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  #11  
Old 09-20-2007
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So does the Airhead count as a "portable toilet"?

My understanding (could be wrong) is that the info I posted above applies to ALL of Canada, except the one statement about portable toilets, which only applies to Ontario. The source is Transport Canada's official site. he way soeone explained it to me and the way Iread the document is that if the toilet is installed, there must be a pump out. If it is a true portable (not installed) then it is illegal in Ontario but legal in other provinces. The page I linked to is the one for foreign (non Canadian) boaters. I saw something about Canadians that had non conforming systems already in place before the law went into effect getting a 5 year window to upgrade.

I am not trying to bust anyone'cs chops; I think composting is a superior way to do it. But it looks like it might be against regulations in Canada right now.
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Old 09-20-2007
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Living in Ontario, I've never heard of this law, but it's true.
I know quite a few sailors with porta-potties. If you read the regulation correctly, composting toilets are illegal because they don't have a means to pump out the crap. I'm going to look into this further and call them. I think composting is far superior than sewage.
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Canadianseamonkey, thank you very much for offering to call the authorities for clarification. Please post the information you gain, especially if this law applies to all Canadian waters (I don't read it that way). I am planning an extended trip to the Canadian Maritimes next year and was minutes away from ordering an Airhead when I tripped across this thread. I, too, think a composting toilet is probably the right thing to do for the environment, but if these are illegal, well. . . .
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Well you learn something new everyday. I called the marine division of Transport Canada and as per the provincial legislation, composting toilets are illegal in a pleasure craft in Ontario. This legislation was written in the 70's, so it's old. Porta-potties have never been legal since then. It might be time to update these rules.
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According to the Canadian poster at trailerSailor, the national regulation about all installed toilets in pleasure craft requiring a pump out through a deck fitting just went into effect May of this year. Created quite a stir at that site as most of the little wannabe cruisers have completely self contained systems of one type or another; adding plumbing is a big deal. Mine has the most basic kind there is; pretty much a bucket with a seat (and an outer container that is nearly air tight). The interesting thing is that there are new biodegradable bags for these now that are supposedly more environment friendly than any treatment method and they contain the odor remarkably well. I guess their concern is that it is just way too easy to discard the bags improperly (oh yeah, the new bags also claim to have something in them that makes it not a biohazard) or to pump out into the drink (but you'll think twice about that if you have to sqeegee it off the deck).
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Old 09-21-2007
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Quote:
Portable Toilets
Portable toilets are illegal on Ontario waters.

The owner of a pleasure craft shall ensure that each toilet and the holding tank(s) is/are installed so that;

The toilet and equipment are connected in such a manner that the equipment receives all toilet waste from the toilet.
Equipment designed for the storage of human excrement is provided with a deck fitting and such connecting piping as is necessary for the removal of toilet waste by shore-based pumping equipment.
No means of removal of toilet waste is provided other than the means mentioned above.
All parts of the system for removal of toilet waste are congruent with one another and the boat.

That seems pretty explicit to me.
There is a Portable toilet that is Great Lakes legal. It has a vent and pump-out fitting. Sanipottie. If anyone would like one - I have a never-christened unit that I am willing to sell .... (in GTA)
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Sailorman,

I think you are making a rather liberal interpration. There is no "unless" on the end of the Ontario regulation. If it is a portable toilet, it is illegal in Ontario. Probably okay in the rest of Canada though. I am glad that isn't somewhere I sail, though a "someday" Summer trip is a possibility. My boat actually has a spot for the bucket molded into the hull; you can't just take it out and drop a head with a tank in.
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Geoffrey Trott, General Manager of Airhead, has been kind enough to respond to my inquiry about this topic. I get the impression it is "not cool" to directly quote such a response here, so I will paraphrase: The issue exists to some extent on paper, but does not seem to exist in practice. If an individual wants to comply with the letter of the law, the Airhead can be modified as follows:

1. Install a pumpout fitting to the head (and not use it)
2. Replace the thumbscrews with 1/4- 20 machine screws to "permenantly mount it"
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I have received a prompt written reply to an inquiry to Transport Canada (thank you):
Division 4 (Sewage) of the Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships and for Dangerous Chemicals (under the Canada Shipping Act) stipulate requirements for pleasure craft in Canadian waters.

With regard to specific requirements for toilets, they fall under provincial legislation and are unrelated to Transport Canada [emphasis added]. You will need to contact the appropriate provincial ministry for further information.
So, it sounds like one province might establish regulations that prohibit composting heads, while another permits them. I wonder what the story is in the Maritime Provinces.
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Yes, correct. So that's we are pin pointing Ontario, as the rest of Canada is fine at this point. It's a provincial not federal law.

Anybody know what the fine is if caught with the improper sanitation requirements?
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