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Old 14-04-2012, 09:30   #1
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Holding Tanks

Hi, Can anyone tell me the rules for holding tanks on a yacht that was built in 1959? Would not having a holding tank cause a hassle with authorities when entering harbours around the world? Thanks
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Old 14-04-2012, 10:02   #2
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Re: Holding tanks

Probably would cause problems in various places. I believe the grandfather clauses in the US expired a decade or 2 after holding tanks became a requirement about 1980.
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Old 14-04-2012, 10:26   #3
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Re: Holding tanks

In the US, I dont think you are required to have a holding tank..... I might be wrong..... but the valve must be secured shut. During a coast guard boarding once they told me one way to do this was to simply put a key lock on the door to the head.....
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Old 14-04-2012, 10:56   #4
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Re: Holding tanks

You should have a holding tank it's 2012. I don't wanna swim in your sewage. The average cruiser is only at sea/ passage making 1/3 of the time. So 2/3s the time your anchored. Anchorages don't need to be full of sewage. If I want to clean my hull or swim I shouldn't have to worry about sewage in the water even if in a different /3rd world country. The answer is YES you need a holding tank.
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Old 14-04-2012, 11:12   #5
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Re: Holding tanks

Agree totally....
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Old 14-04-2012, 11:21   #6
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Re: Holding tanks

I can't speak for around the world--though central America has no issues with dumping sewage anywhere I've been--but in the US it's illegal to dump in many places. Whether you have holding tanks or not, the issue is it's illegal to dump. So if you want to go into a bag and hang onto it 'till you can dispose ashore, that's fine. If you want to keep it all in a five-gallon bucket that you periodically take by dinghy to the pump-out station, that's fine. Porta-potties are legal, so are composting heads. The holding tank and Y valve is the easiest way you have of convincing Law Enforcement that you're not dumping in the water, but there are plenty of options that involve less plumbing and expense. It just depends on how primitive you wish to be.
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Old 14-04-2012, 11:53   #7
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Re: Holding Tanks

As always I'm completly unconcerned with laws. But it is gross, lame, and a cop out to not have a holding tank. At sea it's a non-issue, but the rest of the time a boat is just a home. Most harbors are polluted enough, not having a holding tank means most likely your putting sewage in the water. If this was Seinfeld I would be the "POOP NAZI"
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Old 14-04-2012, 11:57   #8
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Re: Holding Tanks

I don't think anyone, anywhere, would care if you have the holding tank. It is usually the discharge of sewage, or graywater, that is regulated. How you choose to keep it on your boat is left as your problem. As long as the discharge is secured and prevented.

That could mean that if your head(s) are plumbed straight overboard, you'd have to secure the throughulls, or else physically secure the heads, to prevent discharge. Might be a tad more inconvenient than fitting a holding tank with standard pump-out provisions.
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Old 14-04-2012, 11:59   #9
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Re: Holding Tanks

There are very few and limited areas in the US where you have to have a holding tank without overboard pumpout possibility. It's mainly the Great Lakes and a few very limited coastal areas. You cannot pump out untreated sewage within the 3 mile coastal waters in the US, however. You can get type 1 and 2 MSD treatment devices that do allow overboard discharge. Most cruising areas around the world have no restrictions on overboard discharge. Don't know the requirements for Europe or other areas.

Raritan makes a number of MSD's that are overboard discharge legal except in a no discharge areas in the US. We bought a Lectra/San unit when they first came out 40 years ago and have one on our current boat. They've worked fine and keep me from having to own a floating outhouse. Raritan's Lecta/San and Electro scan units break down seawater electrically to create a treatment chemical that effectively treats sewage to better than municipal sewage treatment standards. They are environmentally friendly as they start with seawater and electrically generate a cholrine compound to treat the waste and then breaks back down to seawater.

Marine sewage, except in freshwater, is such a small issue as to be totally insignificant except possibly in marinas. Most human pathogens are rendered harmless in saltwater within a very short period of time and effluent is fish food. The craze for no discharge areas is just a bunch politicians trying to get their names in the news so they can justify their salaries.
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Old 14-04-2012, 12:42   #10
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Re: Holding Tanks

Peter your really not helping the cause. By telling someone they don't need a tank just keep thru hulls locked is saying "flush then relock". I don't care where we are if your anchored downwind 500' from me I don't wanna see your sewage.
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Old 14-04-2012, 12:51   #11
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Re: Holding Tanks

Did not mean to start an argument.
A lot of boats are advertised 'holding tank with maserator" I am thinking this does not actualy treat just grinds it up.
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Old 16-04-2012, 06:56   #12
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Re: Holding Tanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Marine sewage, except in freshwater, is such a small issue as to be totally insignificant except possibly in marinas.
We have significant problems with bacterial blooms here in Tampa Bay a couple of times a year, and discharge from boats is unquestionably a contributing factor. So it is not ONLY inside marinas!

Regardless of the pollution issues, I have literally seen turds floating up onto shore near an anchorage. Don't tell me that's not thoroughly disgusting, and don't even THINK about trying to tell me that's not coming from someone in the anchorage who chooses to ignore the discharge laws!

A holding tank is not that big of a deal. It's not a lot of money, it doesn't take up that much space, and it's really not that much trouble to maintain and use if you follow a few simple principles (adequate venting being the main one). Get a holding tank!
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Old 16-04-2012, 10:17   #13
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Re: Holding Tanks

d0n-
"Don't tell me that's not thoroughly disgusting,"
Actually what comes to mind is what WCFields said about why he never drank water. I'd quote it but this forum would throw a censorfit over that language.

I've had the pleasure (ugh) to be scuba diving when a brown snowstorm came down all around us. Bluefish feeding on the surface, and what goes in one end of the fish, pushes something out the other. Through the whole school of fish at once. UGH.

I'm all in favor of holding tanks--but some places keep the pumpout stations few and far between. That half of the picture often needs addressing too.
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Old 16-04-2012, 10:54   #14
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Re: Holding Tanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
d0n-
"Don't tell me that's not thoroughly disgusting,"
Actually what comes to mind is what WCFields said about why he never drank water. I'd quote it but this forum would throw a censorfit over that language.

I've had the pleasure (ugh) to be scuba diving when a brown snowstorm came down all around us. Bluefish feeding on the surface, and what goes in one end of the fish, pushes something out the other. Through the whole school of fish at once. UGH.

I'm all in favor of holding tanks--but some places keep the pumpout stations few and far between. That half of the picture often needs addressing too.
Yep, I often think the boat/head discharge thing is focused too heavily on boats when compared with municipalities. But really, I've seen too much muck in the water from cruisers. Was cleaning the bottom once in Georgetown Bahamas... noticed TP and baby Ruth's floating around. Also have had the 24 hour flu a few times after bottom cleaning in the caribe anchorages... A holding tank allows you to dump it when you are out of harbor. Every cruiser should be doing that just in respect for the other cruisers.... Who wants to live in a cesspool?
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Old 16-04-2012, 12:02   #15
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Re: Holding tanks

I read the below as if there is a toilet installed in your boat you must use an MSD.

From: Marine Sanitation Devices | Vessel Water Discharge | US EPA

Who is required to use an MSD?

Section 312 of the CWA requires the use of operable, U.S. Coast Guard-certified MSDs onboard vessels that are 1) equipped with installed toilets, and 2) operating on U.S. navigable waters (which include the three mile territorial seas). 33 U.S.C. 1322(h)(4)



Don't remember where I read it, but locking the entire room worked for boats that had two heads. You locked the one that only had direct overboard, and used the one that had the MSD.

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Quote:
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In the US, I dont think you are required to have a holding tank..... I might be wrong..... but the valve must be secured shut. During a coast guard boarding once they told me one way to do this was to simply put a key lock on the door to the head.....
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