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Old 04-02-2010, 08:34   #106
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US CG ?

Hi GordMay,

I have read the excerpts that you specify, what do they mean? can you or can you not discharge urine?
It is not a problem if not, it is easy to store long term and there are plenty of shoreside disposal points (public toilets, marina / dockside toilets ect).

When I spoke to a member of the Florida (Fort Lauderdale) CG I was told that urine was not a problem as it does not exceed the particulate requirements.

As I am not American what advise do you have please?

Thanks

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Old 04-02-2010, 08:46   #107
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I believe the Natures Head (and composting toilets) is considered a type111 which requires "no discharge" inside the limmit. EPA and therefore USCG are also concerned about addition of nutrients and resulting blooms and water 'quality'.
Being approved as a type 111 means dump your pee in an aproved facility like a toilet ashore.
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Old 04-02-2010, 18:00   #108
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I noticed early on that if you try to store urine in a container it will almost immediately acquire an unpleasant odor. I have read that some have tried adding sugar, an idea that I find somehow distasteful and haven't tried. While others have suggested dish-soap, which I tried and wasn't impressed with. What I have found that actually works, and works well, is chlorine bleach. I really haven't figured out any ratios or anything, but it kills the odor.I started out with about a quart of water and a half cup of bleach in a large kitty litter bottle. I added a little more bleach when I detected a slight odor after the bottle was half full or so.
I don't know if adding bleach to the pee bottle is going to bother the fish, but I believe chlorine will evaporate pretty quickly if left exposed to the atmosphere if one is worried about it.

I understand that this is an unpleasant and uncomfortable subject for many. I'm sorry if discussions like this bother anybody. At the same time, I feel strongly that they are important.
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Old 04-02-2010, 18:35   #109
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I believe the Natures Head (and composting toilets) is considered a type111 which requires "no discharge" inside the limmit. EPA and therefore USCG are also concerned about addition of nutrients and resulting blooms and water 'quality'.
Being approved as a type 111 means dump your pee in an aproved facility like a toilet ashore.
We have an Air Head and I've always just dumped the pee overboard. It's always been my understanding that urine is essentially sterile so I'm not sure what the big deal is. Besides, I'm told the CG has no problem with you urinating over the side (local indecency laws may be another thing) so why would they have a problem with dumping the pee jug overboard?
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Old 04-02-2010, 20:09   #110
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I normally just pee over the side.
But I do believe you aren't supposed to discharge a type 3 head within the limits. I also believe that the composting heads qualify as type 3 heads.
And personally, I would dump the pee down the sink and not worry about it.
The question was about what is legal, not what makes sense.
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Old 04-02-2010, 20:20   #111
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There are people who drink their own pee. I guess they haven't discovered alcohol ... or maybe they just ran out. Anyway, if people drink it it's probably OK for fish.
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Old 04-02-2010, 21:01   #112
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The fish themselves use the ocean. Just about every municipality has to overflow it's treatment facilities at one point during a years time. Agriculture looses tons of fertilizer in run off to the streams and rivers that dump into the ocean. Storm drains aren't even attempted to be treated. Heads that add enough biocide to their efluent and grind it up so as not to be recognized are legal to discharge inside the limmits (in some places). It isn't what makes sense that nescessarily governs the laws. And we don't have the liberty to decde how to interperate them. Dumping a type 3 head inside the limmits is to the USCG like deciding to go through a stop sign because there aren't any cars coming is to a local cop. Sure, I agree, dump the pee. You would just let 'r go if you were swimming, right? But the boys in orange have a set of rules to go by. See the link GordMay has in his post a few back. It is from Nature's Head's website and is the certification document from the USCG concerning the crteria for different types of heads. You will notice that they have hiighlited in yellow under type three head where the unit fits. If you go to the USCG site you will see the rules and limmits whithin which you can't discharge a type three head. That little pee bottle is a holding tank. So is the solids container. I believe if the pee bottle qualified as a type 2 or type 1 they would be more than happy to say so in their litterature. Both Airhead and Nature's head say to dump the solids and the pee bottle in an approved facility unless outside of the limmits. I do believe it is the law. If it makes sense or not doesn't really matter to the USCG. They aren't supposed to take the liberty to interperate the law but are meant to enforce it. Now if you get technical, holding tanks are supposed to be at ambient presure so if you put that top that comes with the pee bottle on it (unless it is vented) to cary it ashore, it doesn't qualify anymore! Shhhh! don't let em catch ya! Better off dumping it down the sink!
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Old 04-02-2010, 22:16   #113
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In Canada we don't have such laws. Truth is there isn't that many pumpouts so it's an "everybody be on their best behavior please" sort of situation. As a cautionary footnote 80% of men found drowned are found with their zipper down. Amongst sport fishermen they usually have alcohol in their bloodstream. It's much safer to pee in a bottle.
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Old 05-02-2010, 05:12   #114
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I understand that there is probably a "technically" correct answer here and the CG is suppose to follow it but in actuality do they? Has anyone ever hear of someone getting a fine for dumping the pee overboard? And what are the chances they would even observe it happening? This all makes me wonder about the guy with no head at all onboard. If you just use a bucket for a head (isn't that what Lin and Larry Pardey have?) what does the CG say about that?
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:00   #115
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I looked at a boat that was originally built in Canada recently that had direct discharge heads. As I understand it, to make it legal for US waters, it has to have iether the discharge disconnected or a seacock installed that can be sealed with "not easily removeble" means in the closed possition, ie, a lock or zip ties.(Or holding tanks with the same aragngement on the overboard dicharge line) This is the situation that lead me to the composting head. Because there are no holding tanks it is easy to see all the storage they would remove. Then the advantages of longer intervals between discharge, smell, the need for less through hulls, yada yada. Now, especially after hearing from those who have them here, I am pretty sure I will instal one regardless.
I have read some second or possibly third hand accounts of them being removed because of dissatisfaction but the reasons didn't really add up and they were second hand accounts. One problem that did make sense was that when installed athwartship and used on the wrong tack while underway, the urine wouldn't go down it's way and would go into the solids chamber if openned. Has anyone had that experience? Fore and aft installation would take care of the problem but might require more substantial redo of the interior. The other accout was of a fly problem in the boat after being left unattended for a time. Doesn't make sense to me if the fan is running and the filters are in place (on the Natures Head anyway). Any bad experiences with these things anyone?
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:20   #116
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I
I have read some second or possibly third hand accounts of them being removed because of dissatisfaction but the reasons didn't really add up and they were second hand accounts. One problem that did make sense was that when installed athwartship and used on the wrong tack while underway, the urine wouldn't go down it's way and would go into the solids chamber if openned. Has anyone had that experience? Fore and aft installation would take care of the problem but might require more substantial redo of the interior. The other accout was of a fly problem in the boat after being left unattended for a time. Doesn't make sense to me if the fan is running and the filters are in place (on the Natures Head anyway). Any bad experiences with these things anyone?
I did a lot of research before we bought the Nature's Head. I found only one first hand account of someone removing their composting toilet. And from his description of the problem I don't think he was using it properly.
Our toilet is mounted athwart ship on the port side and it is a problem on starboard tack in heavy wind. The pee doesn't go down the solids chamber, at least if the seal is good, but it doesn't all go down the liquid drain either. So far that is our biggest complaint, and it is fairly minor compared to what we put up with using a holding tank system. I haven't found any head that's fun to use when well heeled in heavy wind.
No flies, and that doesn't make sense to me either.
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Old 05-02-2010, 14:56   #117
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Heads should always have the occupant facing fore and aft. Far more comfortable. Anything else is simply bad design.
Friends who stopped in San Diego were asked about their holding tank. They showed the Coastguard the bucket. Coastguard laughed.
Later they took their bucket of shit to the pump out facility, and asked them to pump it for them. Attendant said the pump out was broken. My friend asked the cop standing here what he should do with it. The cop did a quick look around to see if anyone was listening then said " Just throw it overboard when no ones looking."
Tolstoi said every freedom loving person has a moral duty to disobey unjust laws. One would have to be incredibly dense to get caught dumping the pee bottle down a cockpit drain in the night.
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Old 05-02-2010, 15:06   #118
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If you absolutely can't time dumping the solids during a sail offshore (60 uses!) then bagging it and throwing it in the trash makes the most sense to me. Sure, once again, not legal to dispose human waste in the landfill but no one has gone after the disposable diaper users and no one would know anyway. Pee? dump it down the sink in broad daylight with the cutter along side and they wouldn't know.
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:31   #119
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I noticed early on that if you try to store urine in a container it will almost immediately acquire an unpleasant odor. I have read that some have tried adding sugar, an idea that I find somehow distasteful and haven't tried. While others have suggested dish-soap, which I tried and wasn't impressed with. What I have found that actually works, and works well, is chlorine bleach. I really haven't figured out any ratios or anything, but it kills the odor.I started out with about a quart of water and a half cup of bleach in a large kitty litter bottle. I added a little more bleach when I detected a slight odor after the bottle was half full or so.
I don't know if adding bleach to the pee bottle is going to bother the fish, but I believe chlorine will evaporate pretty quickly if left exposed to the atmosphere if one is worried about it.

I understand that this is an unpleasant and uncomfortable subject for many. I'm sorry if discussions like this bother anybody. At the same time, I feel strongly that they are important.
Liquid dishwashing detergent works well.
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Old 10-02-2010, 14:51   #120
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Folks, this is one of the all-time best threads on this forum.

Many thanks to all contributors.

I've used composting heads before, but never dreamed that they could work in a boat. This is more than just a little interesting to me.

Question: How temperature sensitive are these boat composters? I have friends wintering in Alaska on their boats, and I've considered doing something similar. Does the composter generate its own heat so it works even in cold air temperatures? I don't heat the boat at night or any time I'm off the boat, so boat temperature is not always warm.

TIA.
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