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  #21  
Old 12-10-2012
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Re: Marine Toilet (good, bad, and ugly)

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"A composting head is so superior"
Glad you like your glorified cedar bucket, but there are in fact no composting heads for boats. The EPA has papers out on what is and isn't a composting toilet or system, and unless you use it, put it aside for 90 days to actually COMPOST, and then empty the sterile compost out, you don't have a omcposting toilet. You'd need at least two of them so you could alternate every 90 days, to really have a composting toilet.

What you have is a bucket that collects fecal matter, which is still "live" and still has to be disposed of someplace, sometime, and it ain't compost when you have to move it.

That the industry can't be honest about what it is and what it does--and doesn't do--speaks volumes as to why they haven't taken over the market.
Composting starts as soon as the "material" leaves ones body, and isn't "complete" until there's nothing left but inorganics (i.e., ash). Any line one draws before the organics are completely gone is arbitrary. There's nothing magical about ninety days. There are still plenty of organics left at that point. That's just the point at which most systems are "well enough" composted.

So, does a "composting head" actually compost? Sure it does. Does the "finished product" meet some EPA standard for minimal concentration of pathogens? Probably not. But, if you don't eat the stuff, so what? It's undoubtedly better for the environment to dump the product of a composting head where and when legal than it is to dump raw blackwater.
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  #22  
Old 12-10-2012
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Re: Marine Toilet (good, bad, and ugly)

No 90 days isn't magical but it is typical if everything is under control.

On the other hand, every time you use your head, you've just reset the counter fromj "composting" to "raw sewage" and that typically means every day, your composting head becomes a cedar bucket, with raw sewage in it regardless of how long it has gone since the last time you emptied it.

There ARE definitions and standards for composting systems, and nothing in maine use meets them, simply because it is getting fresh raw sewage every day with no provision to separate out, age out, handle the older material in a way that produces COMPOST in the normal use of the system.

Hey, I use the pot and don't flush it, look my feces is COMPOSTING too. Does that mean I have a composting head as long as I disconnect the pump?

It may be better than a tank full of liquid sewage, that's not the point. It isn't what the sellers call it, and those of us who are blunt call that simple sales fraud, not just "puffery" or license.

If they can't be honest about what they are and aren't selling, and they try to trick in greenies who think they'll have nice compost piles...did I mention, some of us call that fraud?

Don't need that for an honest product that works as advertised and intended.
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  #23  
Old 12-10-2012
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Re: Marine Toilet (good, bad, and ugly)

Check out C-head. Half the price of the Natures head.
If you are in Frisco, count the number of sea lions, with no holding tanks attached, averaging a round 1500 lbs each. Then question the claim that their sewage doesn't count, while yours does.
Friends dump the contents of their composters into large plastic garbage bags, and throw them into a dumpster.
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  #24  
Old 12-10-2012
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Re: Marine Toilet (good, bad, and ugly)

"Then question the claim that their sewage doesn't count, while yours does. "

OK, Brent. You tell me, which of the following diseases can get passed from sea lions to humans, or to primates of any kind?

Hepatitis
Polio
Typhoid
E.Coli
Avian Flu

Extra points if you can list the health problems that CAN be transmitted in fecal matter from sea lions to humans.

There's a reason why *human* waste is considered particularly dangerous to *humans*. Many health problems can't be transmitted across very different species.

And then there are reasons why it is illegal to spit on a public street. Yes, epidemics are real, and that easy to start, within one species.
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Re: Marine Toilet (good, bad, and ugly)

Too many people accelerates the problem. You would eliminate far more disease spread, by discouraging the production of too many people.
I've made zero people. How many have you made?
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  #26  
Old 12-10-2012
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Re: Marine Toilet (good, bad, and ugly)

Add a vent. A 1-hour project at worst. Two fittings and some hose.

Find a convenient pump-out. Which "bay?"

This doesn't seem as complicated as we are making it. And BTW, I'm quite sure you can't find residual head odor on my boat. Yes, my last boat had a porta-head. Pumping out is easier.

The problem is some folks don't feel they should need to think through the head, as it doesn't make the boat go. It is certanly simpler than other boat systems, such as engines, but it's given no value or attention. Frustration rules pointlessly. Follow manufacturer advise and you'd be surprised.
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Last edited by pdqaltair; 12-10-2012 at 09:10 PM.
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  #27  
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Re: Marine Toilet (good, bad, and ugly)

If properly vented and non-contaminated with chemicals, doesn't the waste in a holding tank begin to decompose as well?
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  #28  
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Re: Marine Toilet (good, bad, and ugly)

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Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
And, as I recall, he said it didn't smell much (if at all) without the fan.
I don't recall him opening the lid.
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  #29  
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Re: Marine Toilet (good, bad, and ugly)

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
If properly vented and non-contaminated with chemicals, doesn't the waste in a holding tank begin to decompose as well?
Sure it will. Probably not as quickly as it will in a well mixed composting toilet. But it will certainly decompose. Some compressed air and a bubbler would speed up the process; that's how sewage treatment plants work (in part, anyway).
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  #30  
Old 12-10-2012
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Re: Marine Toilet (good, bad, and ugly)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
...
The problem is some folks don't feel they should need to think through the head, as it doesn't make the boat go. It is certanly simpler than other boat systems, such as engines, but it's given no value or attention. ...
That is basically the whole problem. Blow off the little chore of pumping out after a weekend on the boat, let the holding tank sit full of poopy water for a few weeks (or months), and the system will become permeated with sulfides. Then you'll spend months or years trying to get rid of the "head odor".

Design and install the system properly, keep the system as aerobic as possible, and ALWAYS pump out before letting the boat sit for more than a day or two, and you'll probably never have to worry much about odors.
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