We manufacture the "Air Head" composting toilet and I want to clarify the laws in regard to our device. So here are my comments and the actual laws cut and pasted below.
To address the question of legality of CT's in Florida
specifically in the Keys, I've made some phone
calls first to the Key West Coast
Guard station who referred me to the Florida Keys
National Marine Sanctuary in regard to their regulations on this topic.
The official line of the Florida Keys
National Marine Sanctuary, (as closely as I could transcribe from the FKNMS official over the phone): “The FKNMS regulations do not apply to or regulate composting toilets so long as the effluent from these devices is not discharged in the sanctuary waters”.
So since the laws in the sanctuary itself do not apply to composting toilets and we also know that the “Air Head” is considered to be certified as an MSD type III by federal law we know that it is legal
in the sanctuary, the only other question could be in regard to the state of Florida
, since naturally, boats have to comply with the state laws as well.
Florida state laws are a bit more particular for houseboats but otherwise follow the federal laws. The houseboat rule
would require that the head be connected with a pump out (The “Air Head” or any other CT or portable is not generally connected but could be installed in that manner). However, the strictest definition of the houseboat rule
suggests to me that any boat
could be considered a houseboat if it is lived on and does not move within 21 days. So to be safe if you have an “Air Head” or any no discharge toilet that is not connected to the pumpout (such as another brand of composting toilet or a portable), in my opinion you would have to move your boat within 21 days in order to not be defined as a "houseboat".
Any other questions, feel free to contact me at Air Head Dry Toilet: Marine Composting Toilets - Environmentally Friendly Marine Composting Toilet System
as I generally do not monitor
Laws and definitions below with their associated links:
327.53 Marine sanitation.— (Florida)
(1) Every vessel 26 feet or more in length which has an enclosed cabin
with berthing facilities shall, while on the waters of the state, be equipped with a toilet. On a vessel other than a houseboat, the toilet may be portable or permanently installed. Every permanently installed toilet shall be properly attached to the appropriate United States Coast Guard certified or labeled marine sanitation device.
(2) Every houseboat shall be equipped with at least one permanently installed toilet which shall be properly connected to a United States Coast Guard certified or labeled Type III marine sanitation device. If the toilet is simultaneously connected to both a Type III marine sanitation device and to another approved marine sanitation device, the valve or other mechanism selecting between the two marine sanitation devices shall be set to direct all sewage to the Type III marine sanitation device and, while the vessel is on the waters of the state, shall be locked or otherwise secured by the boat operator, so as to prevent resetting.
327.53 - - 2013 Florida Statutes - The Florida Senate
(13) “Houseboat” means any vessel which is used primarily as a residence for a minimum of 21 days during any 30-day period, in a county of this state, and this residential use of the vessel is to the preclusion of the use of the vessel as a means of transportation.
327.02 - - 2013 Florida Statutes - The Florida Senate