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Old 29-11-2011, 21:57   #16
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Re: Composting Head

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Originally Posted by laminaria View Post

the pee i dump in the ocean at night cause its sterile.
Just because it's sterile doesn't mean it's safe to dump. Urine is extremely nutrient rich and can affect fish far worse then feces. It is actually harder to break down then feces in sea water. It can also contain all sorts of residual medication which could be harmful.

Putting urine in seawater also leads to Eutrophication - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia which you may notice as the green sludge on the side of your boat.
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Old 29-11-2011, 22:22   #17
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Re: Composting Head

A few comments on my experience.

It is said you can pee standing up. Don't believe it. At least not with a Nature's Head. If urine gets in the feces it smells and is heavy and the guy who has to deal with it gets grumpy (maybe that's just me).

If you don't have enough space consider building your own then you're only limited by your imagination but if you don't devise a urine separation system you're really crapping in a bucket.

If you and your son drink beer you'll need to learn to dump the urine jug more frequently then you think (I'll leave the reason I know to that unlimited imagination of yours).

I love my Nature's Head, well not love exactly, more like prefer it immeasurably over a tank.

For eutrophication from a sailors urine to occur in the ocean it'll have to be a sheltered bay with no tidal flow and a lot of folks drinking a lot of beer.
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Old 30-11-2011, 08:46   #18
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Re: Composting Head

I have read a lot of good stuff about composting head and the many advantages over holding tanks.
But, what about everyday use? Is it a pain to have to open the trap (crap?) door and aim? What if you sit to pee and accidentally feel like dropping something - gotta be quick with the hands! What if the boat is healing -does urine go to the right place? Do you have to adjust the sitting position according to the angle of heel? Do you always have to clean it up? What if you get the runs it will be mostly liquids. What about toilet paper - can it go in and does it compost?

I am really leaning towards a composting head, but to find out that in reality it is a pain in the butt (no pun) to use it will be too late and too expensive!

I really appreciate your help.

Thanks!
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Old 30-11-2011, 08:52   #19
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Re: Composting Head

I'm trying to get the admiral to think about replacing our heads with a composting head. It's a tough go so far. I have either read or someone at the Annapolis boat show said that when living aboard sometimes the poop is not fully cooked before the head requires emptying which means that the poop is dumped in a container for further composting. Can someone that lives aboard confirm that this is a issue?
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Old 30-11-2011, 10:52   #20
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Re: Composting Head

I'm sure the model you have makes a difference to some of the answers.

Nature's Head. I've not found it in anyway inconvenient when compared to a holding tank. There is no more cleaning, in fact less since most often the feces drops unencumbered into the bucket. On the rare occasion when it doesn't a little toilet paper and it's clean. You don't have to pump a handle X number of times, you just stir the pot a bit. You will make the adjustment that's all, the same as you adjust from a bathroom to a head.

If the angle of heel is significant some urine might not flow into the catchment hole.

If you are living aboard you will be emptying the feces before they are broken down. It's not a big deal if there isn't any urine in with it.
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:49   #21
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Re: Composting Head

I really appreciate the replies this thread has generated. Those who have a composting head seem to be well satisfied.
One weak point of the system appears to be the limited capacity of the urine container and the associated handling / disposal.
Has anyone though of using electrolysis as a means of evaporating the liquids in the urine?
I ran across this Urine turned into hydrogen fuel during some of my research. Got me to thinking maybe something along this line could be developed to improve the system.
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:26   #22
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Re: Composting Head

The urine containers are the draw back. Frequent dumpings is the norm, but far better than one leak from a holding system. It would be nice to route a fresh water line to the urine container to flush it over board but unfortunatly you'd run afoul of the man if he pulls you over. If it could be done it would make a composter almost the perfect head on a boat.
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:49   #23
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Re: Composting Head

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Has anyone though of using electrolysis as a means of evaporating the liquids in the urine?
I believe the Sun-Mar line of composting toilets uses the evaporation approach to get rid of fluids: Excel Composting Toilet by Sun-Mar

These do not isolate feces from urine, so their use is pretty much the same as "normal" heads. I initially considered these toilets (I believe they make a hull-shaped version). Was eventually turned off by Sun-Mar's power demands, their physical size (they are bigger than Nature/Air Head), and the fact that they are only rated for 1-2 continuous users for the size that would fit in my boat.

I do know other boats who use the Sun-Mar's. They look great, and are much closer to normal heads. If you have the space, the power capacity, and the extra $$$, I'm sure they would make good options.
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:05   #24
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Re: Composting Head

Hi:

Anyone interested in the art and science of alternative means of handling human waste might want to track down "The Humanure Book". It was and probably still is free to download in PDF, or you can buy a paper copy. Google search will find it PDQ.

Regards,

Boulter
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:23   #25
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Re: Composting Head

If you want a larger capacity for urine collection you can plumb the urine diverter to a larger container, even a small tank if you want.

Just make the tank installation reasonably easy to move and no larger that you want to carry.

The gallon container is good for 2 or 3 days depending on use, for two people. One of the things about the C-Head that I like is the urine container is a plain old gallon jug, the same as milk comes in. You can have a coupla back ups so that when one is full you can cap it and remove it and queue up another one easily. They just lift in and out with the lid raised. Empty them however you prefer. When a jug gets yucky from the calcium build up, which it will, you don't have to clean it. Just rinse and recycle or toss in the garbage, depending on how trash is handled.

The C-Head is designed to be emptied more regularly of solid waste.

You can have a second container (another 5 gallon bucket) which you put a special lid on that is provided with your head when it arrives. It has air access to keep it aerobic and a filter to keep bugs out. You can allow it to compost further, and fill it up to however much you can carry easily.

Or you can empty into a sturdy garbage bag and drop in the dumpster, in the same way you would empty a diaper pail of disposable diapers. The better news here is if you use compostable bags for the garbage dumps you will not be putting uncompostable plastics into the land fill. Even if you use a plastic bag, one plastic bag is much less non bio material than diapers would be. If you use compostable bags you can NOT store them for any length of time. After all, they compost...

I would way rather carry a bag of dried out waste up to the dumpster than deal with pumpout...
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:30   #26
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Re: Composting Head

SARAFINA,
Milk containers seem pretty flimsy. Do you have any problems with them being punctured?
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:31   #27
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Re: Composting Head

Nope.

; -)
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:42   #28
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Re: Composting Head

I'll be replacing my head in the near future. A composting head looks like it will do the trick for me too. Its on my list of things to buy this year at the boat show.
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