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Old 23-11-2007, 11:52   #16
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Last year I was searching for composting toilets and discovered Nature's Head in the USA. I have received notification that they are available from Scotland.

Nature's Head Europe - Composting Toilets

Useful additional facilities for cruising folk. My need is land based.

Pericles
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Old 26-11-2007, 05:44   #17
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Thanks for the info, David, I will give it some thought. I wanted something simple, without the need for through-hull openings. I have a lot of experience with composting and thought this can be a viable option but I would like to talk to people who used a composting toilet for an extended period of time.
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Old 26-11-2007, 11:18   #18
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Thanks for the info, David, I will give it some thought. I wanted something simple, without the need for through-hull openings. I have a lot of experience with composting and thought this can be a viable option but I would like to talk to people who used a composting toilet for an extended period of time.
Kris..your welcome.

So that leaves me wondering. What do you plan on doing with the solid matter? Composting does not make it disappear. It either has to go into the ocean, onto the land or into the air. How do you plan on getting it off the boat without a thru-hull fitting other than a vacuum pump at a pumpout station?
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Old 26-11-2007, 12:05   #19
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So that leaves me wondering. What do you plan on doing with the solid matter? Composting does not make it disappear. It either has to go into the ocean, onto the land or into the air. How do you plan on getting it off the boat without a thru-hull fitting other than a vacuum pump at a pumpout station?
Maybe it sounds naive, but I was thinking of simply depositing the composted "stuff" somewhere on land, like in the woods or fields. You know... drop the anchor, take out the toilet drawer, paddle up to the shore, empty it out, and go back... I think some of "it" may not be fully composted when disposed of (I'm planning to go heavy on the pit moss), but it seems better then dealing with regular wet toilets and the pumpout stations (probably a lot cheaper too).
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Old 26-11-2007, 12:26   #20
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Yuck!... I sure as hell would not want that dumped on my property or any public lands. . You are going to be hauling a LOT of waste by hand. I think the most environmentally friendly and legal way would be a pumpout station. This way the waste gets put where it is supposed to go.

There are enzymes you can put in your holding tank to start the decomposition process.

It is illegal to charge money to pump out sewage and all marinas here are required to have pumpout stations that are available to any boat, at least in California. This encourages people to dispose of it legally and in an environmentally sound way.
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Old 26-11-2007, 12:35   #21
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Well, that is the general idea when dealing with marine toilets but at this point I am just gathering information. Who knows, I may decide on a different option in the end.
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Old 26-11-2007, 12:40   #22
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Get the right head, don't put the wrong stuff down it and you won't have problems. I have never had any problems with mine, other than the seals and valves getting old and needing replacing...but thats after 5 years of heavy use. It has never clogged.

It's the cheap plastic heads that are going to give you never ending problems.

http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|51|806|315137&id=213824
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Old 26-11-2007, 18:35   #23
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A new solution!

Adapt this to the pulpit or pushpit and you can have your head at the head or at the tail. No storage, treatment or discharge of waste is necessary.
eBay Motors: PORTABLE TOILET Attaches To 2" Receiver Hitch Car/Truck (item 140041915733 end time Dec-07-07 16:46:10 PST)
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Old 26-11-2007, 18:53   #24
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Adapt this to the pulpit or pushpit and you can have your head at the head or at the tail. No storage, treatment or discharge of waste is necessary.
eBay Motors: PORTABLE TOILET Attaches To 2" Receiver Hitch Car/Truck (item 140041915733 end time Dec-07-07 16:46:10 PST)
And there is one person that has actually bought one for 93 bucks.
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Old 26-06-2008, 22:08   #25
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Old 27-06-2008, 01:32   #26
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A good compost has the right bacteria eating up all the stuff that can cause problems, including viruses. Adding it back to the soil at some stage gives the fertility and structure back to the soil and is much better than having it end up eventually as ocean outfall, no matter how expensively it is treated, and much less likely to cause disease than the occasional mulfunctioning sewerage system. We have used one on our property down the coast and is so much less problem than a neighbour's wet system which has an overflow across our common driveway. We work on a batch system where when we have filled up one bucket, we add worm farm worms to it and leave it closed off for a few months and then tip it into a shallow trench around our fruit trees. No smell and rely on the natural ventilation except when actually on it , when we use the fan. I will certainly use a similar system on board. For short time cruising, simply have a porta potty size system that you take back home with you.
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:46   #27
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I installed an airhead composting toilet in small trimaran I owned. It was expensive, but I thought the savings in weight and space was worth it. Instead of using their urine collection bottle, I used a 3-gallon holding tank which filled by gravity and could be hand pumped out when and where appropriate. This worked very well.

I used the toilet and boat on a 6-day cruise in SE Florida and then seven week long cruise to the Bahamas. All in all, I was fairly pleased. I experienced less odor than most boats equipped with holding tanks. The little electricity needed to power the small exhaust fan was hardly noticable, even on an outboard driven boat producing little power.

After the 6-day cruise, I simply let it continue to composte without turning until spring arrived. At that time, the contents were dirt and there was no odor and not even any toilet paper visible. On the longer cruise, I had to empty it twice. Being able to hold for 2-3 weeks with only a few pounds of weight and five gallons of space was a vast improvement over even most large holding tanks. This time frame allows one many options to find a place to legally dump. If one hasn't let it sit, all the contents will not be composted, but much will, so one is dumping a lot less raw sewage than with a traditional holding tank system. Ideally, it would be nice to let it compost a few days after the last use, but his isn't possible on a long-term cruising boat with only one head. The composting kept up fine with two people using it, but I question if it would be able to keep up with four or more using it on a regular basis.

The only maintenance issue I had with the unit was the fan. A small amount of water coming in through the vent can short it out, so I recommend you carry a few spares.

Personally, I think the airhead composting toilet is a great choice for pocket cruisers on short trips or someone keeping a boat near their home on an inland lake, where one can swap out the lower units and let them continue to compost off the boat. However, for larger boats, where the weight and space of a holding tank is less of an issue, I'd stick with a conventional marine head. Personally, I like the convenience of the gravity feed tanks that can be easily emptied where legal and appropriate with the simple turn of a valve.
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Old 04-07-2008, 14:45   #28
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I posted this link on another thread... looks pretty nice...

Narrowboats - Composting Toilet World

mm
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Old 17-07-2008, 07:41   #29
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I have zero cruising experience at this point, so my thoughts may be extremely naive; however, I will share an idea.

Since I expect that I will often (maybe mostly) be cruising solo, I thought about using a five gallon bucket system with the standard heads as a backup and for guests. "Luggable Loo" makes a toilet seat with lid that fits on standard 5 gallon buckets that sells for $10 at Cabelas. Cabela's -- Luggable Loo Bucket Lid Toilet Seat

The "Humanure Handbook" describes a sawdust toilet system using the 5 gallon bucket. weblife.org: Humanure Handbook: Chapter 8: The Sawdust Toilet I hope to test the system out on land first to see how long one bucket lasts as well as how long a full bucket takes to compost.

Dumping the composted material does seem to be a problem. From what I have read, well composted humanure is like soil and doesn't smell. Still, most landowners probably wouldn't like me dumping a 5 gal bucket of composted humanure on their land. Keeping it until I get home might be an option.

I would hope that urine would be easy -- as a male, couldn't I pee in a jar and dump it in the ocean? From what I understand, urine is relatively sterile and shouldn't harm the environment.
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Old 18-07-2008, 20:47   #30
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Urine actually contains plenty of nutrients and in enclosed water is significant in adding nutrients if there are enough people pissing over the side. On land you need to distribute it to avoid burning the plants. One of the reasons that chook poo is such good fertiliser is that that birds don't have a separate outlet. It is always a point of absurdity that so much energy is used to make nitrogen fertiliser and so much energy is used to denitrify the sewerage. I hear in some Scandinavian countries, they are separating the urine stream at the source and processing it to recover the nitrogen and phosphorus and expensive drugs.
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