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Old 13-10-2017, 11:30   #1
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holding tank need to be closed in marina?

We are sailing along Spain coast and then Canary islands. Do we need to close the holding tank when docking boat in the marinas in Spain, Portugal or canary islands? Having looked at the sailing guide book, we can't find this holding tank information on the book.

We always close it in marina and then open it in the ocean. Sometimes, it gets a bit messy in the head.
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Old 13-10-2017, 11:46   #2
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Re: holding tank need to be closed in marina?

Let your conscience be your guide. We always used the holding tank when anchored off beaches or in marinas, then emptied it when we were out to sea.
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Old 13-10-2017, 12:04   #3
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Re: holding tank need to be closed in marina?

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Originally Posted by Aden View Post
a.



We always close it in marina and then open it in the ocean. Sometimes, it gets a bit messy in the head.

How does the holding tank make it messy in the head?
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Old 13-10-2017, 12:59   #4
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Re: holding tank need to be closed in marina?

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How does the holding tank make it messy in the head?
It was full and got flooded from the tank after closing it for a few days. Not nice though. Luckily, it happened on the day when leaving from the marina.

Should I see the note or warning in the marinas about closing the holding tank?
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Old 13-10-2017, 13:05   #5
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Re: holding tank need to be closed in marina?

Absolutely close the holding tank in a marina. Think about it from your point of view. Suppose you're sitting in the cockpit of your boat and suddenly from under the boat next to you in the marina a bucketful of brown, smelly, lumpy head discharge floats up while you are having breakfast????

If you have a small holding tank then use the toilets at the marina or take a short trip out of the harbor every few days to pump out.
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Old 13-10-2017, 13:07   #6
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Re: holding tank need to be closed in marina?

Maybe just pay closer attention to capacity and use. An overflowing holding tank is in the same camp as running out of water or fuel.
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Old 13-10-2017, 13:09   #7
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Re: holding tank need to be closed in marina?

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Originally Posted by Aden View Post
It was full and got flooded from the tank after closing it for a few days. Not nice though. Luckily, it happened on the day when leaving from the marina.



Should I see the note or warning in the marinas about closing the holding tank?


There’s something horribly wrong with your holding tank if being full allows it to overflow into the head compartment!

But, anytime your in an enclosed body of water, the holding tank should be utilized. Even if there is no pumpout available, keep the holding tank active until you leave the marina or, worst case, empty only on a falling tide.
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Old 13-10-2017, 15:11   #8
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Re: holding tank need to be closed in marina?

i'm don't think it is law yet anywhere in the med apart from turkey to use a holding tank.
indeed many boats were never fitted with them in europe.

but as others have said use the marina facilities and your tank if you have one,and put the harbour mullet on a diet,those fish have grow into swarms in marinas in the med!
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Old 13-10-2017, 16:43   #9
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Re: holding tank need to be closed in marina?

I'm confused on how you close a holding tank. And on where the poop goes if the holding tank is somehow closed.
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Old 13-10-2017, 17:51   #10
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Re: holding tank need to be closed in marina?

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I'm confused on how you close a holding tank. And on where the poop goes if the holding tank is somehow closed.
many holding tanks are above the waterline and emptied by gravity,and inline with the toilet flush so when "open" the sewage just comes in at the top and flows out at the bottom of the tank into the sea.

when skin fitting valve is "closed" the sewage is held in the tank untill it is either sucked out by dock pump or the valve at the bottom opened and sewage released to the sea
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Old 13-10-2017, 17:54   #11
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Re: holding tank need to be closed in marina?

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many holding tanks are above the waterline and emptied by gravity,and inline with the toilet flush so when "open" the sewage just comes in at the top and flows out at the bottom of the tank into the sea.

when skin fitting valve is "closed" the sewage is held in the tank untill it is either sucked out by dock pump or the valve at the bottom opened and sewage released to the sea
I never heard of that so thanks for the explanation. I'm not sure that would be entirely legal in the USA.
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Old 13-10-2017, 18:15   #12
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Re: holding tank need to be closed in marina?

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I never heard of that so thanks for the explanation. I'm not sure that would be entirely legal in the USA.
it is a pretty common system,and requires no pumps or diverter valves from the head,so only one outlet skinfitting.

mine has the pump out deck fitting directly above the outflow in the bottom,so if it gets blocked a bit of rigid plastic tube or rigging wire pushed through soon unblocks it.

FYI this is the same system submarines use underwater,only difference is compressed air forced in from the top is used to empty the tank instead of gravity.
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Old 13-10-2017, 18:24   #13
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Re: holding tank need to be closed in marina?

I would think then if the tank allows the poop to pass directly through and into the water, it should be closed when in a marina. You certainly don't want turds and used toilet paper floating around the docks.

One way to minimize holding tank filling up when in a marina is to use the marina's facilities whenever possible.
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Old 13-10-2017, 18:40   #14
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Re: holding tank need to be closed in marina?

I have a large holding tank that takes Toilet discharge (Black Water) + Shower/Galley discharge (Grey Water) so they mix together

Both toilets and holding Tank have macerater pumps for discharging, so nothing lumpy in the soup.

Holding tank hull outlet is below the turn of the bilge, so about 2 ft under waterline.

For marinas, there is a deck fitting to connect to for pump out to their own sewage system.

If no pump out and if their shore toilets are disgusting, I pump out late and night so it does not offend.
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Old 13-10-2017, 19:35   #15
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Re: holding tank need to be closed in marina?

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
I would think then if the tank allows the poop to pass directly through and into the water, it should be closed when in a marina. You certainly don't want turds and used toilet paper floating around the docks.

One way to minimize holding tank filling up when in a marina is to use the marina's facilities whenever possible.
Most heads are fitted with a mascerator so no lumps and a quick dispersion and kill off of the harmful bacteria. As atoll says, the fish enjoy it.
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