Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 114 Old 10-02-2013
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

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post #12 of 114 Old 10-02-2013
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

I just wanted to add another voice for the composting heads. Bought a Nature's Head earlier this year, and have absolutely loved it. Saved space with no holding tank, fewer holes in the boat, the head does not smell AT ALL, and its so much simpler than a traditional head. We had one issue with small gnats, which we quickly remedied by sprinkling diatomaceous earth in the composting chamber. Never had problems with gnats again.
My girlfriend was a big skeptic at first, and she has also been won over. We are soon going to outfit a boat for a Pacific circumnavigation, and will definitely be replacing any traditional head/holding tank with a composting head.
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post #13 of 114 Old 10-02-2013
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

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Does anyone know if you have to buy one or can you make your own?
Buying options people usually get is Natures Head, Airhead, or C-head. Building your own, I think a lot of people just use a 5-gal bucket in a box and add a seat to it.

I'm looking at going with either Natures Head or Airhead but want to see one first which I plan to do at Annapolis in a couple weeks. Then, I'll have to figure out how to take the head/holding tank out of the boat.

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post #14 of 114 Old 10-02-2013
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

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After Reading Breaking Seas and Mr. Damato's experience with a composting head I was discouraged from installing one.
That was one of the funniest, grossest things I have ever read.

Last edited by Faster; 10-22-2013 at 07:38 PM. Reason: fixed quote
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post #15 of 114 Old 10-02-2013
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

Don't mean any disrespect to SN, but there's a lot of good info about this topic that I was JUST reading about on Cruisers Forum. You can find it by doing a Google search on "cruisersforum composting toilet nature's head". After the research I've done so far and from reading those posts, I'm ready to take the plunge...so to speak.
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post #16 of 114 Old 10-02-2013
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

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After Reading Breaking Seas and Mr. Damato's experience with a composting head I was discouraged from installing one.

The other consideration is that if and when I sell my boat, the targeted buyer's are most likely going to want a traditional holding tank system and will see a composting head as a con.
Well that was more a case of intentional sabotage more than anything, I think. At least it was that or instructions given is such a way that they did not want to follow them. I have heard of few complaints from those who use them. I do think they have a limit to the number of people using it, but other than that it is just a matter of learning how to use it.
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post #17 of 114 Old 10-03-2013
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

Either a holding tank or a composting head will work. Question is which one will work best for you and you are going about finding out in the right way.

Personally I have nothing but praise for my C-head. I am glad I didn't reinstall a marine head/holding/plumbing system when I tore the old one out. The only thing that would make me go back to a traditional marine head would be a change in the law.
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post #18 of 114 Old 10-03-2013
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

I'm thinking you won't throw too many parties aboard a C27. However, one downside to a composter is instructing a guest to use it, particulalrly a landlubber. 99% will find it gross.

The irony to me is I don't find them all that more environmentally friendly. Tossing partially decomposed turds in the dumpster doesn't seem right to me and pouring urine overboard is simply illegal in non-discharge areas.

The advantage is getting a bit more usage between emptying than what would be necessary for the fairly small holding tank that would fit on a 27 ft boat.
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post #19 of 114 Old 10-03-2013
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

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I'm thinking you won't throw too many parties aboard a C27. However, one downside to a composter is instructing a guest to use it, particulalrly a landlubber. 99% will find it gross.
Hmmm, not sure what you mean Minn. Have you used one? There's nothing very odd or gross about it. The only real difference is men have to sit. And you have to open the trap door. Everything else happens as-per normal.

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The irony to me is I don't find them all that more environmentally friendly. Tossing partially decomposed turds in the dumpster doesn't seem right to me and pouring urine overboard is simply illegal in non-discharge areas.
Absolutely agree! Raw excrement should never end up in the landfill, and that includes all those people who dump filled diapers, or dog crap into the garbage stream. If you can't fully compost the waste (which takes ~3 months I've read) then it should be dumped out at sea, just like a normal marine head (once you're out past legal limit). Either that or should be dumped on land away from human activity, buried in a shallow hole.
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post #20 of 114 Old 10-03-2013
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Re: Composting Toilets vs. Holding Tank

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Absolutely agree! Raw excrement should never end up in the landfill, and that includes all those people who dump filled diapers, or dog crap into the garbage stream. If you can't fully compost the waste (which takes ~3 months I've read) then it should be dumped out at sea, just like a normal marine head (once you're out past legal limit). Either that or should be dumped on land away from human activity, buried in a shallow hole.
I've thought of this a bit lately and I don't think I understand the problem. WHY should raw excrement be such a big problem in landfills? As I understand it, they are built with heavy barriers underneath to keep from contaminating ground water (because, right or wrong, bad things are always going to be thrown in land fills). But, more than that, it seems to me that the half cooked compost recipe will be just as likely to continue cooking in a landfill as out of it, although perhaps slower (but maybe not...don't landfills get very warm, and doesn't the extra heat speed decomposition? Or does getting buried remove too much oxygen?).

Not having children, I also wonder what the recommendation would be for disposing of baby diapers, if the trash is not a good idea. And has millions upon millions of dirty diapers caused any kind of problem?

I think it was the c-head guy, but maybe someone else, who suggested "treating" the waste in a pickle bucket with bleach in order to legally be allowed to dump it. What are your views on this?

Not intending to be snarky, and these are serious questions. Leaving aside any legal restriction, I'm looking at the moral and ethical impact of dumping the waste.
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