going into the landfill.
Maybe not exactly toxic but a bio hazard for sure. It's a bucket of poop, pee and peat moss! Some of it may be broken down, the more recent "deposits" - not so much.
Eventually what is in a composting toilet will break down and be "safe" to handle, not in the time lines we are talking about with regular use - takes more than a day or two.
We used to dig holes and dump it at a back corner or the property.
No simple solution to proper waste handling on a boat, guess it really depends on how "hands on" you want to be with your waste on a regular basis.
Sorry I have no idea why I ended up with that double post...
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Old 19-09-2015, 06:01   #85
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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From experience the stuff on the bottom MAY be partially decomposed, the stuff higher up is plain old turds. Plus unless you wait a while before emptying it the liquids make it a sodden mess in the bottom.

I thought the composting toilets somehow cause liquids to be separated out?

(The user has to aim each output? Dunno...)

-Chris
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Old 19-09-2015, 06:45   #86
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

Ours had a tray in the bottom, but the liquids still had to pass through the "mass" the reach to bottom, liquids would evapourate from this tray.
BUT if it's in everyday use the mass of peat and feces stays wet from the urine passing through it. Kind of a drip dry system. Figure each person putting a couple litres of liquid a day in it, 2 people = a gallon of pee. This is periodic as well, so the "mass" gets soaked numerous times a day.
When you would clean it every time the tray was partially full of nasty liquid.
If the mass didn't stay damp it wouldn't be composting. It would just be a turd dryer!
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Old 19-09-2015, 07:24   #87
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

Siberianhusky, you evidently have no experience with an Air head, Natures head or a C head composting head, what you describe has no relevance to the composting heads that are spoken of in this thread, research just a little before you post nonsense.
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Old 19-09-2015, 07:29   #88
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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Originally Posted by Siberianhusky View Post
Ours had a tray in the bottom, but the liquids still had to pass through the "mass" the reach to bottom, liquids would evapourate from this tray.
BUT if it's in everyday use the mass of peat and feces stays wet from the urine passing through it. Kind of a drip dry system. Figure each person putting a couple litres of liquid a day in it, 2 people = a gallon of pee. This is periodic as well, so the "mass" gets soaked numerous times a day.
When you would clean it every time the tray was partially full of nasty liquid.
If the mass didn't stay damp it wouldn't be composting. It would just be a turd dryer!
O.k. This is absolutely not the way composting heads such as the Nature's Head, Airhead, or C-head work. Before you go bashing something so vigorously, you really should educate yourself as to the subject matter.

The Nature's Head (which is what our boat has) has two completely separate containers for the urine and the feces. The two never co-mingle. That's the key. There is no "drip dry" system. Urine goes in the bottle in the front, feces goes in the container in the back which is half-filled with peat moss or coir (we use coir) to prep it. By the time you empty the feces container, it is indistinguishable from the peat moss or coir. Even if you had to poop that morning, you can't tell.

I know it's hard to believe, but there is no issue - no smell, no grossness. If there's a smell, then you're doing something wrong. There is no need to wear "gloves up to your armpits" to empty the feces container. Simply put a garbage bag over it, turn it upside down, and you're done.

Of course the system you're describing smelled. Urine and feces mixed together = sewage. Hmmm. Kind of like a holding tank for a traditional head.
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Old 19-09-2015, 07:29   #89
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

This is not how the Airhead or Natures head works. The urine is diverted into a separate container. The main bin is mostly dry with very little moisture. This is why it does not have much smell.
Is emptying the bin any more "toxic" than dirty diapers (for infants and adults), toilet paper, sanitary napkins, band aids, and snot rags going into a trash can along with rotting food waste?
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Old 19-09-2015, 07:30   #90
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Re: Composting heads for long term Cruising?

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I thought the composting toilets somehow cause liquids to be separated out?

(The user has to aim each output? Dunno...)

-Chris
You're correct. There is a separate container for the liquid. No need to aim, but men do need to sit. Then the urine flows naturally to the front container, which is the liquid container.
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