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Old 29-02-2016, 02:35   #16
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Re: Info and advice on head set-up

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The count so far is 4 votes for the composting toilet...

Hearing no enthusiasm for replumbing to eliminate our design problem, I will ask the pro-composters...
I would relocate the deck fiting to eliminate any loops.


We have a Mahe, but I think our head setup is similar to the Belize.
All black water goes into the holding tank, which gravity drains into the ocean through a big valve. We have the deck fitting for pumpout straight over the tank, and a vent / overflow hose going to a throughull at the water level.

We always flush with plenty of sea water, and when winterizing we flush with lots of fresh water. We have zero smell. really never ever any smell.
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Old 29-02-2016, 03:13   #17
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Re: Info and advice on head set-up

My biggest issue with composting toilets, is for very old technology (they are really no more than Earth Closets), they are chronically overpriced plastic buckets.

The biggest issue with plumbed in systems, is just the same in a boat as it is on land (if you have a private drainage system) - becoming a victim of the workings of anaerobic bacteria.

Now if a plumbed in system took account of this, and promoted AEROBIC bacteria, then that would be a far superior system, to an Earth Closet (you don't have to do anything different to normal, and you don't have to 'lug stuff' to dispose of it).

In fact I would double the aerobic system up, with 'two' holding tanks (a tank is not expensive), each having a simple, maintenance free, air diffuser, driven by a single air pump (a good air pump can be so reliable, it can do 10+ years easily, as they are not exactly stressed unless delivering high pressure, which is not needed).

Then when Tank 1 is approaching full, switch to Tank 2. Make sure each tank can cope with say two weeks of use. After a week of aerobic bacteria going through the system and cleaning even the tubing and fittings for you from the inside, the contents of Tank 1 should be perfectly safe to pump overboard, but if legislators wanted to play it 'belt and braces' safe, they could legislate that no aerobic holding tank should be pumped overboard for say 10 days?

Far simpler than all this pump out nonsense, far more reliable than the present anaerobic systems, should be cheap as chips, plus, no smells.

In the meantime, and as a 'get me home', having looked at all the composting toilets, the only one that seems to make any real sense, is the C-Head (though even that is chronically overpriced). So I'll get one of those until I can sort out an aerobic bacteria system for my boat.

PS In case anybody is wondering, the reason an Earth Closet/Composting toilet doesn't smell, is because they use aerobic bacteria. Get the contents too wet, so the oxygen content plummets, and the stinky anaerobic bacteria take over. The problem is, because it is a dry system, rather than an aerobic wet system, it dramatically slows down the speed with which those bacteria can work (why the dry system is properly described as a 'pre-composting' system, rather than a proper composting system).

PPS You can tell when a wet aerobic system is working properly, because a tank gets a 'head' on it like frothy soap bubbles.
Plus, if I get my 'cheap as chips' aerobic system up and running, I will license it to any manufacturer, to encourage competition rather than an overpriced monopoly, at a rate of $1 per system.
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Old 29-02-2016, 03:49   #18
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Re: Info and advice on head set-up

When I get my boat in America, it's a pity I am under a time constraint to leave due to having to get South of the hurricane track in a timely fashion (apart from also having to leave potentially within 30 days of the boat purchase), or I could get all the components necessary organised, and fit them to my boat before leaving, so I can test it all out on my way back.

It may just be possible (can perhaps get it all fitted while hauled out for CopperCoat antifouling), so I'll see how it goes.
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Old 29-02-2016, 22:25   #19
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Re: Info and advice on head set-up

Hi Rabbi,
Dank for your reply. So is the hose to the through hull valve coming off the bottom of the tank on your setup? If so, do you think it gets pumped out when you pump out?

We're not so sure about that on our boat and also seem to have hoses that are permeated. So we are having an awful scent from that hose. Maybe we wouldn't have the problem if the hoses were still OK.

Thanks
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Old 29-02-2016, 22:39   #20
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Re: Info and advice on head set-up

Thanks, Ribbit. We'll be the first to sign up for your double aerobic system as soon as it's available and legal here. We have a vulnerable bay that has just recently begun looking recovered from pollution that almost ruined it. It seems likely to be a long time before the guardians of this bay will allow anyone to dump anything in there. But we can't fault the hard line taken, given the circumstances. And we do enjoy seeing those frolicking seals and sea lions. This summer, there was even a dolphin hanging out in a marina cove in South San Francisco, apparently enjoying the nice clean bay water.
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Old 01-03-2016, 01:38   #21
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Re: Info and advice on head set-up

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Hi Rabbi,
Dank for your reply. So is the hose to the through hull valve coming off the bottom of the tank on your setup? If so, do you think it gets pumped out when you pump out?

We're not so sure about that on our boat and also seem to have hoses that are permeated. So we are having an awful scent from that hose. Maybe we wouldn't have the problem if the hoses were still OK.

Thanks
No, the draining hose won't be pumped out. All you can do is flush a few times (freshwater hose into the pumpout, then pump out again).

But with a new hose this should not cause significant issues. Replacing the hose should not be a big issue, in the Mahe I could do it in a few minutes.
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Old 03-03-2016, 15:20   #22
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Re: Info and advice on head set-up

Chat,

Providing diagrams of the blackwater plumbing when we purchased our 2003 Belize. I know of one other owner that removed his 17 gal holding tank and installed a 30+ gal tank next to the water tank (I think). Redid all hoses and moved pump-out fitting on the deck.

If you can, convert hoses from metric to non-metric if you can. Will save you lots of money. Good luck.

Pete
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Old 03-03-2016, 15:40   #23
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Re: Info and advice on head set-up

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In fact I would double the aerobic system up, with 'two' holding tanks (a tank is not expensive), each having a simple, maintenance free, air diffuser, driven by a single air pump (a good air pump can be so reliable, it can do 10+ years easily, as they are not exactly stressed unless delivering high pressure, which is not needed).

Then when Tank 1 is approaching full, switch to Tank 2. Make sure each tank can cope with say two weeks of use. After a week of aerobic bacteria going through the system and cleaning even the tubing and fittings for you from the inside, the contents of Tank 1 should be perfectly safe to pump overboard, but if legislators wanted to play it 'belt and braces' safe, they could legislate that no aerobic holding tank should be pumped overboard for say 10 days?

Far simpler than all this pump out nonsense, far more reliable than the present anaerobic systems, should be cheap as chips, plus, no smells.
My understanding is that human waste takes a minimum of six months to become "safe", even in a system like you are describing. If you are near shore, what's the issue with putting it in a garbage bag and putting it in the dumpster? Then it just decays on its own with the trash. If you are offshore then you can just dispose of it overboard, as everyone does now. I don't get why your system is any kind of improvement, especially given that it takes up a lot of room.

I am really interested in the topic, so if you have any data or studies saying that any system makes human waste "safe" in a shorter amount of time I would love to check it out. It is also great to see people really examining the waste disposal issue and coming up with new angles and ideas.
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Old 03-03-2016, 17:04   #24
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Re: Info and advice on head set-up

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My understanding is that human waste takes a minimum of six months to become "safe", even in a system like you are describing. If you are near shore, what's the issue with putting it in a garbage bag and putting it in the dumpster? Then it just decays on its own with the trash. If you are offshore then you can just dispose of it overboard, as everyone does now. I don't get why your system is any kind of improvement, especially given that it takes up a lot of room.

I am really interested in the topic, so if you have any data or studies saying that any system makes human waste "safe" in a shorter amount of time I would love to check it out. It is also great to see people really examining the waste disposal issue and coming up with new angles and ideas.
Well with my friends 'land' aerobic system in the EU, we basically had to write the specification for it (I do think they were trying to steal his invention though, as they were throwing obstacle after obstacle in his way, and almost bankrupted him), as nothing was in existence to cover it.

What needs to be grasped is just how aggressive aerobic bacteria are compared to anaerobic bacteria.

As I see it, if 'pre-composted' waste is sealed up in a bag and put in the trash, it won't keep working for long, as the aerobic bacteria will die back and then be overwhelmed by the anaerobic bacteria. So a bit counter productive.

The extra expense of another tank isn't too bad, as I can get a 20 gallon tank for $125 or so retail. Plus of course there's the expense of extra fittings, but they aren't too bad either.

Not insignificant either, is existing marine head installations can be used, and on bigger boats there could easily be no visible impact to what can be very expensive head fixtures and fittings. The existing holding tank might even be usable and you just need to add one more. That won't work for everybody to be sure, but if it helps some, then great. Then of course if people start being happy with it, and there is enough demand, then a single tank that is two tanks inside, can be worth tooling up for.

As the old saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the baking, and I'm prepared to be the guinea pig 'baker' to get it specced and running right.

Plus to keep everybody happy until there is a long enough track record, then it is important to include a pump out facility for the tanks (which boats already tend to include anyway).

We'll see how it goes, and if it works as well as it should, it can be a nice extra option that will suit some people better than others.
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Old 03-03-2016, 17:45   #25
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Re: Info and advice on head set-up

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Well with my friends 'land' aerobic system in the EU, we basically had to write the specification for it (I do think they were trying to steal his invention though, as they were throwing obstacle after obstacle in his way, and almost bankrupted him), as nothing was in existence to cover it.

What needs to be grasped is just how aggressive aerobic bacteria are compared to anaerobic bacteria.

As I see it, if 'pre-composted' waste is sealed up in a bag and put in the trash, it won't keep working for long, as the aerobic bacteria will die back and then be overwhelmed by the anaerobic bacteria. So a bit counter productive.

The extra expense of another tank isn't too bad, as I can get a 20 gallon tank for $125 or so retail. Plus of course there's the expense of extra fittings, but they aren't too bad either.

Not insignificant either, is existing marine head installations can be used, and on bigger boats there could easily be no visible impact to what can be very expensive head fixtures and fittings. The existing holding tank might even be usable and you just need to add one more. That won't work for everybody to be sure, but if it helps some, then great. Then of course if people start being happy with it, and there is enough demand, then a single tank that is two tanks inside, can be worth tooling up for.

As the old saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the baking, and I'm prepared to be the guinea pig 'baker' to get it specced and running right.

Plus to keep everybody happy until there is a long enough track record, then it is important to include a pump out facility for the tanks (which boats already tend to include anyway).

We'll see how it goes, and if it works as well as it should, it can be a nice extra option that will suit some people better than others.
The problem is there will be no way to certify that what gets pumped overboard from the second tank has no bacteria or nutrients in it. No government will allow the contents of the second tank to be pumped overboard in a no discharge zone. Basically what you're talking about is a sewage treatment system which is creative but in the eyes of the government you have treated sewage at the end of the process which still cannot be pumped overboard. This is similar to the Lectra San controversy. Even though all of the bacteria is killed with this unit it is still illegal to pump what it treats overboard.
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