Originally Posted by morven55
Great info Mike...I had no idea that it is possible to store six months of "kitty litter" in that small a space. The Peat I use takes up much more space [2.2 cu. ft/62L] and lasts about 2 1/2 months...it might just be practical to have Coir shipped if such a small volume produces a six mo. supply. Maximum use of space is always an issue. Although the part about putting it in the sun might be a problem in this part of the world! Maybe I could just set it out on deck
for a bit and let the fog/rain/drizzle/humidity/gloom do the hydration?! LOL!
Just for reference, we get 8+ months out of one of these coir bricks
. [US$16 including shipping
in the US = ~US$2/month on average for 2 adults full time...]
We have also seen coir in box stores like Home Depot, Wallmart and the like for reasonable prices...
This particular coir is finely chopped and therefore easily converts to peat moss-like consistency when hydrated without much effort. [Vs. longer strands of coconut fiber which are slightly more difficult to break-up and also get wrapped around the agitator rods and increase stirring friction...
Basically... using ~1 cubic foot of storage
space on the boat [3 of the above bricks] we can carry enough coconut coir to accommodate 2 adults full time for 2 years at a cost of ~US$50/2 years. Hard to beat. Priceless when you consider I didn't have to empty a holding tank
umpteen times [or carry liquid effluvia around with us...] during that same period...
That 1 cu ft of coir will actually last us 3-4 years since we alternate between the Nature's Head and the flush toilet depending upon circumstances and location, and whether we have guests [who so far all prefer the Nature's Head because "...they don't have to pump it..."]
We also have a 2nd head with a Lavac
toilet, so we actually go quite a bit longer between recharges on the Nature's Head. [6-12 weeks when it is just the 2 of us- depending circumstances and where we are...] While the Lavac
has the traditional holding tank set-up, since we have the Nature's Head, we only use the Lavac when we can discharge overboard
, thus eliminating the pump-out sessions...
This particular coir brick is about 1 ft square and is composed of 4- ~1 in thick layers. I separate the 1 in slabs with a small pry bar or kitchen spatula and store them in a waterproof sack. One-half of one of those 1 in slabs is enough to recharge our toilet.
To hydrate, I just drop the half-slab into a large ziplock bag [e.g., 2 gallon bag] and add about 2-3+ quarts of warm water
. Within 30-60 mins I can break the remaining clumps up while in the closed bag, add more water [or coir if too wet...] if needed, and then pour it into the recently emptied solids chamber. Done.
With practice, all this takes maybe 15-20 mins of hands-on time, including clean-up and putting things away, and walking the closed bag of effluvia up to the dumpster.
In case this is helpful.