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Old 12-10-2015, 10:55   #16
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

We didn't get our C-Head because of environmental concerns. I don't believe pumping overboard has any adverse effect on the environment whatsoever. We did it because it was time to replace the hoses & install a new holding tank & this was so much easier. Plus no worries about being legal if boarded & no pump outs. However, regarding pee disposal I plan to just dump it overboard. I can't imagine anyone in their right mind believes that peeing overboard harms the environment.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:57   #17
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

Yes. I installed one on one of my boats and have also installed traditional head systems.

A few things to think about when installing the Nature's Head:

Venting: Make sure no water, not even spray can enter the exhaust vent and get the compost wet. Not only will the turn the compost nasty fast, but it may fry your fan. Related - Get an extra exhaust fan or two to keep on board. They are cheap. You can get them at places like radio shack cheaper.

Urine Collection: I knew from the get go, I didn't want to empty urine bottles constantly, so when installing it, I installed a 3 gallon urine holding tank directly under the output, which I could pump overboard when and where appropriate via an above the waterline outlet. Obviously you could have a pump out of this as well if desired. I'm very glad I planned this in from the beginning.

Misc: have plenty of spare peat moss or composing material. I used a simple spray bottle with some diluted pine sented head treatment to spray in the urine area after each use. If properly vented and the urine area cleaned, the Nature's Head has almost no smell.


Other thought: I think composing heads have their place on cruising boats, but give some real though to the pluses and minuses and how they fit your particular situation rather than just wanting it because it's "green". When I was cruising inland waters on a small trimaran for short cruises, it was a great solution. For locations where overboard dumping is legal and ethical, I much prefer a simple gravity feed marine head option. Simply opening a seacock to empty waste by gravity is much easier and less nasty than dumping partly composted waste overboard by hand and much easier to do underway when far from shore.

Feel free to send me a PM if you have any questions about installation and use.
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:48   #18
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

We bought a C head for our Catfisher 28' and love it. We were than able to remove the 15 gallon holding tank, plug two thru hull fittings & hoses, and add an additional 20 gallon fuel tank in its place.
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:11   #19
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

Human urine, diluted about seven times with water, is an exelent fertilizer. Try giving it to a farmer!
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:16   #20
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

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Human urine, diluted about seven times with water, is an exelent fertilizer. Try giving it to a farmer!
That would be an interesting conversation.
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:34   #21
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

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Nothing really green or not green about composting heads.


You still have to dispose of the remnants at some point. Composting heads are just more convenient since you can hold a months usage in a much smaller space.
+1 They aren't 'greener' by any means.

The issue we have is height and frequency of emptying.

Height can probably be relaxed as a requirement. We'll just have a higher seat than the rest of our shower. Base width is also a little tricky as our hull sweeps past the corner of the head area. The raritan fits in this space well. Most composting heads seem to have a large base footprint.

How often are full time liveaboards emptying their composting heads. Where do you dispose of the liquid and solid waste? We pump out every 3 weeks and one a month is included in our marina fees.

We're considering switching out our aft head as it dumps straight overboard. We don't use it for obvious reasons. We just use it as a seat when showering.

The tradeoff is it is identical to our other Raritan PHII. They are reliable and it is a source of spares. Our other head is in daily use. We replace the joker valve, flapper valve and orings each year as part of our preventative maintenance cycle.

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Old 12-10-2015, 12:51   #22
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

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+1 They aren't 'greener' by any means.

The issue we have is height and frequency of emptying.

Height can probably be relaxed as a requirement. We'll just have a higher seat than the rest of our shower. Base width is also a little tricky as our hull sweeps past the corner of the head area. The raritan fits in this space well. Most composting heads seem to have a large base footprint.

How often are full time liveaboards emptying their composting heads. Where do you dispose of the liquid and solid waste? We pump out every 3 weeks and one a month is included in our marina fees.

We're considering switching out our aft head as it dumps straight overboard. We don't use it for obvious reasons. We just use it as a seat when showering.

The tradeoff is it is identical to our other Raritan PHII. They are reliable and it is a source of spares. Our other head is in daily use. We replace the joker valve, flapper valve and orings each year as part of our preventative maintenance cycle.

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You can download templates of the C-Head's footprint too see if it will fit your space. The bucket model has a very small footprint & is angled in at the rear.

http://www.c-head.com/images/Bucket_...dimensions.jpg
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:53   #23
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

We are putting a Nature's Head on our boat. Lance just finished ripping out the completely rebuilt marine head and brand new sanitation hoses that he had put in last year. That's how bad we wanted to be rid of our traditional marine head. Had we stumbled onto this idea sooner (I really had no idea) we would have done this from the get-go.

Over the years he has had to rebuild more than one marine head. A nasty job under any conditions. I think pump outs are nasty too, those little drips from the hose that sometimes end up on the deck. Gag me. I swear I'd rather empty a porta-potty (which I actually prefer to a plumbed MSD in fact).

But what really did us in was a major sewage mishap on our CD-28. We had the smell....that god-awful sewage smell. We had just purchased the boat and figured it was probably old porous hoses, or a full tank that had been left in a long closed up boat, whatever. Replacing hoses, cleaning the head, airing out the boat, air fresheners, nothing worked to get rid of it, or even reduce it. Finally it was determined that there was a crack on the underside of the holding tank, which was located under the forward vee-berth. Sewage had been trickling out of the tank, through several lockers (finding this was disgusting and how we finally diagnosed the problem), in between the liner and hull, and into the bilge for heaven only knows how long. We had just bought the boat so it could have been for years for all we knew.

We removed and replaced the tank. I emptied out the vee-berth area and removed the covers off of every locker and access hole. I took a pressure hose attached to a container first of cleaners and bleach and then of odor neutralizer ( a number of times over a week or so) and pressure sprayed into every hole trying to get it clean between the liner and hull, which I believe I did. We flooded the bilges from front to back clear up to the floor boards, 3 times, with bleach once, with bilge cleaner once, with odor neutralizer once. We let it soak, we scrubbed it, we did everything. I think the odor must have permeated the wood from behind or something because 3 years later you could still smell that sewage smell, certainly much fainter, but I was hyper-sensitive to it by that point. To this day even the faintest whiff of that horrible scent just gets to me.

I am now totally paranoid about carrying a tank of sewage around in my boat and there is a great deal of inconvenience (emptying the small tanks on the desiccating toilet, mixing coco coir, whatever is required) that I would be willing to go to in order to eliminate any chance of that happening again.

Our holding tank is glassed in place in the bilge so we are going to leave it. Maybe someday in the future some other owner will want to use an MSD and doing major demo to get it out doesn't seem necessary. We are going to clean it out as best we can as many times as we need to and cap it off. All hoses are being removed. The thru hull for the head intake water is being glassed up but the overboard thru hull is being repurposed for the head sink which used to drain into a bilge sump. We're happy to get to use it for that because I didn't like that sink draining arrangement to start with.

I have talked to a number of people who actually have the heads and I have done a lot of research and most people who have them really love them and wouldn't go back. I am under no illusion that the desiccating toilet will be totally trouble or work free. I am aware that the fan needs to be kept working, and that there may be a need to add some diatomeceous earth if the buggies appear. And I know that a properly working plumbed marine sanitation device is just fine (with the emphasis on properly working), as long as nothing goes wrong. The problem is that once something does go wrong the mess and ill effects can just be catastrophic and long lasting. So, whatever it takes, for me the Nature's Head will be giving me a great deal of peace of mind and it's worth it. Whether or not it is a greener solution really never entered into the equation for me.
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Old 12-10-2015, 13:14   #24
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

Where is the C model made By this statement going green means a lot different things to a lot of people City of Victoria is finnally going to stop dumping crap into the ocean. My boat can not and would dump crap into the ocean. Read your owners manuels

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Old 12-10-2015, 13:23   #25
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

Composting heads don't. It takes months, moisture, and elevated temperatures for true composting. This class of heads are desiccating heads hence the need to separate urine from feces. No way these heads can be considered green.

We may install a C-head so as a test I made a bucket toilet with a funnel urine separator. Works great! No smell at all after sprinkling dried coconut on the poo. My bucket does not stir so we use a bit more coconut per "load" than the C-head or others would probably use. Urine goes up to the marina heads and partially dried poo to the marina dumpster.

No pump out at the marina we are in right now and none with easy access nearby. That was the primary reason for considering a C-head. No more midnight treks to the marina head either.

Current thinking is to keep our nice bronze Groco head and use the bucket when pumping overboard is not possible.

Try a bucket for while if you think you want to install a waterless head.
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Old 12-10-2015, 20:06   #26
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

I use my own home made arrangement and really like it. I use punga, litter as my carbon source. Last empty after three months off the boat and there was no trace of toilet waste. No smell apart from faint earth smell when lid is off.
I don't know about commercial systems, but the concept and practice is very sound.
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Old 12-10-2015, 20:49   #27
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

Not getting into any 'discussions' re the pros and cons, other than to say we have electric heads with holding tanks. As easy to use as a regular domestic toilet, and (the bit I thought worth mentioning), absolutely no smell at all. It is all down to good ventilation of the holding tanks to keep them aerobic rather than anaerobic.

As a side note, holding tanks are here to stay for greywater reasons alone. A growing number of countries are adopting a 'zero discharge' policy, whether black of grey water (and of course in an ideal world, where they do, they provide convenient pump-out facilities ).

So something as simple as washing the dishes at night, or brushing ones teeth, is already contravening local laws in some places unless you have a holding tank.

On another note, while in Istanbul (Turkey being one country with zero discharge policy) we were looking at the beach considering how inviting it looked for a swim. Then it rained that afternoon, and we watched all of the filth in the gutters run down the steep streets into the sea. We never did find time for that swim ....
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Old 12-10-2015, 21:37   #28
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

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Originally Posted by oldragbaggers View Post
Says it all......
Yep, say's I'm honest. I've had a jabsco macerator come apart and leak sewage in the bilge on the way to a raft up. I've installed/removed/repaired a jabsco manual, jabsco electric, sealand vacuflush, skipper 2, and what we currently have on our boat, a raritan sea elegance and a raritan fresh head.

We went with fresh water flushing to hopefully avoid the calcification of the hoses.

I really don't know why you composting toilet lovers get so defensive about it... maybe you get irritable playing monkey grinder with your poo. I promise I won't snicker when I see you walking up the dock with your bucket of crap looking for a place to "fertilize".
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Old 12-10-2015, 21:58   #29
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

Three sea sick crew members, one feminine hygiene item item, a clogged Joker valve in eight foot seas, and you'll be a composting toilet lover for ever.

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Old 12-10-2015, 22:02   #30
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Re: Going Green Nature Composting toilet

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Yep, say's I'm honest. I've had a jabsco macerator come apart and leak sewage in the bilge on the way to a raft up. I've installed/removed/repaired a jabsco manual, jabsco electric, sealand vacuflush, skipper 2, and what we currently have on our boat, a raritan sea elegance and a raritan fresh head.

We went with fresh water flushing to hopefully avoid the calcification of the hoses.

I really don't know why you composting toilet lovers get so defensive about it... maybe you get irritable playing monkey grinder with your poo. I promise I won't snicker when I see you walking up the dock with your bucket of crap looking for a place to "fertilize".
I'm not at all defensive about it. I just happen to think that if you're looking for a credible opinion about whether or not something works, or how it works, the best source is going to be someone who has actually used the thing in question.

The fact that you think someone would be carrying their bucket around looking for a field to fertilize further illustrates how little you know about the system. I guess someone might do that if they were in an area where it is possible. Most people bag it (you can use a composting bag) and throw it in the dumpster. So at most you are going to see someone carrying one additional bag as they go to the dumpster with the rest of the trash. I guess if you were really curious as to whether you should snicker you could ask them if one of their garbage bags contains the contents of their head. Otherwise I doubt you would know the difference and may miss an opportunity for a good chuckle.

Some of the most vehemently negative opinions on this subject on several different threads I have seen have been from people who state they have never used one. If that's the case then I think really the best they can say with any authority is that the idea doesn't appeal to them. Beyond that their opinion is nothing more than speculation.

For a true evaluation of how the system works, whether it performs as advertised, whether it is worth the trouble (subjective), only someone who actually has experience with the system can tell you these things with any authority. And pretty much every one I have talked to and (with only a couple of exceptions) every post I have read by someone who actually has one says that they work great, don't smell, and in their opinion they would not go back.

That doesn't mean it is for everybody, and that doesn't mean that people who are happy with their plumbed-in MSD system or their macerating toilets should give them up and go to a desiccating toilet, and I don't think anyone is saying that. But for those of us who, for reasons of our own, were already looking for an alternative to the standard MSD without going the much more primitive porta-potty route, getting credible information from experienced users about whether or not this is a viable alternative is usually the objective. Learning whether or not some people, who are happy with their current system and have no experience with these heads, think its a good idea or not really doesn't mean anything.
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