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Old 25-03-2014, 12:30   #1
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holding tank discharge questions again!

OK I've read the old posts and understand the principles of preventing accidental overboard discharge. Our new to us boat had no cable tied y valve or overboard seacock so as part of the current project to replace thetoilet itself I wonder what else is needed. The waste goes via a Y valve either directly overboard or to a holding tank mountedabove the waterline The tank is either pumped out (sucked) or (I was told, I haven't tested it, it drains by gravity overboard via a Y connection to the same thru hull as for the direct overboard route. both Y valve and overboard thru-hull are situated in a locker under the shower room basin, next to the toilet. Could I simply fit a lockable hasp closure to this locker door and keep the key for that in a separate spot? cable ties would need a contortionist that can work on knees and around corners in a dark place.

Second question is simple and relates to the reality or general practice rather than the rulebooks! Our holding tank is not large, about 20 US gallons so over use of the toilet would soon fill it. I can well understand the need to put solid waste into a tank but to put multiple flushes of liquids plus flush water in per day seems OTT. So honestly what do other peeps do that have small tanks (and bladders), pee off the stern if out of sight or fill the wine bottles or a bucket for takingashore later or what? We are based on the ICW in Daytona Beach and word in another thread is that the potty police hereabouts can be truly 'anal about applying the rules I don't want to have to sell the boat to solve the problem, nor go without drinking fluids but I don't want to upset all the charming locals who have allowed me to live with my Hoosier wife here in the USA and I don't want to be deported as an undesirable alien.
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Old 25-03-2014, 12:40   #2
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Re: holding tank discharge questions again!

It is illegal to put sewage of any sort into a container of any sort and then throw it overboard.
If you do not put into a container first it is legal to throw it overboard in most cases but may violate various public decency laws.
If you're at a marina use their facilities as much as possible.
If you're on the hook get a bigger holding tank.
By the way, you might want to consider getting a pump for emptying your holding tank overboard rather than relying on gravity.
Mandatory reading regardless: "Get Rid Of Boat Odors" by Peggie Hall which has everything you need to know about boat sewage systems.

Locking the locker door is an acceptable alternative.
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Old 25-03-2014, 12:55   #3
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Re: holding tank discharge questions again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
It is illegal to put sewage of any sort into a container of any sort and then throw it overboard.
If you do not put into a container first it is legal to throw it overboard in most cases but may violate various public decency laws.
If you're at a marina use their facilities as much as possible.
If you're on the hook get a bigger holding tank.
By the way, you might want to consider getting a pump for emptying your holding tank overboard rather than relying on gravity.
Mandatory reading regardless: "Get Rid Of Boat Odors" by Peggie Hall which has everything you need to know about boat sewage systems.

Locking the locker door is an acceptable alternative.
Thanks, actually I was being flippant about filling buckets and wine bottles it was the pee over the pushpit/rails option that I really asked about which would be a preferred option anyway in ant kind of chop at sea. I am thinking of adding a pump to the tank overboard side of the system, a hand diaphragm one for preference like a whale or Henderson, but I guess we coul fit an electric one as we have removed a failed electric Jabsco 'converion' and there are some existing power cables routed thereabouts, plus we could fit a keyswitch to an electric pump too. We are marina based so no problems when there except in the wee small hours When we do go cruising, like to the Bahamas, we will be on the hook and will leave the parking lot behind.

A bigger tank would be nice (we had a 60 gallon one on the trawler we lived on prior to my having a stroke and which we sold to move onto land again), but the downsize to our Beneteau Oceanis 36 means we have no room for a bigger one without maybedumping the air conditioner units or the stove, neither option appeals much.
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Old 25-03-2014, 13:03   #4
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Re: holding tank discharge questions again!

If it's yellow, let it mellow.
Not much else you can do if you can't increase the size of the holding tank.
Isn't this where someone comes in and pitches the composting head?
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Old 25-03-2014, 13:58   #5
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Re: holding tank discharge questions again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
It is illegal to put sewage of any sort into a container of any sort and then throw it overboard.
If you do not put into a container first it is legal to throw it overboard in most cases but may violate various public decency laws.
Um, I don't think this advice is correct or at least partially misleading. If it goes in the head, it can't go overboard if you are within 3 miles of land or no discharge zones. Even peeing over the side is illegal on a couple of fronts. Does that mean it doesn't happen? Hell No!

A 20-gallon tank isn't that small if you manage you waste appropriately. We have a 18-gallon tank and go about 10 days on that. I mainly use the shore facilities. I do pee of the dock/boat when I can (after dark, early morning, when no one is looking). Be sparing with the amount of water you use to flush.

A quick internet search showed that you have a number of marinas near you with pump-out facilities. You might want to see if there is a pump-out boat. Up here most towns have at least one pump-out boat from federal grants. They come right to your boat and pump you out. You can even get on a regular list with some. Some are free. Some you have to pay up to $15 for each pump-out.

Your other option is to leave the dock/mooring and go out for a sail past 3 miles. Always a good excuse to get out on the water.

Of course there are people that do illegally discharge. Don't like them very much. But they do exist.

Good luck,

Jesse
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Old 25-03-2014, 13:58   #6
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Re: holding tank discharge questions again!

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
If it's yellow, let it mellow.
Not much else you can do if you can't increase the size of the holding tank.
Isn't this where someone comes in and pitches the composting head?
Halifax River water , where we keep the boat is the dirtiest and smelliest around so it seems somewhat odd to be trying to 'protect' it' anyways..
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Old 25-03-2014, 14:08   #7
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Re: holding tank discharge questions again!

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Originally Posted by JK n Smitty View Post
Um, I don't think this advice is correct or at least partially misleading. If it goes in the head, it can't go overboard if you are within 3 miles of land or no discharge zones. Even peeing over the side is illegal on a couple of fronts. Does that mean it doesn't happen? Hell No!

A 20-gallon tank isn't that small if you manage you waste appropriately. We have a 18-gallon tank and go about 10 days on that. I mainly use the shore facilities. I do pee of the dock/boat when I can (after dark, early morning, when no one is looking). Be sparing with the amount of water you use to flush.

A quick internet search showed that you have a number of marinas near you with pump-out facilities. You might want to see if there is a pump-out boat. Up here most towns have at least one pump-out boat from federal grants. They come right to your boat and pump you out. You can even get on a regular list with some. Some are free. Some you have to pay up to $15 for each pump-out.

Your other option is to leave the dock/mooring and go out for a sail past 3 miles. Always a good excuse to get out on the water.

Of course there are people that do illegally discharge. Don't like them very much. But they do exist.

Good luck,

Jesse
We already have a free pumpout service here at Halifax Harbor Marina. Either the poop boat comes round weekly or we can go over to the fuel dock, but that isn't the point really as when in our slip we can use the marina shore facilities anyway but if we go off for a long weekend on the hook it is different. Going 3 miles out appeals but we are 8 miles from the nearest (Ponce) inlet to get out and if we go off for a long weekend we will likely just remain somewhere in the ICW anyway, so not an option halfway through the last day. .
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Old 25-03-2014, 14:18   #8
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Re: holding tank discharge questions again!

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Originally Posted by Robin3 View Post
We already have a free pumpout service here at Halifax Harbor Marina. Either the poop boat comes round weekly or we can go over to the fuel dock, but that isn't the point really as when in our slip we can use the marina shore facilities anyway but if we go off for a long weekend on the hook it is different. Going 3 miles out appeals but we are 8 miles from the nearest (Ponce) inlet to get out and if we go off for a long weekend we will likely just remain somewhere in the ICW anyway, so not an option halfway through the last day. .
Sounds like you have two options. Leave the anchorage to get pumped out or be more conservative to get the holding tank to last longer.
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Old 25-03-2014, 14:22   #9
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Re: holding tank discharge questions again!

There is a rumor that some people pour urine down the wash basin! My wife has a batter bowl that fits in the head bowl and allows the seat to be lowered. I did have to remove the handle from the batter bowl for it to fit. Only using the holding tank for solid waste storage really decreases the number of times we have to pump out the holding tank.
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Old 25-03-2014, 14:26   #10
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Re: holding tank discharge questions again!

On my old cruising water, Lake Windermere, it is illegal to discharge black water into the lake; And rightly so. Problem is the only two public pump out stations are both in shoal water locations and when lake levels are down!!!!

More worringly at weekend when the local water treatment plants are overwhelmed by 'input' from thousands of tourists raw sewage has been known to be pumped straight into the lake.

One rule for one and another for others.
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Old 25-03-2014, 14:35   #11
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Re: holding tank discharge questions again!

Robin, two thoughts:

- If you insert a pump between holding tank and overboard discharge outlet... it may function better if it's a macerator pump.

- If you have no room to increase the holding tank size, perhaps one of the treatment systems could be inserted into your system somewhere. (See USCG Systems Engineering Division (CG-ENG-3)) Raritan makes a couple different types... Anyway, something like that could perhaps provide some relief, at least when you're not in an actual no discharge zone (NDZ).

-Chris
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Old 25-03-2014, 14:44   #12
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Re: holding tank discharge questions again!

It seems to be entirely up to t he inspecting officer. I'm not even sure a cable tie is technically OK.... but is often accepted. At any rate, a padlock arrangement with key nearby is easier to remove/replace than a cable tie! You have to do what you have to do sometimes. pee in a bucket and dump it over if necessary. Open the Y and flush pee out is another option. If it's brown hold it.
Some of the above is not legal. But then neither is the dumping of a million raw gallons of sewage your local municipality probably did recently either.
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Old 25-03-2014, 14:52   #13
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Re: holding tank discharge questions again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowboy Sailer View Post
There is a rumor that some people pour urine down the wash basin! My wife has a batter bowl that fits in the head bowl and allows the seat to be lowered. I did have to remove the handle from the batter bowl for it to fit. Only using the holding tank for solid waste storage really decreases the number of times we have to pump out the holding tank.
Both of us are on low fat diets so batter is banned and we probably have a spare bowl that if it were to get tarnished would really disuade us from breaking the docs strict rules!
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Old 25-03-2014, 15:03   #14
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Re: holding tank discharge questions again!

Locking the locker door should be acceptable, but would be up to the inspecting officer. On our boat the Y-valve handle is drilled at the end and has a SS cable (fishing leader) run through it. We wrap the cable around the hose and padlock the two ends so that you can't change the valve position without opening the lock (or disconnecting the crap hose ). Been boarded numerous times and never a problem. What the USCG says exactly:

Quote:
No discharge zone.

While operating a vessel in an EPA designated no discharge zone, flow-through devices are only permitted if adequately secured to prevent discharges of all treated and untreated sewage. For example, closing the seacock and padlocking, using a non-releasable wire tie, or removing the seacock handle are considered to be sufficient in most cases. For short voyages, locking the door to the head with a padlock or a door handle key lock is another acceptable method. For vessels that routinely operate in no discharge zones a Type III MSD is recommended. For more information see 33 CFR 159.7 and 40 CFR Part 140.
[Edit] We also have a gravity draining holding tank and there is separate discharge valve at the bottom (under) the tank. We just habitually keep the handle off the valve (as described above). Not every inspection has found that one, but those that have have been quite happy with having the handle stored elsewhere on the boat. [/Edit]
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Old 25-03-2014, 15:55   #15
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Re: holding tank discharge questions again!

An option that is somewhat expensive but offers other advantages is to replace the head with one that uses less flush water. Our Raritan Elegance seems to fill the holding tank about half as fast as the head on our last boat.
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