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Old 19-09-2009, 05:42   #16
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One would hope that rather than just going through the motions boaters would go well offshore for dischage - but in my experience people seem to swim at crowded anchorages undeterred!
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Old 19-09-2009, 06:01   #17
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Have you any evidence for that opinion?
Gord,

There are lots of sites for research done here in Bermuda which seem to agree with this opinion. BREAM project, Harrington Sound Polution, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, anything like that will connect you.
I have 300 ft of waterfront, a large part of which could generally be described as a marine nursery environment. My observation over 25yrs is that things like coral bleaching, sea urchin propogation, turtle grass growth is cyclical, and not controlled by polution.
That said, I do feel a bit guilty, whenever I pump that DD head.
On an island, where do you get rid of the treated sewage.
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Old 19-09-2009, 14:19   #18
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Then here's a thought... whats more eco friendly: pumping out 1 bit of poop per person per day in a fish bite size piece...
[snipped]
Everywhere we've been in tropical waters, there's usually been a puffer or two under the boat waiting for a meal.

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Old 19-09-2009, 18:52   #19
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I visited twice (2003 and 2007). My experience was that nearly everyone (perhaps except for super-yachts) pumped out right into anchorages, idyllic or not. Boats with holding tanks were the worst disaster because every time someone used the toiled we could smell it half a mile out.

What really p... me off though, was that many cruisers used their heads/showers in marinas (and let the used water go right overboard), where there were good facilities ashore (and I hope the facilities were connected to sewage treatment plants).

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Old 19-09-2009, 19:03   #20
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PS A comment on the 'salt water rendering waste safe'.

I do not know about this, but human aid organizations acting in Africa recommend that 'drinking' water can be treated in PET bottles - by exposing them to direct sun for a couple of hours.

So, I do not know about salt water but the sun does seem to 'disinfect' the 'natural things' we dispose off in the oceans.

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Old 19-09-2009, 22:26   #21
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Ha! sewage treatment plants in the Caribbean ;-) As I think nobody is born with a LectraSan hanging out of his a$$, I think it's quite natural to pump it overboard. The problem starts when too many people live in close proximity, like cities.

I do believe that a macerating toilet makes a lot of difference, while a holding tank makes things worse when there are no pump-out facilities. So, if you are concerned with the environment, upgrade to a macerating toilet or, even better, a LectraSan or the newer version of that.

cheers,
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Old 20-09-2009, 03:53   #22
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Apologies for getting technical and it is hardly definative and I could not find any papers on contamination exclusively by cruising boats but:

There are lots of enteric nasties in sea water and shell fish including: hepatitis, cholera and general coliform bacteria. The risk is far greater eating the shell fish because the bivalve feeding mechanism concentrates the viruses.

Vibrio Bacteria Found In Norwegian Seafood And Seawater


Quote:
The detection of elevated levels of fecal indicator microbes are usually followed by beach closures or advisories due to presumed health risks.
University of Miami Center for Oceans and Human Health: Research Projects

Sea water can reduce bacterial counts but many persist as do the dangerous viruses.

Persistence of Virus and Bacteria in Seawater

[Detection and quantification of hepatitis A virus...[Huan Jing Ke Xue. 2009] - PubMed Result

I think that you have to assume you are swimming in contaminated water but the health risk does not apper to have been studied and has not defined (as far as I can discover at 05:00 in a Caribbean anchorage) for Caribbean anchorages.
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Old 20-09-2009, 07:04   #23
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Currently I am a coastal cruiser only but live in Fl. I choose to be more responsible and hold until I can dump in an out of the way location. I use a porta poti with a 5 ga tank which can be pumped out or taken ashore or dumped over the transom while underway. The nearshore environment needs all the help it can get here. Dave
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Old 20-09-2009, 08:06   #24
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A few comments:

There are two reasons people begin separating and treating their waste. One is certainly related to the control of disease. However, feces from healthy people are seldom dangerous to other healthy people. (although there are things called opportunistic pathogens inside us that can sometimes make some of us sick even though the host is fine). For human waste to create illness, we need sick people to create the waste and/or healthy or immunally compromised people to come into intimate contact with it before the pathogens die. The other big reason that people want circumvent the flow to receiving waters is that the extra amount of waste that biodegrades in the receiving water with the help of aerobic microbes uses up too much of the available oxygen in the receiving water. The lack of oxygen means the natural fish and plants must die, and the resulting anaerobic bacteria that continues to biodegrade what is left ("going septic") creates hydrogen sulfide ("rotten egg gas") with a resultant public outcry. One of these things, significant illness or significant local ecosystem decay, has to happen before a local population will start screaming for cleanup, treatment, enforcement, etc. Then the debate starts as to the costs and necessity. Is an epidemic or a major impact on the environment likely in a particular locality? How else can the necessary money be spent to improve health and environment?

Even where there are good treatment plants with both primary and secondary treatment, the typical removal of organic matter, suspended solids, and grease is/are 90% of what flows through the plant. This means a municipality that has a population of 100,000 that has all of the population serviced by a collection system that flows through one of these wonderful plants only pollutes like a similarly serviced municipality of 10,000. To be fair, in some plants, disinfection occurs to decrease the infectivity of the treated waste. If disinfection is done by UV light (expensive), the result is just the residual organic loading to the receiving water. If the disinfection is done by a constant dose of chlorine, the resultant chloramines are a real problem to the receiving water, as fish gills take it up instead of oxygen, and the fish get hurt.

A properly serviced municipality still delivers tremendous amounts of material to waterways via their storm sewer systems. This is called non-point source pollution, although not considered such at a good-sized outlet. Think of all the pets and their feces, pigeons and other birds, the farm animals, the silly bastards who insist on herbicides on a lawn, sometimes necessary pesticides, bottom paint scratched off at local boatyards and driveways, car washing, spilled food and drink, emptied cold coffee, road kill, oils and other petroleum from all vehicular activity, garbage drippings from every can, messes at loading platforms, grass clippings, etc. Both infectivity and organic loading results from storm sewers.

Pardon the little lecture, but it is important to know what we are talking about. I really don't have a strong opinion on dumping, but sometimes these facts help our understanding. It does seem to me that humans are a problem, and don't seem, at least on the local level, to be an endangered species. However, a culling of the herd is a politically incorrect idea.
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Old 20-09-2009, 08:15   #25
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Pardon the little lecture,
Sorry, I couldnt understand the lecture.

Poop or not?



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Old 20-09-2009, 08:25   #26
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Broad, sweeping, and very significant statements, such as “salt water renders human waste safe”, must be supported by evidence.

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Salt water renders human waste safe within a few minutes of exposure. May not be fun to swim in a lumpy sea but it's not a great health issue...
None of the information I’ve been able to find, even with your vague guidance, has suggested that the bactericidal properties of seawater are sufficient to render sewage polluted seawater “safe” for any practical purpose, including even swimming.

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There are lots of sites for research done here in Bermuda which seem to agree with this opinion. BREAM project, Harrington Sound Pollution, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, anything like that will connect you.
I have 300 ft of waterfront, a large part of which could generally be described as a marine nursery environment. My observation over 25yrs is that things like coral bleaching, sea urchin propagation, turtle grass growth is cyclical, and not controlled by pollution.
That said, I do feel a bit guilty, whenever I pump that DD head.
On an island, where do you get rid of the treated sewage.
Your observations may have been accurate or not, as may be your conclusions; but you’ve certainly not given any evidence to support their validity.

The existence of natural cycles does not preclude that anthropogenic forcings, such as human pollution, can drive a system “over the edge”.
For instance, normal body temperature can vary (cycle) depending on the individual, the time of day, and even the weather. For most people, a temperature of 98.6̊F is baseline. However, the introduction of an outside pyrogenic substance, such as a virus, bacteria, etc., will cause a fever, beyond the range of any “normal” cycle, which may be harmful or even fatal.
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Old 20-09-2009, 09:10   #27
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A few comments:

It does seem to me that humans are a problem, and don't seem, at least on the local level, to be an endangered species. However, a culling of the herd is a politically incorrect idea.
I would suggest that humans are a unique and fascinating part of the ecosystem. As for "culling the herd," careful what you wish for.

Jud
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Old 20-09-2009, 10:19   #28
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Uh... MARKJ, poop is a value-laden term, and should be avoided in a technical discussion ;-)

Actually, good comeback.
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Old 20-09-2009, 10:43   #29
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Every time I see this thread I just can't help thinking to advise the OP to see a doctor about the problem

Don't fish, whales and other sea life also poop in the sea

I would have thought that the sensible thing would be to do it and flush it out straight away unless you are in a marina or a lagoon that does not circulate the water so well.

If you want to be all environmentally friendly don't flush the paper down and watch what you eat
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Old 20-09-2009, 11:03   #30
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The problem from a medical/public health point of view is that there are people who are 'carriers' of diease without necessarily being ill: hepatitis, typhoid, shigella dysentry and various other coliforms are just a sample. They could possibly infect you with their waste in an idylic anchorage like Tobago Key where there are 20-40 boats pumping their waste out a short distance from a common swimming area.

In London in 1854 a single well contaminated by the cholera excreta from a baby killed over 600. Interestingly none of the brewery workers died because they did not drink water. While this was in drinking water, who has ever been swimming and not ingested some water.

I am not saying that you will get infected; it is just from a public health perspective it is bad medicine to allow such activities. Which is why we have the pump out-laws in the US. Good public sanitation measures have saved many times more lives than antibiotics.

In November I will probably be swimming in Tobago Key but up wind and tide of the boats.
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