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Old 15-04-2015, 20:18   #31
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

I think air flow is essential to the process. Where and how it is vented is another matter. I just used the existing pump out deck hole as my exit vent. A mushroom vent keeps the water out.
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Old 15-04-2015, 22:48   #32
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
It isn't just government regulations. If you use the toilet today, and need to empty the bucket out on Monday...Is that compost? Hell no, that's sewage less than a week old. Unless you let the full bucket sit and age before you take it out to dump it, you are still handling a mix of aged and fresh raw sewage, no matter how you define it.
...
I live aboard in a marina, where I obviously couldn't pump overboard. My custom built desiccator has a 3 gal black poop bucket and a re-purposed 2 gal weed sprayer for urine tank. I empty the pee tank every 4-7 days. I empty the poop bucket once a month into a 5 gal secondary bucket with screw lid and vent that I have not emptied for 6 months. The stuff in the secondary bucket looks and smells pretty much like garden mulch. I do handle raw sewage, but nothing as gross as the old holding tank.
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Old 16-04-2015, 04:33   #33
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

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Originally Posted by sv.Lonestar View Post
I have seen some say they vent and others say they haven't hooked up any vent and still don't get any bad smells. Not that hooking something would be that difficult however I kinda hate the idea if using a hole saw on my cabin top if I don't have to. Where are you all on the vent issue?
The C-Head does not require a vent unless there is a really significant humidity problem. From the research I've done, including corresponding with an owner in South Carolina, the C-Head works fine without a vent.
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Old 16-04-2015, 06:07   #34
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

As far as waste is concerned ... if a cruiser stays on the hook forever, then maybe the "age", of a composted bucket could be an issue(with ONLY the working bucket), whereas a person with a "normal" head could legally dump one's sh-t overboard ... raw.

For those of us who somewhat frequent marinas, the period at dock would likely be a period where the composting head would be given a rest ... more time to work it's magic, still being aerated and turned over, maybe adding more moss or sawdust, but without adding more raw material.

I cannot see the BIG problem with "incomplete" compost being such the problem, because I cannot imagine that the 5-gallon bucket, with yesterday's fresh carrapp, is going to be dumped in the middle of the marina's parking for everyone to step in five minutes after the last batch of carap.

Since a bucket that holds 5 gallons of material, is likely to hold 3 or so gallons of material ... not to the absolute "top", of the bucket, I could see the first bucket set aside, with a cover and still with air being fed to it, until it more ripens and ages.

I would(hopefully), expect for a 5 gallon bucket to last me a couple months or more ... maybe an entire season, as long as I'm pretty much in a marina(using the compost on trips).

I'm much more interested in what those of us with smaller boats(28-30 feet), do with the "Retired", bucket, that will continue working until the time of safe disposal.

I'm also very interested with the issue of urine, since that too is a part of the process, but not much mentioned. What happens with a quart of urine that is left to evaporate, and what can be done with that resultant material?
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Old 16-04-2015, 06:07   #35
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Question Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

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Originally Posted by jaybird1111 View Post
It would be difficult to do, as part of the way these toilets work is to allow airflow to the fecal matter so it will desiccate (which is actually what they do, rather than compost, per se.)
The composters have a very small fan to keep air moving through the unit (which also is odor control for the cabin as it vents outside the cabin). The same could be done with Portaposter. I assume the length between material dumps (no pun intended) might be shorter. I am considering purchasing an older Catalina 22 to run the great loop but want the composting head to reduce the need for pump outs.
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Old 16-04-2015, 06:13   #36
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

Airhead does require a vent and works much better with it. The fan has stopped working before and the process is much slower without it.
We also have the urine tank hooked up to the holding tank which I highly recommend for longer interval between dumping.
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Old 16-04-2015, 06:42   #37
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

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I have seen some say they vent and others say they haven't hooked up any vent and still don't get any bad smells. Not that hooking something would be that difficult however I kinda hate the idea if using a hole saw on my cabin top if I don't have to. Where are you all on the vent issue?
What I expect is happening is they are getting venting but it's venting (non-powered) into the cabin.

Because it quickly goes aerobic, the odor problem is eliminated.
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Old 16-04-2015, 06:51   #38
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

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For those of us who somewhat frequent marinas, the period at dock would likely be a period where the composting head would be given a rest ... more time to work it's magic, still being aerated and turned over, maybe adding more moss or sawdust, but without adding more raw material.

I cannot see the BIG problem with "incomplete" compost being such the problem, because I cannot imagine that the 5-gallon bucket, with yesterday's fresh carrapp, is going to be dumped in the middle of the marina's parking for everyone to step in five minutes after the last batch of carap.

Since a bucket that holds 5 gallons of material, is likely to hold 3 or so gallons of material ... not to the absolute "top", of the bucket, I could see the first bucket set aside, with a cover and still with air being fed to it, until it more ripens and ages.

I would(hopefully), expect for a 5 gallon bucket to last me a couple months or more ... maybe an entire season, as long as I'm pretty much in a marina(using the compost on trips).

I'm much more interested in what those of us with smaller boats(28-30 feet), do with the "Retired", bucket, that will continue working until the time of safe disposal.

I'm also very interested with the issue of urine, since that too is a part of the process, but not much mentioned. What happens with a quart of urine that is left to evaporate, and what can be done with that resultant material?
If you are in a marina and not going out regularly, it's really helpful. No need to move the boat to the pump out dock once or twice a week. (ie: I had a buisness trip of 3 weeks but the DW was staying on the boat. She doesn't move the boat by herself and would have been hard pressed to get 3 weeks use out of the original sesspool system. With the composter, it was no big deal).

If you are getting off shore, you can dump overboard (on a calm day but with a months worth of storage, that isn't too difficult to wait for).

Urine is easy, our natures head comes with a 2 gal tank with handle. Walk up to any shoreside toilet and pour it in. Give it a flush and return to the boat. We get 3-5 days out of the urine tank and we have a spare.
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Old 16-04-2015, 07:35   #39
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

Re: venting, I bought a couple of the Nicro solar vents and didn't use the small 12 volt muffin fans that came with the Nature's Heads. I also put four other ( total six) Nicro solar vents on the boat. Now we're having issues with the solar vents failing, and so far I haven't determined whether it's the batteries or the motors. But three out of six are having issues within one year of installation. Fans don't turn in bright sunlight.

So I am planning to install the small fans that came with the Nature's Heads, in the fitting and in series with the solar vents. We like the new smell of this old boat, with all those vents ( when they're working) and the vents on the Nature's Heads ventilate the boat, too. Not just the head. I had thought of running an intake hose from the intake side of the toilet down to the bilge, so that the fan would pull bilge air through the composter. Just as an easy way to ventilate the bilges, too.

For those considering different brands, note the height of the Nature's Heads. They are pretty tall. I think short people would have their feet swinging during use.

And we do have two complete Baby Blake toilets, and enough parts for half of another one. They need paint and kits but they're the real deal and we'll sell them cheap. If anyone knows a good way to sell these....
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Old 16-04-2015, 08:52   #40
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

Concerning solar powered anythings, I've had trouble with printed solar cells that die after a few years or less. These are the ones that look like they are painted on the back side of a glass sheet. I've never had trouble with silicon chips, the circular ones cut to square shapes and such with metal conduction strips applied to the silicon wafers.
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Old 16-04-2015, 14:28   #41
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

only other major issue I could see if cruising full time would be finding suitable mulch. Shirley you don't trade the holding tank space gain by storing 8-10 bags of mulch. If staying stateside no problem but has anyone had trouble finding mulch in the Caribbean ?
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Old 16-04-2015, 14:40   #42
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

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Originally Posted by Markh00 View Post
I wonder if the folks that make the composting units have considered designing one smaller similar to the portapoty used on many sailboats. I know one of the composting unit is basically designed around a five gallon pail. That is the combined volume of the clean water tank and the waste water tank in those little units.
Check out the C-Head...

After having experienced the joys of managing a [larger 5 gallon] porta-potty on our trailer-sailer going out weeks at a time the last few years, I would gladly go for a C-Head now...

And, on our cruising boat, we are installing a Natures Head in one of our two heads this spring.

FWIW

Cheers!
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Old 16-04-2015, 15:03   #43
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

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only other major issue I could see if cruising full time would be finding suitable mulch. Shirley you don't trade the holding tank space gain by storing 8-10 bags of mulch. If staying stateside no problem but has anyone had trouble finding mulch in the Caribbean ?
We are preparing to install a Natures Head in one of our heads this spring, so I can't provide first-hand information yet... However our research revealed you can use either Sphagnum peat moss or coconut coir.

The best source of information we have found about these toilets is this 3rd party website hosted by a fun loving land cruising couple.

For the storage space and availability reasons you mentioned, we have decided to use compressed coconut coir. We bought our first year's supply for 2 full time users from Amazon for ~$20 including shipping, and it all fits in a shopping bag... [and coconut fiber is more environmentally sustainable than mining sphagnum peat...]

I hopes of being informative...

Cheers!
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Old 16-04-2015, 15:10   #44
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

What Bill says . I did an Amazon order of compressed coir bricks that will last us for 18 months (or more). Easily fits underneath my head sink in the cabinet that used to be full of hoses and a Y-valve for the old marine head.
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Old 16-04-2015, 15:38   #45
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Re: Have BOTH a composting toilet and marine head

here's some info from pdf files I've downloaded, most concern home low income areas. but lots of good info. It seems I remember about 15% extra material to start and 15% extra is added during use.

---------------
Instead of flushing, simply sprinkle a spoonful of dry cooking ashes, lime or sawdust into the defecating hole and replace the cover.
-----
After using the toilet, throw one handful of
dry leaves into the chamber and then shut
the lid.
----
15 gals storage for one person, (so they would say 3 5 gal pails would handle one person. I think you could get by with 2. Definitely if you spend time on land or have another system to share.)
---
one system reports this

Starter base material 13%
Human Waste 59%
Bulking materials 0% N/A
Toilet paper 28%
Nil bulking required with use of toilet paper (they use a lot of paper in my opinion)
-----
HUMANURE TOILET pdf

thoroughly cover the toilet contents with a clean cover material
such as raw sawdust, peat moss, etc. (but not woody materials such as wood chips or shavings) after each
use.

Always cover new deposits in the compost bin with a thorough layer of cover
material such as hay, straw, weeds, leaves or other bulky material.

on this one they are not separating the urine, it's going into the compost pile. (I don't recomend that)
----------------
ToiletsThatMakeCompost.pdf

When soil, ash and leaves are regularly added to excreta, the conversion
into compost takes place at a faster rate compared to excreta to which
nothing has been added. The daily addition of soil and ash also helps to
reduce flies
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