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Old 04-08-2012, 06:44   #31
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Re: Composting Toilet

Wear an overcoat, sling the liquids container from a loop of webbing around the neck. Stand at lee rail and direct stream of liquid over the side. Smile & wave cheerfully at onlookers. Ignore comments about amazingly rapid flow or large capacity. Procedure not recommended for female crew.

And the composting potty is a brilliant idea....scratch the plumbing and tankage and pumping and stinkage from the design. The bonus of being able to use coconut fibre, sawdust or dried leaves is fantastic. One could even have a couple of secret gardens scattered about in one's favourite cruising location, with compost heap of course. Lovely flowers, and magnificent pumpkins, passionfruit, and grapes.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:29   #32
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Re: Composting Toilet

I have been using my homemade composting heads in both the boat and in my home's garage for nearly two years now. It's been a learning experience, but I will never willingly go back to the water wasting habits that I was conditioned to believe in all my life.

I also have a stand alone, odorless urinal that I made for the garage. The contents are added to the compost pile. It is a very simple thing that utilizes a trap made from an old wine making airlock and a bio-char filter for the displaced air to pass through.
It has entirely eliminated any odor problems that I had when using the simple jug method.
If anyone is interested, I will post some pictures.

Steve
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:04   #33
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Re: Composting Toilet

DIY certainly appeals....please post pictures (of construction of urinal)
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:10   #34
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Re: Composting Toilet

Quote:
Originally Posted by knothead View Post
I have been using my homemade composting heads in both the boat and in my home's garage for nearly two years now. It's been a learning experience, but I will never willingly go back to the water wasting habits that I was conditioned to believe in all my life.

I also have a stand alone, odorless urinal that I made for the garage. The contents are added to the compost pile. It is a very simple thing that utilizes a trap made from an old wine making airlock and a bio-char filter for the displaced air to pass through.
It has entirely eliminated any odor problems that I had when using the simple jug method.
If anyone is interested, I will post some pictures.

Steve

I'm interested!
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:36   #35
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Re: Composting Toilet

Free standing, homemade, odorless urinal.
Hopefully the pictures are self explanitory. But I would be happy to answer any questions about it.
I was just amazed at how well it stops the odor from the urine. Even after it's days and days old.
It's a simple matter to replace the bio-char, but so far, (after a month or so), I haven't had the need to.
I have only changed the char once and that was for the purpose of taking the pictures.

The only time I have to deal with any odor is when I pour it onto my compost pile and that only takes a couple of seconds and I try to stand up wind. .
I usually sprinkle the pile with my watering can after emptying the jug and then the pile doesn't even smell.



























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Old 04-08-2012, 12:03   #36
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Re: Composting Toilet

Thanks for the pics and all the trouble.

Biochar? Can that be homemade from charcoal?
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:33   #37
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Re: Composting Toilet

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Thanks for the pics and all the trouble.

Biochar? Can that be homemade from charcoal?

I use my yard waste to make bio-char. I have been experimenting for a few years with different types of stoves. The idea is to burn the stuff using a method called pyrolysis.

Pyrolysis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

When the stoves work properly, you get a smoke free fire and when the gasification is complete, the remaining charcoal gets extinguished. So you end up with a carbon negative fire and bio-char.

Biochar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The bio-char is a great soil additive and I mainly use it by pulverizing it and adding it to the sawdust for cover material for the composting toilet.

Here is a video of one of my early stoves in action.

Cooking with a ten gallon TLUD - YouTube
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Old 04-08-2012, 13:39   #38
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Re: Composting Toilet

Very interesting and profitable indeed! I was considering using a 44gal drum full of scrap wood over a small fire, with a teeny hole in the top for making charcoal....after the brew gets going, direct the gases from out of the drum to underneath it, to self-fuel the charring...as usual, someone somewhere has done it already and is better at it. Brainpicking in progress....but actual physical experiments will have to wait until I get back to Aussie....here in regulation-mad Germany, I'd likely be roasted alive over my own charcoal.
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Old 04-08-2012, 14:30   #39
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Re: Composting Toilet

Some pics of my home-built composting system which I use at home. A bit bulky for most boats, but same principal. Made of readily available components. Actual toilet is a marine head with manual pump removed. Plumbed to water for very low volume flush, but will probably convert to dry in the future (w/out the marine head).

Just removed 5 gallons of beautiful rich soil from this unit after about 1 year use by a couple and about 4 months to finish. It is a "batch" type system so you swap out the compost bins periodically (6 months+) and set one aside to finish the composting process.
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Old 04-08-2012, 14:38   #40
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Re: Composting Toilet

We used to use composting toilets in Nat Parks in Qld, early '90's. They were built on a platform, usually on a hillside, with a large compartment underneath for the mulch. Learning about the marine type and how compact they are has sold me on the idea.

I think it was the Nature's head site that stated using the mulch or liquids on gardens for edible produce was not good. I fail to understand why....a good reason somewhere behind it, or foolishnessP Some examples of official foolishness from around here: bananas must have a certain degree of bend, and water is not suitable for treating dehydration in humans (this is the EU). Not sure what inanities the EPA forces on you over there. People have been using poo and pee for fertiliser for a long time now....over here, they use cow poo mixed with water; springtime plowing really stinks! I was of the idea that a cruiser in out of the way places could periodically tend some discreet gardens on uninhabited islands or really remote shorelines, for fresh produce. Rather than dumping that fine compost in the sea, once could use it on the garden, even letting it compost even further on land before use. Probably much safer than even the water I get out of the tap here....at least no estrogen from all the anti-baby pills, and packaging plastics, that can't be filtered.......

p.s. Thanks belize...looks like it could be made to fit on a 46' easily...another addition to the micahfile courtesy of CF. I'll certainly have to devote one of my watertanks to storing a few cruiserloads of decent rum....asking every boat I meet out on the sea "are you on CF? Who are you there? Like a drink or two by way of thanks?"
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Old 04-08-2012, 14:53   #41
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Re: Composting Toilet

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....
I think it was the Nature's head site that stated using the mulch or liquids on gardens for edible produce was not good. I fail to understand why....a good reason somewhere behind it....
The composting process actually kills disease bearing pathogens. So finished (fully composted) material is fine to use on edible produce. While the compost is certainly bioligically active it is free from harmful pathogens. There have been very detailed studies to back this up.

Good to use on edible produce and, scientifically at least, fine to dump overboard. However, I suspect legally there would be issues with discharging.

See The Humanure Handbook - Center of the Humanure Universe for everything you ever wanted to know about composting human waste and then some.
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Old 04-08-2012, 14:57   #42
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Re: Composting Toilet

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...

p.s. Thanks belize...looks like it could be made to fit on a 46' easily...another addition to the micahfile courtesy of CF. I'll certainly have to devote one of my watertanks to storing a few cruiserloads of decent rum....asking every boat I meet out on the sea "are you on CF? Who are you there? Like a drink or two by way of thanks?"
The design could certainly be modified for a boat. Just use a compost bin that is not so tall and mount the seat above it -- essentially this is what the commercial units are, but just in a nicely finished product. Given that all the workings of mine are installed in a first floor bodega I don't have to make them pretty.

A detail which is not shown in the pictures is the vent tube. This branches off a "Y" in the 4" PVC leading into the compost bin and then outside of the house. I have installed a PC cooling fan inside the tube to help ventilate the system -- good for keeping the compost pile aerated and reducing any odors.

The compost bin size on my system is way overkill. Those big blue plastic drums are just what is readily available. Its never been more than about 1/3 full and that is after adding another layer of organic material to help bulk-up/aerate the compost. Composting dramatically reduces volume.

Another reason to go smaller with the bin: Moist compost material weighs a lot. If my bin were over about 1/3 full then it could be a challenge for one person to handle.
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Old 04-08-2012, 15:47   #43
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Re: Composting Toilet

The vent would be imho the only tricky bit about the whole installation.....but an emergency sealable deck vent is more attractive to me than a pumpout fitting or a throughhull. Or many gallons of sewage sloshing about in a tank. There you are, I don't need to worry about stains on the topsides from an above-waterline exit-throughhull after all! The only thing coming out of it now would be grey water.

We get plenty of empty paint buckets in our work, the 25L kind. 20L or so of compost wouldn't weigh anywhere near 25kg, and they have nice resealable lids. Just get friendly with some painters or go scout around food processing companies, you're likely to find a good source of various handy containers.

Belize, those blue plastic drums are very nice obtanium indeed. How do you empty yours?

And if anyone complains about dumping of well-composted leaflitter, point out the difference between that and raw holding-tank sludge with chemicals and whatnot in it.

Btw, how big are whale-droppings? I'd like to see a naive econut try to explain to an evil non-vegan orca that dumping untreated poo in the ocean is naughty. Might be as amusing as the polar bear that appreciated the "activist" fighting for his rights so much he ate him. One way of supporting the wildlife, I guess....
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:34   #44
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Re: Composting Toilet

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The vent would be imho the only tricky bit about the whole installation.....but an emergency sealable deck vent is more attractive to me than a pumpout fitting or a throughhull. Or many gallons of sewage sloshing about in a tank. There you are, I don't need to worry about stains on the topsides from an above-waterline exit-throughhull after all! The only thing coming out of it now would be grey water.

...
Belize, those blue plastic drums are very nice obtanium indeed. How do you empty yours?

...
Can someone with one of the commercial units tell us how they vent? I know they come with fans -- do they vent outside or maybe vent through a charcoal filter inside?

I have a very sophisticated method for emptying the big blue drums, fist set aside for a few months to finish, then...pull the lid off and flip the drum upside down!
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:27   #45
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Re: Composting Toilet

The recommendations on the NH site was for a vent out of the deck, they mentioned using the old pump out hole. I'm now thinking of an alternate backup vent in case the boat has to button up. Maybe up the mast...
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