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Old 11-09-2018, 12:53   #1
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Marine sanitation: best systems and practices

What are the current best practices for traditional (non-composting) marine sanitation systems?


  • Manual vs. electric systems
  • Head, tank and hose materials to use or avoid
  • Regulatory compliance in ndz waters
  • Y valve vs pump overboard
  • Salt vs fresh water flush
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:59   #2
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Re: Marine sanitation: best systems and practices

Buy Peggie Hall's book, answers all your questions.
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Old 11-09-2018, 15:35   #3
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Re: Marine sanitation: best systems and practices

Thanks for plugging my book, Stu...but I think he'll be more likely to buy it if he knows the title (see my signature below), which was my publisher's idea and is a little misleading. 'Cuz although it does deal with every source of odor on a boat and how to eliminate--better yet, prevent--'em, it's actually a comprehensive "marine sanitation 101" manual that really will answer most if not all of your questions and I'm also glad to answer any it doesn't.



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Old 12-09-2018, 05:44   #4
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Re: Marine sanitation: best systems and practices

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
What are the current best practices for traditional (non-composting) marine sanitation systems?
  • Manual vs. electric systems
  • Head, tank and hose materials to use or avoid
  • Regulatory compliance in ndz waters
  • Y valve vs pump overboard
  • Salt vs fresh water flush

Buy Peggie's book.

FWIW, I prefer electric macerating, then Vacu-flush. Fresh water. Trident 101/102 or Saniflex (that's from reading, but our installation is Trident 10x, the black one).

Pumping overboard isn't an option in our normal home waters; toilet discharge always goes to holding tank, which is then pumped out at a shore facility, or could be emptied via thru-hull if we were offshore. NDZ compliance is therefore not difficult.

-Chris
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Old 12-09-2018, 10:49   #5
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Re: Marine sanitation: best systems and practices

It's a good practice to run the tank vent line to both sides, so air can circulate through the tank to support the non-smelly aerobic bacteria.
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:59   #6
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Re: Marine sanitation: best systems and practices

Like us. Fish like their meals fresh.
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how long has this been going on and why wasn't I told about it earlier.....
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Old 12-09-2018, 16:21   #7
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Re: Marine sanitation: best systems and practices

Here is what I do if I was installing a marine sanitation system today. Id buy a Raritan Marine Elegance toilet set up to flush with either fresh or raw water.

Id buy my holding tank from Ronco Plastics. Id use Raritan Saniflex hose to connect them. Id plumb the toilet directly to the tank with the hose running downhill all the way to the tank.

Id use a Raritan macerator Pump with valve to empty the tank overboard through a Groco seacock and thru-hull. Id wire the pump through a key switch which will allow you to not have to lock the seacock. Dont leave the key in the switch.

Id vent the tank with at least 3/4 hose connected to an unscreened regular through hull.

I already own Peggies book and I sold marine toilets for close to fifty years.
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Old 12-09-2018, 17:57   #8
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Re: Marine sanitation: best systems and practices

I agree with HopCar. I have a Raritan system and my Marina lets me discharge it in my slip.
For everything you want to know about Marine Sanitation but are afraid to ask....Peggy Hall is your go to Girl.
She takes all the dirty little things out of our boats, and brings us forward into the 21st Century.
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Old 12-09-2018, 20:10   #9
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Re: Marine sanitation: best systems and practices

In most places in the US you can discharge treated sewage. The Raritan treatment devices work well. I cruise the Florida Keys which is a no discharge zone so my dream system doesnt include a treatment device.
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Old 12-09-2018, 20:15   #10
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Re: Marine sanitation: best systems and practices

In other areas of the USA (outside the Keys and California and so on), is it worth getting and ElectroScan or similar MSD, or has the proliferation of NDZs reached the point where they are worthless? Fwiw, my home waters on the Mississippi are not currently in a NDZ. I suppose that could change at any point.
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Old 12-09-2018, 20:16   #11
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Re: Marine sanitation: best systems and practices

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
What are the current best practices for traditional (non-composting) marine sanitation systems?


  • Manual vs. electric systems
  • Head, tank and hose materials to use or avoid
  • Regulatory compliance in ndz waters
  • Y valve vs pump overboard
  • Salt vs fresh water flush
Simple and awesome question...!
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Old 12-09-2018, 22:03   #12
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Re: Marine sanitation: best systems and practices

...She takes all the dirty little things out of our boats...

Well...not literally unless I'm paid VERY well to do it!

In other areas of the USA (outside the Keys and California and so on), is it worth getting and ElectroScan or similar MSD,

Yes. On the east coast, New England is a hotbed of NDZs, and although all the harbors on LIS are, the discharge of treated iwaste is legal on the body of LIS, all of the Chesapeake Bay except for one small NDZ (Herring Bay) and the rest of the east coast including the ICW once you get south of NC, until you reach the Keys. On Gulf, there are only 2 NDZs...the FL Keys and Destin Harbor. On the west coast there are a bunch of NDZs in SoCal, but north of Santa Barbara there's only one small one--Richardson Bay (Sausalito) off the SF Bay until you reach Puget Sound, which became an NDZ only recently. The discharge of treated waste is also legal on most of the inland navigable river system...and is a good idea because pumpout facilities are few and far between on 'em.

That doesn't mean there aren't any well meaning but misguided marinas that require holding tanks...there are a few. Marinas are private property and can make any rule they want to unless it violates federal law. So you'd still need at least a small holding tank, but you can avoid having to bother with pumpouts by adding Raritan's "Hold 'n' Treat controls Raritan HoldnTreat controls to the system, which lets you empty the tank (note I did not say "dump") through the ElectroScan or PuraSan as soon as you get out of the marina and back into treatment legal waters.


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Old 13-09-2018, 10:46   #13
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Re: Marine sanitation: best systems and practices

Thank you, Peggie.
Perhaps I misunderstand, but I believe that the entirety of LIS has been a NDZ since 2011.


https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-201...997.pdf#page=1
https://www.epa.gov/sites/production...?itok=Eh01MkmT




For me, locally, I am presently just downstream of the portions of the Upper Mississippi river system that are NDZs. My marina has a clear policy that does permit either Type I, II, or III systems, so I'm good there.


What is the situation in the Great Lakes? The EPA web site lists essentially all of the U.S. portion of the Great Lakes except the westernmost portion of Lake Superior, and lists the Apostle Islands area as "proposed." Apparently this proposed area was never adopted.


The western portion of Lake Superior has few pumpout facilities, making it an ideal location for using a treatment system.
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Old 13-09-2018, 20:47   #14
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Re: Marine sanitation: best systems and practices

The Great Lakes have been NDZ on both sides of the border under a treaty with CA since long before the US enacted marine sanitation laws as part of the Federal Water Pollution Act ("Clean Water Act) of 1978. But like a lot of places, the level of enforcement varies.



According to the EPA list of NDZs you referenced EPA NDZ list, no part of the Mississippi River is one. But I need to check that list more often 'cuz you're right...LIS is one now. But since all the harbors on it are, it might as well be. Politicians pandering to the enviro-extremists is the only reason why most NDZs exist. I've always considered it the ultimate irony that the very DAY RI's statewide NDZ law(essentially Narragansett Bay) went into effect a huge sewage treatment plant spill closed the beaches and shellfishes beds in half the Bay for a week. But according to the enviros and politicians, boats were the main polluters. <sigh>



As for Lake Superior, there's no logical reason why any of it should be an NDZ because its waters are so cold that all bacteria become dormant in it. Which is what gave rise to the saying "Superior never gives up her dead"...bodies can't decay and rise to the surface. So it's only an NDZ because it just got lumped into the whole Great Lakes package.




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Old 13-09-2018, 21:00   #15
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Re: Marine sanitation: best systems and practices

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According to the EPA list of NDZs you referenced EPA NDZ list, no part of the Mississippi River is one.
Thanks for the reply.

It isn't obvious if you're unfamiliar with the details of the Upper Mississippi river system, but a portion of it is included in the map of the Minnesota and St. Croix rivers. The FR entry is from the early 1970s and not available online. I would have to go find a library that still has old issues of the FR on microfilm to find out for sure:

https://www.epa.gov/vessels-marinas-...-ndzs-state#mn

It's really not a very clear map. That's the Mississippi extending west from the lower confluence and then north from the upper one; it continues upstate, of course, but it isn't possible to navigate upstream without portaging the dams. There are a couple of houseboat and liveaboard marinas in that reach, and the NDZ was perhaps conceived as a way to harass them. The Minnesota River through there has virtually no recreational traffic on it of any kind, and certainly no liveaboards -- there isn't a single marina, and the one time I was on it I had the river to myself for the day save for one fishing boat and some commercial barge traffic.



Quote:
Politicians pandering to the enviro-extremists is the only reason why most NDZs exist. I've always considered it the ultimate irony that the very DAY RI's statewide NDZ law(essentially Narragansett Bay) went into effect a huge sewage treatment plant spill closed the beaches and shellfishes beds in half the Bay for a week. But according to the enviros and politicians, boats were the main polluters. <sigh>

We had a million gallon treatment plant spill near my house earlier this summer. No fines, no one fired, they replaced the pipe and then.. ho, hum, just another day at the public works department.


Quote:
As for Lake Superior, there's no logical reason why any of it should be an NDZ because its waters are so cold that all bacteria become dormant in it. Which is what gave rise to the saying "Superior never gives up her dead"...bodies can't decay and rise to the surface. So it's only an NDZ because it just got lumped into the whole Great Lakes package.
And portions of it are so remote that there are neither marinas nor towns that have a treatment system that could accept the wastewater from a pumpout facility.
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