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Old 11-01-2012, 15:52   #16
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Re: Composting Toilet.....

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Which one do you have? I am leaning toward the c-head (size/simplicity/$) but would love some more info on options. thx!
We have owned both the Airhead and the Naturehead. We prefer the Natureshead as the urine container is larger, it's a lot easier to remove the urine and solids container and I like the looks of it better. Nothing wrong with the Airhead though. We met the designer and owner of the Chead, really nice guy. We considered it but we would have to dump the solids ounce a week compared to once a month with the Natureshead.
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Old 11-01-2012, 15:52   #17
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Re: Composting Toilet.....

C-Head
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Old 11-01-2012, 15:52   #18
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Re: Composting Toilet.....

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... Somewhere out there in cyber space there's a company that sells separator lids. You provide the rest.
Now that is an excellent notion. I see that c-head sells just the separator top/lid. Might be easier to route the wet lane going the DIY route. Thanks very much for the info!!
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Old 11-01-2012, 16:09   #19
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Re: Composting Toilet.....

For Peg Hall,

This is from memory, so may be wrong...

For on board treatment systems, are not the specifications couched in words like "to be ok for discharge the effluent must contain less than xx coliform bacteria per millilitre"?

If this is so, wouldn't urine be ok at all times, since it contains zero coliform bacteria?

Just curious...

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Old 12-01-2012, 10:42   #20
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Re: Composting Toilet.....

For on board treatment systems, are not the specifications couched in words like "to be ok for discharge the effluent must contain less than xx coliform bacteria per millilitre"?

Not quite the exact wording, but you're correct in your thinking.

If this is so, wouldn't urine be ok at all times, since it contains zero coliform bacteria?

No...for two reasons.

1. US marine sanitation laws don't distinguish between urine and solid waste...they prohibit the discharge ("includes, but is not limited to, any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, or dumping") of sewage ("human body wastes and the wastes from toilets and other receptacles intended to receive or retain body wastes). That covers it on two fronts: "Body wastes" includes urine and the urine jugs are "receptacles intended to receive or retain body wastes."

2. For waste to be considered "treated" waste, it has BE treated by a CG certified Type I or Type II MSD (treatment device)...urine jugs aren't treatment devices.

So no matter whether it's liquid or solid, if it passes through you, into any container, they gotcha. And btw...I'm just the messenger, so if you want to argue with any of it, take it up with the EPA. You'll find all the definitions I referenced if you google 33 CFR 159.3 They're also at 40 CFR 140.1 All the application laws and standards are in those two parts of the CFR.

Fwiw, even though urine is "sterile," it's not quite as harmless to the environment as most people believe...it's loaded with nutrients, creating a fairly high BOD. That's an argument the "no discharge" proponents try to use against treatment, but treatment actually reduces BOD by at least 35%. The nutrient loading from the LectraSan, ElectroScan or PuraSan has less impact than 4 leaves falling off an oak tree into the water.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:50   #21
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Re: Composting Toilet.....

Hum, I had a link to all of 'em, but it no longer works...nor do most of the links in the whole Canadian gvt. website any more...it seems to be in the midst of a complete overhaul. I spent over two hours yesterday trying to find a new one that works and finally gave up...but not before I sent a couple of emails asking for that info...hopefully, one will reply, but I'm not counting on it. However, if you google Georgia Strait Alliance and/or B.C. provincial park anchorages, you'll be able to find info applicable to Desolation Sound...it's place to start.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:32   #22
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Re: Composting Toilet.....

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Hum, I had a link to all of 'em, but it no longer works...nor do most of the links in the whole Canadian gvt. website any more...it seems to be in the midst of a complete overhaul. I spent over two hours yesterday trying to find a new one that works and finally gave up...but not before I sent a couple of emails asking for that info...hopefully, one will reply, but I'm not counting on it. However, if you google Georgia Strait Alliance and/or B.C. provincial park anchorages, you'll be able to find info applicable to Desolation Sound...it's place to start.
The Georgia Strait Alliance is an environmental group and has nothing to do with laws federal or provincial.

The ocean waters aren't provincial though in a very few limited cases they manage a field of mooring buoys but in almost all cases that has no impact on anchored boats except in the rare case where anchoring isn't permitted to protect the bottom.

There is a federal law that covers dumping garbage, sewage, oily bilge water, etc. and the DFO designates certain areas of lower flow as areas of special attention. Tides of the 17 foot range mean most areas are flushed twice a day. As far as I'm concerned none of it impacts dumping a bottle of urine overboard, leaglly or otherwise.

Provincial fresh water regulations are a different bailiwick but not applicable to us in BC since none are cruising waters.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:11   #23
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Re: Composting Toilet.....

You've obviously made up your mind and would reject any facts if I can find them again...so I won't waste any more of my time searching for 'em.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:20   #24
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Re: Composting Toilet.....

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You've obviously made up your mind and would reject any facts if I can find them again...so I won't waste any more of my time searching for 'em.
Show me some facts. All you've done so far is through out what appears like speculation, particularly to someone who has anchor at many of the parks you appear to be talking about.
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Old 19-06-2012, 17:43   #25
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Re: Composting Toilet.....

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Don't know about Aussie law, but US marine sanitation laws don't distinguish between solid and liquid waste...it's just as illegal todischarge ("includes, but is not limited to, any spilling, leaking, pouring, pumping, emitting, emptying, or dumping") urine alone inside the "3 mile limit" as it is to dump a tank. So carrying the jugs ashore to empty 'em is the only legal way.

However, that doesn't seem to prevent at least 95% of the owners of these systems (which, btw, are actually dessicators, not composters) from pouring 'em over the side anyway. If they couldn't do that any more...had to start carrying the jugs ashore all the time, the popularity of these devices would drop like a rock.
I would point out that owners of boats with holding tanks (especially males) also urinate into jugs and pour them overboard to extend the capacity of their holding tanks. It eliminates not only the urine but the water it takes to flush it with. The greatest advantage of compact mouldering toilets (CMTs) is that they reduce the problems with odor significantly, are easy to maintain and retrofit and also allow you to store a large amount of waste for a long period of time, which is a big advantage when cruising in sensitive areas like the Keys, and rivers and bays along the coasts. For these reasons, CMTs are often more desirable than holding tank systems and will probably be with us for a long time.
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Old 20-06-2012, 05:23   #26
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Re: Composting Toilet

I agree with Peg Hall. People who have composting heads are probably more than likely to pour the urine overboard rather than take it to a shore side facility. I admit it, I do. But then man has been peeing in the ocean for as long as man has walked upright. Is it ideal? No. Is it better than so many that often dump 40 to 100's of gallons of sludge from holding tanks treated and untreated within or outside the 3 mile limit. I'm guessing most folks would see the difference.
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Old 20-06-2012, 07:40   #27
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Re: Composting Toilet

There is no doubt that boat owners with holding tanks dump their holding tanks illegally. Some regularly, some only in emergencies. Sometimes you arrive with an overflowing holding tank at that lone outpost marina, just to find out that their pumpout service is OOS. That makes it easy to justify a midnite dump. We had someone at our marina who dumped while in the slip regularly. You could smell it but you couldn't tell who it was.

A single illegal dumping creates more pollution in 15 minutes than a CMT owner would by pouring their pee overboard during the entire life of the product. BTW, you can't dump pre-composted material overboard without incriminating yourself since most of it will float. It is much easier just to sneak below and open the Y-valve for a few minutes. That, plus the fact that there is no emergent need to empty your waste with a CMT, giving the owners little reason to break the law or pollute the water.
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Old 03-08-2012, 21:43   #28
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Re: Composting Toilet

We recently purchased and installed a C-Head, and so far, we're content with it. There is no odor, and operation is uh, dirt-simple.
Despite wonderful advice from Peggie Hall, I just couldn't wrap my poor little mind around the idea of holding tanks and pumpouts and pumpout logbooks- Ugh, ugh, ugh. Besides, I'm sensitive to smells, and many boats, otherwise beautifully maintained, just plain stink. The ones that macerate, treat and dump, are now illegal in our pristine NC waters. (WHAT factory hog farms just upstream?)

One thing that attracted me to the C-head was the fact that the pee bottle is simply a one-gallon milk jug, of which we have an ample supply. Cheap. The cap screws on securely. Dump it overboard? Perish the thought. Once back at home port, or at a marina, the jug(s) can be emptied onto appreciative azalea bushes, emptied into a regular toilet or tossed into the dumpster. The crewmember who is appropriately plumbed does on occasion take a notion on a dark night to head for the lee rail... direct urine deposits are completely legal, as I understand it. The C-head comes with an extra five-gallon bucket to store the dessicated poop/peat mixture, and the manufacturer recommends emptying the toilet receptacle into it once a week, which, he says, avoids the fly problems some users report with such systems.

There was a choice for a regular or elongated seat, and I just picked the elongated one at random. Not the best idea, as it doesn't really fit the base as well as might be desired. Not a big deal, just looks a little slapdash. This may change, as the manufacturer does seem to welcome feedback, and modify his product accordingly.

Another thing: If you are male, and your whole he-man self-concept is inextricably linked to standing to pee, you might want to go with a conventional head and put up with the hassles of dealing with raw sewage. The separation of waste doesn't work well if the urine stream isn't aimed just right. Sitting down works much better.

Another advantage of the C-head is size. The throne is just the right height, no step-up or headroom problems. Emptying the bucket, replacing the pee-jug are both quite easy to accomplish without undue stress or effort.
At half the price of the other two leading contenders, the price is good, too.
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Old 04-08-2012, 00:22   #29
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Re: Composting Toilet

I don't get the freakiness of people with the whole dumping urine thing. Urine is 95% water. Greater than 95% actually. And primarily organic compounds. From the ever helpful Internet:

"Exhaustive detailed description of the composition of human urine can be found in NASA Contractor Report No. NASA CR-1802, D. F. Putnam, July 1971... Urine is an aqueous solution of greater than 95% water, with the remaining constituents, in order of decreasing concentration urea 9.3 g/L, chloride 1.87 g/L, sodium 1.17 g/L, potassium 0.750 g/L, creatinine 0.670 g/L and other dissolved ions, inorganic and organic compounds."

The effect of pouring urine into the Ocean is beyond neglegible. The effect of dumping a mess of poo soup and chemicals on the other hand...
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:14   #30
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Re: Composting Toilet

Right. It makes absolutely no sense not to simply pour the contents of the jug overboard. Healthy urine is entirely sterile. But the fines for doing so, if you get caught, are draconian. The sticking point is the use of a container. Direct deposits are legal. Dump the same quantity of warm pee out of a clean bottle, and you're befouling the seas. Sexist stupid law.
In any case, as we're only partway through this interminable process of building a boat from scratch, we're new to the whole marine head experience. We haven't gone farther from our own dock than some pretty-afternoon adventures and a couple of overnight 'camping' trips, but we're pleased with the C-head so far.
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