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Old 28-05-2012, 15:48   #1
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Sani-Flush ; Lectra-San

How many systems like this are n the market to treat your sewage on board? It is my understanding that after being treated with these systems, it is then legal to discharge overboard in open water pretty much anywhere? Is that correct? Anybody out there have one of these systems and likes/dislikes it for any particular reason?

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Old 28-05-2012, 16:05   #2
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Re: Sani-flush; Lectra-San

THe growing number of no discharge zones means you have to be 3 miles out to use them, then you don't need them.
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Old 28-05-2012, 16:07   #3
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Re: Sani-flush; Lectra-San

No Discharge Zones by State | Vessel Water Discharge | US EPA

Otherwise it is legal to discharge treated sewage. Even with a Lectra-San type device, the most ethical thing to do is to use a pump out station.
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Old 29-05-2012, 22:38   #4
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Re: Sani-flush; Lectra-San

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
No Discharge Zones by State | Vessel Water Discharge | US EPA

Otherwise it is legal to discharge treated sewage. Even with a Lectra-San type device, the most ethical thing to do is to use a pump out station.
Hmm. The City of San Antonio recently dumped 500,000 gallons of raw sewage into a creek. Believe it or not, that's acceptable. With big rains, raw sewage is still being dumped into our rivers, creeks, bays and oceans. Often. And legally.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:46   #5
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Re: Sani-flush; Lectra-San

Without going the down slippery slope of an earlier thread. I personnaly would like the law changed to support the purchase of an affordable and effective mobile treatment system, and legal in all except the most extreme sensitive zones, like the intake of a cities water supply, (remember wildlife, and camping humans in the runoff zone still generate waste, why we use chlorine).

In salt water there is no valid reason for no discharge zones, no one is going to drink it without treatment, (desalination). Centuries of boaters used the "poop decks" without consequence.

Perhaps it would best if the boating comunity worked together to draft a proposed regulation that makes sense, encourages the use of working sanitization devices, and provides a reasonable, and affordable solution. That would permanently take this issue off of the radar, so after spending a couple of grand on a system, it is not later outlawed.
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Old 12-06-2012, 20:24   #6
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Re: Sani-flush; Lectra-San

So, uh not to be thick but what you all are saying is type I waste treatment like this -Raritan Electro Scan Waste Treatment System- is not legal to discharge overboard in my marina or at anchor? I will still need a holding tank?

I'm on a tear to go composting toilet, long story suffice it to say the sanitation system has won, I'm a broken woman, it is a bucket for me ( twitch twitch).


Anyways, in the middle of a rather long thread about composting, peg hall mentioned 'why not get a waste treatment system? It is the same price'.
The last time I was exposed to waste treatment was an old lextra San ( sp?) on a boat i delivered to the virgin islands. I forgot they even made em. Do they draw a lot of power? Are they high maintenance? Expensive upkeep.
We really don't mind spending the money if in the end we have a nice smelling boat with a working head, it isn't asking much ( twitch twitch).

Sincerely...hopelessly.... Awe heck I can't think of a pun

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PS
This does not mean I've given up on composting toilets, I've got a bucket and I'm not afraid to use it ( twitch twitch). Just collating data
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Old 12-06-2012, 22:22   #7
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Re: Sani-flush; Lectra-San

We WILL put a Purasan unit in (we have fresh water flush toilets). Same manufacturer, uses chlorine tablets instead of electricity.

Some places are no-discharge, including Type 1s (Clear Lake, for example). In those places, you'll still need a holding tank.
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Old 12-06-2012, 22:45   #8
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Re: Sani-flush; Lectra-San

Ocean Girl, The Lectra San was Raritans first treatment system. It worked well but drew a lot of current. Their new system, the Electra Scan uses much less electricity.
http://www.raritaneng.com/pdf_files/...oscanPromo.pdf
If you decide to buy one, I would love the opportunity to quote on it.
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Old 13-06-2012, 09:50   #9
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Re: Sani-flush; Lectra-San

I recognize we all have a responsibility to conduct ourselves ethically for the good of all.... that being said, as the saying goes.... I would always pump whatever waste I have in my holding tank when I'm fueling up, but do also plan to install and use some sort of sewage treatment device. We'll be boating in the California Delta/San Francisco Bay so the salinity of the water we're in may decrease the effectiveness of some types of units (according to what I'm learning here). It appears to me the Purasan unit using chlorine tablest keeps my electrical use down AND cures the salinity issue..... Is that correct?

Thanks a bunch, I really appreciate the sharing of knowledge....

My momma always told me..... Jimmy, there's three kinds of people in the world: those that must learn everything themselves the hard way (how I spent my early years); those that learn from other's mistakes (the very best way to be); and those that NEVER learn......LOL
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Old 13-06-2012, 09:54   #10
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Re: Sani-flush; Lectra-San

Hopcar, you will be the first person i call

bstreep what made you decide on fresh water unit?
More questions, may find silly but if holding tank involved, most people treat before holding tank so your just holding clean water right?
You do not need electric toilet in order to have one of these right, existing toilet ok?
We are looking for simplicity, how is the track record for these things? I don't hear a lot about them. How much do they draw a day with two live aboards?

Do you know why it is not allowed to be discharged? From the literature the waste is rendered harmless seawater, is this BS?

Thanks for any input.
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Old 13-06-2012, 16:08   #11
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Re: Sani-Flush ; Lectra-San

Please correct me if I'm wrong or misconstrue :

So just for anyone who might not know this. Raritan does not recommend treating then holding, this gadget is really designed for treat and release.
If you put the treated waste into a holding tank it will in time revert to it's black water state ( the bad bugs multiply, it gets stinky, it's poo again in a way).
So not the best answer for NDZs.( sigh )
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Old 13-06-2012, 16:43   #12
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Re: Sani-Flush ; Lectra-San

The LectraSan treats sewage on a pass through basis. They generate a Chlorine compound by electrically breaking down seawater that kills any harmful bugs. They also grind up the waste with a macerator before treatment. The chlorine compound recombines into seawater so no additional chemicals are added to the discharge. The effluent can be eaten or drunk but will not be appetizing as it's still ground up s**t with the bugs removed. The polite way of saying, it is the effluent meets the health requirements as good as or better than your municipal sewage treatment but doesn't meet the particulate standards.

Putting the effluent from a LectraSan in a holding tank if you are in a NDZ, will not generate any harmful bugs but those that will inevitably multiply will cause a stink just as direct input from the head will. The LectraSan is really designed for overboard discharge. Each cycle flushes out the last treated batch and introduces a fresh batch of untreated crap. The effluent is a brown cloud that disperses almost immediately upon discharge. I've watched the discharge in to super clear tropical waters and it dispersed and was completely visually undetectable almost instantly.

The LectraSan uses a lot of electrons to breakdown the seawater into the chlorine compound. Takes a pretty hefty power (4-8 gage) cable to supply the juice. Actual amperage load is minimal as the creation of the chlorine compound takes only a few seconds with each use. Other wise it's a high amp draw for a very short period of time so actual amp/hours eaten up are very low. We had no other generating capacity on our boat and no LED's or other modern low drain devices but only had to run the engine about once a week to recharge our 220 amp battery bank. The LectraSan worked fine for 4 years of liveaboard and cruising and another 6 years of ownership of the boat.

Find it amazing that yachties will put up with turning their boats into floating outhouses because of the holding tanks for no ecological benefit in salt water. The typical municipal sewage treatment system dumps more untreated sewage annually than a century, hell maybe even a millenium of sewage from boats
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Old 13-06-2012, 16:50   #13
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Re: Sani-Flush ; Lectra-San

Several thoughts:

1) The boat came with FW flush. Both heads. We kind of like it. When we go cruising, we can convert one back to SW if we wish to.

2) If we first understand the whole "pumping poop over the side" thing, it helps: You can pee into a bucket, and dump it over the side, you can pee over the side, you can swim in the water and pee in the water, you can poop in a bucket and dump it over the side, you can swim in the water and poop while you are swimming (I know, yuk). You get the point. However, you can't pee into a toilet and pump it over the side. Even though we all learned in Freshman Biology that the urine of healthy people is sterile. HOWEVER, if you sterilize the pee with chlorine (via either Electrosan or Purasan), you can dump EXCEPT in designated "No Discharge" zones. In Texas, this includes inland lakes and Clear Lake. Otherwise, you can treat and dump.

While this seems on the surface to be disgusting, in moderation it is quickly moved through the environment. And, there are STILL huge "sewage spills" by municipalities all over the US. Not too long ago, the San Antonio Water System received a slap on the hand for dumping 500,000 gallons of untreated sewage into the river system - which leads to the Texas Coast. When I grew up on the East Coast, coastal communities never treated sewage - they just piped it a few hundred yards offshore. I guess what I'm saying is that it's probably just fine to treat and dump.

3) As you noted, these units only work right when you discharge immediately. However, they do have a "Treat and Hold" system that's about 2X the cost. It holds a reasonable amount of treated effluent.

4) The Purasan unit uses less electricity, and works with fresh water. But, you do have to buy tablets.
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Old 13-06-2012, 17:09   #14
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Re: Sani-Flush ; Lectra-San

A small correction, direct discharge, only, is allowed. That's peeing or dumping directly overboard or while in the water. Putting it into a bucket or other container and dumping it is frowned upon.

You can use the LectraSan and ElectraScan with freshwater if you put salt in the mix. Raritan makes a salt dispenser that injects salt into the effluent going into the LS/ES or or just dump a small amount of salt in the head before flushing. You need the salt so the LS OR ES can generate the chlorine compound. Understand that using these devices in freshwater will burn the electrodes up and result in messy and expensive repairs.

Suspect the Purasan is just a modern day version of the Macerator/Chlorinator that were popular a 1/2 century or so ago. Those mixed in a small amount of Chlorine to kill the bugs and ground up the effluent before it went overboard. Otherwise, the same basic function as the LectraSan only adding chlorine instead of creating a chlorine compound electrically.
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Old 13-06-2012, 17:38   #15
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Re: Sani-Flush ; Lectra-San

the restrictions on Lectrasan type systems in coastal communities is counter productive.

1) it inadvertently encourages the raw sewage discharge alternative instead of buying and using an effective treatment system
2) raw sewage is pumped out of the boat and sent to a municipal system that will dump the treated sewage back into the coastal waters. At best, you get the same result. But they are dumping thousands of gallons into one spot vs boats dumping miniscule amounts over a large area. This is if the municipality actually treats the sewage. Billions of gallons of untreated waste are dumped into rivers, lakes & coastal waters every year across the USA. Certainly significantly worse than any alternative.

Dumb @ss do-gooders causing more harm than good
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