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Old 15-07-2017, 18:10   #1
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Lectra-Scan waste treatment systems?

I'm looking at a boat that has this system on board, instead of a holding tank. From the research that I've done, this system macerates waste and makes it safe for dumping through electric treatment to kill bacteria.

My question is, is it legal to use this system on inland waters and bays? Or do you have to be so many miles off shore to use it?

I can't seem to find anything that states anything concretely.
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Old 15-07-2017, 18:31   #2
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Re: Lectra-Scan waste treatment systems?

Depends on jurisdiction, I'd be surprised if many agencies keep their regs up to date with new tech developments.
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Old 15-07-2017, 18:38   #3
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Re: Lectra-Scan waste treatment systems?

I think I just found something on the EPA's website that says that we can dump treated waste in the bay, but not the attached lake.
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Old 15-07-2017, 19:36   #4
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Re: Lectra-Scan waste treatment systems?

There are places where you cannot use the Electro Scan, so you probably need a holding tank as well. In Florida, their use are forbidden in Key West and a couple of other places, so you have to flip your Y-valve to the holding tank while there.

Be aware that you will probably have to add salt in most places as the sea water is not salty enough for the system to reach 14 Amps.

Are you sure there's no holding tank hiding somewhere?

Not having to pump out is a major convenience for me.

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Old 15-07-2017, 19:46   #5
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Re: Lectra-Scan waste treatment systems?

It's legal on most inland rivers, but NOT on inland lakes...and in most coastal waters. You'll find a list of waters that are NO discharge--treated or not-- here: EPA NDZ list

Because even in waters where the discharge of treated waste is legal, there are some No Discharge marinas (private property so they get to make their own rules as long as they don't violate federal law), so it's best to have at least a small (10-15 gallon) holding in addition to a treatment device.

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Old 16-07-2017, 08:32   #6
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Re: Lectra-Scan waste treatment systems?

Look yourself in the eye and ask how much time do I spend in restricted waters? If its a majority of your time, you absolutely need a treatment system! If not perhaps your better off with a holding tank and doing pumpout stations! I have a treatment system and have never had to use it! But when we sail it's usually at sea!
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Old 16-07-2017, 10:17   #7
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Re: Lectra-Scan waste treatment systems?

I found it to be more of pita than it was worth and had it pulled out of my previous boat. There is a reason you don't find that many when boat shopping.
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Old 16-07-2017, 10:23   #8
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Re: Lectra-Scan waste treatment systems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorman7225 View Post
I found it to be more of pita than it was worth and had it pulled out of my previous boat. There is a reason you don't find that many when boat shopping.
Can you elaborate on this? I have been a big fan of the concept, to the point of having these units under serious consideration. But I've no actual experience with them. What makes them a pain in the ass?
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Old 16-07-2017, 11:04   #9
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Re: Lectra-Scan waste treatment systems?

Price ($1k +) and power consumption (for some people, any is too much) are the main reason why only about 5% of boats have treatment devices. As for how much of a PITA they are, that depends on the waters you're in--salt, fresh or brackish--and whether yours is a version that needs salt when not in sea water. The versions that use a 2 gallon brine tank can be unless you make up several gallons of it at time and keep a supply onboard. Some folks choose to just keep a Rubbermaid box of solar salt in the head and add two coffee measure to each flush when needed. And they do require bit of maintenance, but that's actually pretty easy unless negected for too long. Whether you choose a version that needs salt or one that can be used in fresh or salt makes a difference too. In short, it just needs to be appropriate for the particular boat, its owners and cruising grounds.
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Old 16-07-2017, 12:04   #10
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Re: Lectra-Scan waste treatment systems?

We are in salt water 100% of the time, and the brand is Lectra Scan. I did see the the small tank in the engine compartment but didn't know enough at the time to ask/look for salt treatment or not.

We don't usually Boat longer than day trips but one of the goals for getting this boat is doing weekend cruising eventually.
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Old 16-07-2017, 12:36   #11
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Re: Lectra-Scan waste treatment systems?

TheRaritan Lectra/San is the most popular Type I treatment device...it was first introduced in the late 1970s. There have been several versions of it-LS, EC, MC...the current version has been renamed ElectroScan. You can learn quite a bit about it here: Raritan ElectroScan In the early '90s, Raritan introduce the PuraSan Raritan PuraSan Promo Sheet which works equally well in salt water.

You can cover both holding tank and treatment with their Hold 'n' Treat system, available as a complete "bundle" Raritan Hold N'Treat Bundle or just the controls can be retrofitted to an existing tank to use with a new ES or PS. holdntreat controls

If you plow your way through everything at all those links you'll learn everything you need to know about treatment!
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Old 16-07-2017, 12:55   #12
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Re: Lectra-Scan waste treatment systems?

Don't understand people's fascination with having a very expensive floating outhouse which is what a boat with holding tank is. Lectra Scan treats sewage to a level higher than municipal systems for disease causing organisms. None of the issues of a holding tank like a leaks or finding someplace to empty it other than pump the untreated sewage overboard. Had one of the early Lectra San models for 3years of live aboard/cruising and had no problems with it though was always in salt water.

The LectraScan uses electricity to break down seawater into a chlorine compound to treat the sewage that has been emulsified via a built in macerator. The chlorine compound recombines back to salt water so no chlorine pollution as there is with chlorinating heads, if there are any still around. They have a high but very short term electrical drain while the sea water is being converted to chlorine compound. We found it to be an almost unnoticable electrical draw cruising. Since the unit needs salt water to convert to the chlorine compound, they don't treat sewage in fresh or brackish water unless additional salt is added. They make a unit for fresh water that automatically adds salt.

As far as allowed use, the Great Lakes are the biggest body of water that bans overboard discharge. There are some local areas, mostly enclosed bays or low tidal flush areas and most marinas that don't allow overboard discharge. The marinas are no big deal as you can use their facilities when the need arises. If you must anchor in a no discharge area, you can use the direct discharge option or bring along a bucket and ddposit contents in a convenient toilet. Doubt you'll be inconvenienced in a lot of places.
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Old 16-07-2017, 14:29   #13
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Re: Lectra-Scan waste treatment systems?

I agree 100%! An independent study several years ago found that 1000 boats equipped with LectraSans all anchored in the same area for 24 hours had only a small fraction of the negative environmental impact caused by just ONE illegally dumped holding tank. And if you want to know how many tanks are illegally dumped you only have to count the number of boats in waters where it would be impossible to dump a tank legally (Chesapeake Bay, LIS, SF Bay, ALL inland waters) that have overboard discharge pumps.

Since the unit needs salt water to convert to the chlorine compound, they don't treat sewage in fresh or brackish water unless additional salt is added. They make a unit for fresh water that automatically adds salt.

Raritan does make several salt tanks for use with ElectraScan (current version of the LectraSan)...and they also make the PuraSan which doesn't need salt and works in both salt and fresh water.
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Old 16-07-2017, 14:48   #14
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Re: Lectra-Scan waste treatment systems?

We used one for several years. The first thing to fail was the Ti element, deep inside. That is a very expensive part, several hundred $$$ if I remember. So fun to change too. Then one of the motors quit, Finally the automatic timer system quit. I used it manually for a bit then something else quit. I left next to a garbage can in Belize, it was gone later that day.
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Old 16-07-2017, 15:46   #15
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Re: Lectra-Scan waste treatment systems?

It is certified by the USCG to discharge anywhere. Local governments and marinas can impose local laws and rules that prohibit any ovbd discharge. I avoid those because I love my system. Just make sure you do all Preventative Maintenance
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