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Old 14-05-2018, 10:28   #16
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Re: Composting toilet: rules, regulations, and "real life" use etc.?

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Originally Posted by TreblePlink View Post
I don't think that current use of "fanboys" is derogatory, and in this case I really don't think he meant to be insulting.

If one wants to be very cautious and politically correct, perhaps formal, it is safer to use "fans."

On my 28 foot boat which will have a crew of one or two, a composting head appears to be the least of the evils, so I guess I'm a fanboy.
No, no, no, no, no;

the correct term for the true and dedicated politically correct is "fan person", conflating humans with cooling devices is derogatory of the cooling device.
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Old 14-05-2018, 10:30   #17
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Re: Composting toilet: rules, regulations, and "real life" use etc.?

How effective are the types that don't stir the solids and don't vacuum vent the receptacle? I'm thinking of making my own from a 5 gallon bucket and replaceable plastic (and cappable) milk jugs ...
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Old 14-05-2018, 10:33   #18
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Re: Composting toilet: rules, regulations, and "real life" use etc.?

Our experience: we aren't keen on using holding tanks because of the potential problems -- odor, overfill, space usage... and odor. We aren't keen on dealing with the locking of the y valve, and the unlocking. We aren't keen on macerator pumps because of cost and strategic location. We aren't keen on heads with electric pumps because of the impellers and the required extraction process. We aren't keen on calcified sanitation hose for the same reason and the tendency for locating sanitation systems where accessibility can be limited to room for 3 fingers. NOBODY is keen on the rare but ever present threat of guests discarding roast beef sandwich makings in the head. And we are not keen on the cost in time and significant dollars associated with all the above. We ARE keen on escaping all of these issues and being legal and eco-responsible too. Our Natures Head was costly. It was sizeable (important consideration). It did involve a learning curve, but without unpleasant outcome. We found breaking up the coconut coir from bricks to usable fluff nowhere near as much fun as rum. Emptying was relatively quick and easy. Last but not least, we were amazed (yes, amazed) at the odor. We expected at least a little poo-ishness (ours isn't ice cream). But what graced our olfactory senses instead was the fresh scent of overturned earth. Verdad, amigos. Bottom line: nothing's perfect. What RESULTS do you want?
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Old 14-05-2018, 10:39   #19
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Re: Composting toilet: rules, regulations, and "real life" use etc.?

I have had my boat for 6 years. It came equipped with a direct overboard toilet and a funky self contained rv toilet in the aft cabin. My first project was to install a complete holding tank system in the aft cabin. I basically followed all the rules I could find and used a lot of solid PVC plumbing as advised by Nigel Calder. Still it was always stinky. So I installed an Airhead in the forward cabin. For the most part it was great. Odor was only a problem during a long storm when the solar fan batteries could not charge and the wind back drafted. Still more like compost then sewage. disconnecting the the exhaust tube solved that. For Odor I give it 4+ stars. Also it lasts a long time with a single live aboard. Having two urine bottles is also a good idea. I finally mastered emptying it, a kitchen size plastic bag fits tightly around the rim and flip upside down, beat on it a bit, shake, and you're pretty much done. Unless you are on a two month or longer passage you should not have to do this at sea. I recently got a copy of the getting rid of odors aboard book and completely rebuilt the stinky holding tank system which is now odorless. There is one problem that kept recurring with the composter that I could never solve and that is bug infestations. Fruit flies and red mites. These both may have been imported with the peatmoss, I was going to try coconut but decided to go back to a direct dumper instead. Now I have found one huge advantage to the composter. "pumpout" can be done without moving the boat! If you have the mobile pumper come they will do an improper job that will lead to odor, according to the aforementioned book a proper pump out includes a thorough flush, maybe many thorough flushes of holding tank and pump out line, not doing that and leaving the valve at the bottom of the tank open so the affluent could sit in the hose was the main source of odor in my old system. For liveaboards this could be a problem that the composter solves. As it stands I would not want anything but a composter or a direct overboard toilet in the main cabin, the complex system I have in the aft cabin is likely to be a source of break downs and malfunctions, and the 25 gallon holding tank is good for at most 2 weeks as it takes a lot of water to keep the toilet cleanly flushed. I am almost done prepping the boat and ready to head out, end of this year, so I think my more traditional system will work as well without the bugs. But the composter was a simple and effective device for holding solids for long periods and I would recommend it. Just don't use peat moss unless you can sterilize it first.
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Old 14-05-2018, 10:48   #20
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Composting toilet: rules, regulations, and "real life" use etc.?

I have a traditional system in my fairly late model motorsailer (2008), and itís a stinky mess. Hoses permeated, two y valves leaking, 2 year old macerator pump just started leaking, manual salt water Jabsco toilet my wife hates. The boat has that faint odor that Iím tired of living with.

My plan is to remove all the hoses, macerator and Yvalves, but leave the tank in place (unless I find out itís leaking, which is possibleó itís an Island Packet) and install a Natureís Head unit. Then, if I decide to sell and the next buyer doesnít want the Natureís Head itís just a matter of installing new hoses and valves. Does that seem like a reasonable plan?

We are not liveaboards. Mostly just me and my wife cruising. Current marina does not have a pump out but does have bathroom facilities.
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Old 14-05-2018, 11:58   #21
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Re: Composting toilet: rules, regulations, and "real life" use etc.?

I've thought about getting a composter, what do you do with the urine? I know it goes into a bottle... but it too can't be dumped in the 3 mile zone. Thanks
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Old 14-05-2018, 12:07   #22
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Re: Composting toilet: rules, regulations, and "real life" use etc.?

You can keep spare 5 gallon water type jug to pour excess urine into. Same thing goes with compost material but with a sealing lid.

We or most men pee over the side that is another option I would not be concerned with.
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Old 14-05-2018, 12:11   #23
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Re: Composting toilet: rules, regulations, and "real life" use etc.?

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I've thought about getting a composter, what do you do with the urine? I know it goes into a bottle... but it too can't be dumped in the 3 mile zone. Thanks
Mostly, over the side.

In a marina I usually take mine into the land head to dump, but when off the dock it goes over the side. Urine is very close to being sterile. Nothin is 100%, but urine from healthy people is pretty darn close.
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Old 14-05-2018, 12:33   #24
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Re: Composting toilet: rules, regulations, and "real life" use etc.?

I have a short experience with the new to me Air Head on my Irwin 46. As mentioned prior... No Smell... nada, nothing. I have two liquid buckets and alternate them. Empty every other day.
It’s just a new setup to me so no experience with emptying the solids yet.
Liquids go to the marina head or overboard.
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Old 14-05-2018, 12:47   #25
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Re: Composting toilet: rules, regulations, and "real life" use etc.?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TreblePlink View Post
How effective are the types that don't stir the solids and don't vacuum vent the receptacle? I'm thinking of making my own from a 5 gallon bucket and replaceable plastic (and cappable) milk jugs ...
treblepink. I made my own here is a link to the thread about it
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ad-172196.html
There are also several pictures of the build.
All the answers the op asked are in that thread.
Including my marinas views on composter heads.
For liveaboards they require 15 gal holding tank per person living on the boat or instead a composting head with no mention of number of people per composting head.
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Old 14-05-2018, 13:43   #26
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Re: Composting toilet: rules, regulations, and "real life" use etc.?

Just a semantic comment. The marine 'composting' toilets do not compost but merely dry the solids out. A true composting toilet renders the waste into soil that makes a great growing medium free of any bugs that can cause disease. Unfortunately it takes a long time to do it and is greatly affected by ambient temperature. The marine toilets capture the liquids in a separate container that needs to be emptied. The solids get dried out and should be disposed in an onshore toilet to be absolutely safe. The 'composting' marine toilets are a lot better solution to boat sanitation than holding tanks but are being sold under false assertions. They do fit NDZ requirements as long as you dump the waste in appropriate ways.
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Old 14-05-2018, 14:00   #27
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Re: Composting toilet: rules, regulations, and "real life" use etc.?

Beware, all, sensitive and potentially disgusting question follows:

@ all composting toilet users:

I basically like the idea of them, and i get it that they are dessicating, and I'm not too easily freaked out.

One thing I've been afraid of is if both of you come down with the flu, or a bowel blockage, and both have very liquid diarrhea, and vomiting, how does the AH or whatever cope with the separations? and the people? (because in my fears, it would be horrible.)

Thank you very much, I know it's difficult to write about.

Ann
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Old 14-05-2018, 14:08   #28
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Re: Composting toilet: rules, regulations, and "real life" use etc.?

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Beware, all, sensitive and potentially disgusting question follows:

@ all composting toilet users:

I basically like the idea of them, and i get it that they are dessicating, and I'm not too easily freaked out.

One thing I've been afraid of is if both of you come down with the flu, or a bowel blockage, and both have very liquid diarrhea, and vomiting, how does the AH or whatever cope with the separations? and the people? (because in my fears, it would be horrible.)

Thank you very much, I know it's difficult to write about.

Ann
Ann if the store mentioned happens and the compost gets to wet you just add a bit of dry peat to absorb the excess liquids. No problem. And you don't vomit into the head in a boat you use a bucket and send it direct overboard. Not thru the head.
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Old 14-05-2018, 14:12   #29
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Re: Composting toilet: rules, regulations, and "real life" use etc.?

Real life experience:
We have been using the Air Head on a boat for about 4 years now and overall quite happy with it once we got it's proper use figured out. We use coco peat which works wonderfully but you must be very careful to get the moisture just right. Our initial attempts resulted in much too wet which worked but there was some odor. For the 2 of us full time crusing we get 30-40 days of service.
My only complaint with the Air Head is the poor design of the agitator as it only stirs the center part of the medium and results in a great deal of the coca peat not being used at all. It also leaves a sizable area on the floor untouched.
Emptying the head hasn't been so straightforward for us as others have related. Simply due to the agitator not siring the entire medium and allowing the unused medium to pack in the corners. Even though we have to dig the corners out, there has been no foul odor at all. Maybe a light musty smell but nothing objectionable.
The ventilation fan failed after about a year but was satisfactorily taken care of under warranty.
No affiliation with the C Head but to me, their stirring mechanism appears far superior to the Air Head.
Hope this helps.
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Old 14-05-2018, 16:54   #30
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Re: Composting toilet: rules, regulations, and "real life" use etc.?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Beware, all, sensitive and potentially disgusting question follows:

@ all composting toilet users:

I basically like the idea of them, and i get it that they are dessicating, and I'm not too easily freaked out.

One thing I've been afraid of is if both of you come down with the flu, or a bowel blockage, and both have very liquid diarrhea, and vomiting, how does the AH or whatever cope with the separations? and the people? (because in my fears, it would be horrible.)

Thank you very much, I know it's difficult to write about.

Ann
To be honest, it is a problem. I'm on a cardiac med that has a side effect that causes me to occasionally, depending on what I've had to eat, err, I too much moisture to the head. Yes, you can add more coconut coir, and do so. Then the head will need emptying sooner. I didn't manage it correctly just this month, and the goop caked on the sides of the container, and would hardly churn. I shoveled out the goop, finding nice dry stuff at the bottom. My speculation is that too much moisture is what draws the fruit flies.

I can't say as others that there are "zero" odors. This last month or two, even with the moisture issue in hand, recent deposits cause us to briefly smell an odor. We changed the desk vent - the prior flush mount was allowing water to flow in, we now have a bronze u on the deck. No water intrusion, but brief odor. However, on the prior boat with a holding tank, we had frequent odor. Our Air Head is much better. As long as you can avoid bugs, I'd recommend it. As mentioned in other posts, you won't get awesome compost. We did once, with just the right moisture level. Go dry, even if not so compost-ee, as it seems to avoid bugs. Maggots of fruit flies crawling out of the head make pumping out the holding tank look good.

My home base is Crandon Marina in Miami, and they had / have a functional pump out about one quarter of the time. I prefer self maintenance to hunting for a working pump out
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