Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-03-2019, 18:05   #1
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 5,148
Plumbing in a toilet holding tank for Queensland and some bits of Austrlia

Hi Cruisers,

Specific question to Queensland, and maybe relevant to other bits of Australia, like perhaps the Gippsland Lakes at a guess.

We are trying to get our heads around the regulations for holding tanks on toilets, and which combinations of components are acceptable for those areas of Queensland that require holding tanks.

In summary, we have a boat that has a single NEW manual Jabsco toilet and a good sized holding tank that is situated ABOVE the waterline of the boat.

Currently the holding tank is not plumbed in.

We also have the following components ready to install:

1. A 12 volt macerator pump
2. A "Y" valve that has provision to be locked in either the direct output or holding tank mode
3. An inline shutoff cock that is not lockable
4. Lots of bits of pipe and clamps and whatnots.

So, reading the regulations, we found that they state that there must be no way of waste leaving the boat without going through a macerator.

The chandler who sold the pump sketched a diagram such that the waste from the holding tank AND manual pumping of the toilet went through the macerator pump, which of course means that the macerator pump would have to be operated at the same time as you manually pumped out the toilet. This would be pretty silly, not least because 99% of the time the boat is operating in areas where the storage tank is not needed and there is no requirement for a macerator on the outlet (as the manual pump on the toilet performs this function anyway.)

Can anyone who is familiar with the Queensland regulations clarify for us:

1. Is it acceptable to have the macerator operate only on the pump out of the holding tank, since, the way we see it, if the holding tank is in use and the Y valve is locked in that position, the manual pump out option is not possible anyway.

2. How is the holding tank policy enforced? Do the authorities board the boat and apply some kind of padlock or seal on the lockable Y tap and therefore, do they also need to put a lock on the skin fitting outlet?

Also, is anyone aware of some good diagrams that can be followed that reflect the REAL application of this stuff, in particular with reference to the Queensland situation and maybe other bits of Australia.

Thanks all,

Matt
__________________

__________________
Count-down has commenced.
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2019, 19:17   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
44'cruisingcat's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 8,993
Images: 69
Re: Plumbing in a toilet holding tank for Queensland and some bits of Austrlia

I've never personally seen any enforcement of holding tank rules, either in Queensland or NSW.

I have heard second or third hand of testing in Sydney harbour, apparently by flushing dye down the toilet .
__________________

__________________
"You CANNOT be serious!"


John McEnroe
44'cruisingcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2019, 20:20   #3
Marine Service Provider
 
peghall's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,018
Re: Plumbing in a toilet holding tank for Queensland and some bits of Austrlia

The chandler who sold the pump sketched a diagram such that the waste from the holding tank AND manual pumping of the toilet went through the macerator pump, which of course means that the macerator pump would have to be operated at the same time as you manually pumped out the toilet.

The chandler who sold you the pump is wrong. If the toilet only flushes into the tank, it's not necessary to macerate the flushes going INTO the tank... it's only the waste "leaving the boat" FROM the tank that must be macerated. That would rule out using a manual diaphragm pump to dump the tank.



If you want to be able to the flush the toilet directly overboard, it needs to be an electric macerating toilet...installing a macerator in the discharge line from a manual toilet would cause problems.


And btw...if you have a working link to the Aussie regs, I'd appreciate your posting it. The link in my files no longer works, nor does the only one that turned up in a google search for it.


--Peggie
__________________
© 2019 Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since '87.
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors"
peghall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2019, 20:30   #4
Registered User
 
TassieBloke's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Melbourne AUS
Boat: Transpac 49
Posts: 156
Images: 3
Re: Plumbing in a toilet holding tank for Queensland and some bits of Austrlia

Hi GILo, can't speak for QLD, but here in VIC, speaking to the boys here at the marina (and my own experiences) no one has ever been pulled up for testing. A whole bunch went down to Refuge Cove on the Prom over last Christmas, in a Parks VIC site, no one was checked. It would have been a ideal time with 15 stinkboats, sail and others and in an official Park.

Peghall will chime in here to the design, but IIRC, in Aus a manual toilet must be piped to a holding tank, then discharged through a macerator pump. Hopefully some who cruise the Whitsundays can assist what the practical requirements will be.
__________________
Just remember, Engineers built the Titanic, and Noah built the Ark
TassieBloke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2019, 21:46   #5
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 5,148
Re: Plumbing in a toilet holding tank for Queensland and some bits of Austrlia

OK, very exciting time for me. The Moses of boat sanitation has come to my aid.

Peggie, starting with your observations, I should have been more clear. The chandler sketched a diagram such that the holding tank and the toilet BOTH discharged through a "T" junction to the macerator and then to the skin fitting. (I did not include this in the list of fittings, because it is not yet purchased, in part because, quite frankly, the sketch looked wrong.) Meanwhile the toilet itself should be able to discharge DIRECTLY out through the skin fitting without maceration other than that provided by the hand pump (yes, I know, not permissible in some places, but, right or wrong, allowed in some places.) or to the holding tank. A bit of a mess really.

The regs appear to vary, state by state, however AMSA lists the following general rules: https://www.amsa.gov.au/marine-envir...arge-standards Not very helpful, but a good start.

TassieBloke, again, looks like some state by state stuff. Here in South Australia they require a macerator on all discharges, not sure about Victoria. This effectively means hand pumped toilets should not be sold in South Australia, but guess what... they are. Yeah, yeah, I know, transient boats, ignorance is no excuse etc etc, but you'd think there would be some very clear signs somewhere.

But back to Queensland....

So, I got optimistic and tried phoning around. Took a few tries but I finally ended up speaking to someone very helpful in Queensland Marine Safety, who did a lot of asking around, called me back four times, and explained it this way...

They were happy if the boat toilet pumped into a holding tank when in the no discharge areas, and simply asked that the Y valve be locked into this position using a self-provided padlock. The logic being that someone could not ACCIDENTALLY pump straight out of the boat. The padlock is not for compliance as such, but as a safety feature.

Since, at this point, any discharge into the ocean from the holding tank would have to use the macerator, that met that requirement nicely and they were happy. The fact that the system might be switched in a way that could pump out directly is not, in itself, a problem.

The final phone call, ten minutes after the previous call, was to bring my attention for the need for the system to be DOCUMENTED. This can be a self produced document, but again the logic is to prevent ACCIDENTAL discharges, particularly by people unfamiliar with the boat, who may be left alone and unsupervised.

So... where to from here...?

Well, part of me thinks the argument that it all should just go straight into the holding tank all of the time, and thus eliminate the first "Y" valve, has some merit. Then the only "Y" or "T" needed would be on the land based pump out branch option. In this case the tank is above the waterline, and would support gravity evacuation when well off shore, but since South Australia for a start wants maceration, it might as well make use of the macerator pump inline and avoid any potential for non-compliance.

Thoughts on this approach appreciated.

Matt
__________________
Count-down has commenced.
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2019, 23:17   #6
Registered User
 
NYSail's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Long Island, New York
Boat: Beneteau 423 43 feet
Posts: 419
Re: Plumbing in a toilet holding tank for Queensland and some bits of Austrlia

Remember the manual as well as electric head has a built in masurater. So when you pump to tank it is done and chopped up.

Good luck
Greg
NYSail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2019, 00:52   #7
Moderator
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 14,813
Re: Plumbing in a toilet holding tank for Queensland and some bits of Austrlia

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYSail View Post
Remember the manual as well as electric head has a built in masurater. So when you pump to tank it is done and chopped up.

Good luck
Greg
Umm... I've seen one hell of a lot of manual heads and none of them had a "masurater". The pump and joker valve will tend to break up large solids, but not to the degree that a macerator will. IIRC in Queensland the standard was no bits greater than 3 mm diameter, but that was from long ago and I may have the numbers wrong. But for sure, the typical marine macerator will chop up fecal solids MUCH finer than a joker valve will.

I went to a meeting when the Qld folks got on the MSD bandwagon, and they were very keen that we should macerate before discharging when in a legal discharge area, so I bought a Jabsco macerator pump and put it in the discharge line from the head. So, you must switch it on whilst manually pumping. Peggie, despite your worries, this system has worked well for us for many full time cruising years. Kinda a PITA, but it works and is legal.

Everyone has to find a solution that works for them, in their boat and in their cruising area... and the solutions are not all the same!

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II now northbound, lying in Moreton Bay pending medico appointments.
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2019, 01:54   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Boat: Island Packet 40
Posts: 2,734
Images: 7
Re: Plumbing in a toilet holding tank for Queensland and some bits of Austrlia

There was a burst of enthusiasm on the part of various official nuisances about fifteen or so years ago when a lot of the legislation was bought in with lots of horror stories in Coastal Passage and narratives in the bar regarding checks with dye flushing through boat toilets but it appears to have run it's course and I have not heard of any inspections for years.
RaymondR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2019, 03:12   #9
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 5,148
Re: Plumbing in a toilet holding tank for Queensland and some bits of Austrlia

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYSail View Post
Remember the manual as well as electric head has a built in masurater. So when you pump to tank it is done and chopped up.

Good luck
Greg
Greg, I thought the same thing. Thereís some kind of chopping up going on in the manual Jabsco.

But sadly, as Jim notes, the authorities state that the system in the manual pumps does not chop things up finely enough to meet their requirements.
__________________
Count-down has commenced.
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2019, 03:16   #10
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 5,148
Plumbing in a toilet holding tank for Queensland and some bits of Austrlia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
..., so I bought a Jabsco macerator pump and put it in the discharge line from the head. So, you must switch it on whilst manually pumping. Peggie, despite your worries, this system has worked well for us for many full time cruising years. Kinda a PITA, but it works and is legal.

Jim, I am both pleased and surprised to hear this. Would you recommend this approach over the option of going straight to the storage tank and just using the macerator pump to empty the holding tank at need? (Given that in this case the holding tank is already present just not plumbed in)
__________________
Count-down has commenced.
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2019, 03:18   #11
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 5,148
Re: Plumbing in a toilet holding tank for Queensland and some bits of Austrlia

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post
There was a burst of enthusiasm on the part of various official nuisances about fifteen or so years ago when a lot of the legislation was bought in with lots of horror stories in Coastal Passage and narratives in the bar regarding checks with dye flushing through boat toilets but it appears to have run it's course and I have not heard of any inspections for years.


Good to know but Iím the silly sort who never sleeps well when they know they are breaking even the smallest rule. Probably a sign of a guilty conscience.
__________________
Count-down has commenced.
GILow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2019, 06:33   #12
Marine Service Provider
 
peghall's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,018
Re: Plumbing in a toilet holding tank for Queensland and some bits of Austrlia

Attempting to pair a manual toilet with a macerator pump downstream of it would create problems because a macerator pump moves 12 gal/min...manual pumping can't keep up with that and macerator pumps can only run dry for a very short time before dry friction heat "fries" the impeller. So you'd either be burning out macerator impellers or create backups. So if you want to be able to discharge the toilet directly overboard, it would have to be a macerating electric toilet.

However, at sea outside AUS territorial waters (as defined for marine sanitation purposes), your manual toilet can be flushed directly overboard. So you'd only need the macerator pump to the dump the tank. You'd install a y-valve in the toilet discharge line to provide a choice of flushing overboard or into the tank.



Thank you for the link...however, I don't know why AUS has decided to apply MARPOL standards to recreational vessels...they're only intended for commercial vessels.


--Peggie
__________________
© 2019 Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since '87.
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors"
peghall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2019, 06:58   #13
Marine Service Provider
 
peghall's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,018
Re: Plumbing in a toilet holding tank for Queensland and some bits of Austrlia

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYSail View Post
Remember the manual as well as electric head has a built in masurater. So when you pump to tank it is done and chopped up.

Sorry, Greg that's not correct. Solids are only broken up as they go through manual toilet pumps, they are not macerated...and "chopped up" isn't enough to satisfy a requirement that waste be macerated...it must be "pureed." A macerator is a metal part in electric macerating toilets and macerator pumps that has blades not unlike the blades in a blender that puree solid waste and toilet paper. That part doesn't exist in manual toilets.


--Peggie
__________________
© 2019 Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since '87.
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors"
peghall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2019, 09:48   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 73
Re: Plumbing in a toilet holding tank for Queensland and some bits of Austrlia

We switched from manual heads to electric about 15 years ago and have been delighted with the reliability and the excellent job it does emulsifying the poo and paper. It really is gross to see all the toilet paper come up on your anchor chain or float by in a busy anchorage.

The other big advantage is that your holding tank is much less likely to get caked up.

We currently have the Y valve arrangement but this almost always calcifies solid after a year or two. The new plan is to run the toilet straight into the holding tank.

I think the yachting community really needs to be a lot more attentive about dealing with our sewerage waste and keep the topic low on the authorities agenda.
yachtgemini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2019, 13:54   #15
Marine Service Provider
 
peghall's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,018
Re: Plumbing in a toilet holding tank for Queensland and some bits of Austrlia

We currently have the Y valve arrangement but this almost always calcifies solid after a year or two. The new plan is to run the toilet straight into the holding tank.

If sea water minerals clog the the y-valve and overboard discharge line, they're also clogging the line to the tank, reducing its diameter enough to completely block it if ignored long enough. It's easy to prevent: A cupful or two of distilled white vinegar flushed through the entire system, followed by a at least a quart of clean FRESH water after 45-60 minutes every week or two will prevent sea water mineral buildup.

Muriatic (hydrochoric) acid (available from most hardware stores) every 3 months or so will dissolve it if flushing vinegar every couple of weeks prevention requires more effort than you want to make. It needs to sit in the lines about 45 minutes. It may take two applications if you've ignored it long enough.

--Peggie
__________________

__________________
© 2019 Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since '87.
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors"
peghall is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
holding tank, oil, plumbing, queensland

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can a foreigner own an Australian flagged vessel, in Austrlia Epicurean Oceania - Australiana 9 04-06-2018 20:44
Holding Tank Holding Tank Leaff Construction, Maintenance & Refit 17 01-07-2012 05:12
Holding Tank Plumbing Diagram Dame.n.Jess Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 7 01-08-2011 20:23
Crew Available: East Coast of Austrlia - April to June, 2011 Sabbatical II Crew Archives 3 18-03-2011 02:59



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:05.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.