composting toilet report - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 443 Old 01-18-2010
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I'm sold! Seems that you could make a crude one as well, but that may be the plumber in me...

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post #22 of 443 Old 01-18-2010
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Composting - required temperature??

I've read that below 70 degrees, the composting bacteria get "sluggish".

Does anyone know what the effects are if the temp drops below 60 overnight or for days on end when I'm not on the boat?

I'd really like to get a composter but am worried about the temp aspect during spring and fall here in the northeast.
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post #23 of 443 Old 01-18-2010
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The reason 4 people wouldn't overwhelm it is that it's only storing the solids, and I suspect that even before the solids break down biologically, they shrink as they dry out.

[/QUOTE]

Okay, this post wins the award for euphemism content!

So, not only does sh*t happen, but it shrinks after it happens. So, if I don't give a crap about anything someone posts today, does that mean that I will care less tomorrow, or the offending post gets shorter?
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post #24 of 443 Old 01-18-2010
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I'm sold! Seems that you could make a crude one as well, but that may be the plumber in me...
It's already been done. It's called a bucket. But I bet if you label it a "green solution to waste disposal," you could charge $15 for a $5 bucket.
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post #25 of 443 Old 01-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonRelyea View Post
I've read that below 70 degrees, the composting bacteria get "sluggish".

Does anyone know what the effects are if the temp drops below 60 overnight or for days on end when I'm not on the boat?

I'd really like to get a composter but am worried about the temp aspect during spring and fall here in the northeast.
Based on some experience with wilderness pit toilets, as long as there is regular use, the bacteria seem to kick off pretty well. If it sits for a while, things get stale. We also used to drop a packet of yeast and a teaspoon of sugar into the pits to get things going.

I'm pretty sold on the idea, as I need to tackle some sort of change to the current 'traditional' marine toilet I've got. I saw someplace that there is also a urinal type 'add on' available for not much... was pondering a set up that pulls that out for offshore use piped to the through-hull. Would cut back on the liquid volume as well as the requirement for sitting.
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post #26 of 443 Old 01-19-2010
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I have a large Sun-Mar composting toilet in my home. I live in a rural area with very shallow soil and solid rock underneath that does not allow for a drain field as is necessary with a normal septic system. The unit works amazingly well. I use the same product in the composter as one would in a septic tank. It is a liquid that is named MICROZYME II and is made by Mid- American Research Chemical Corp. I use about 2 oz. of this stuff per month. Also I pour 1oz. of basic molasses in about once a week. For 2 people I remove and empty the compost probably 2 times a year. Sun-Mar also makes a marine toilet that is angled so that it rests against the hull. The only thing is that are pretty pricey.
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post #27 of 443 Old 01-19-2010
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It's already been done. It's called a bucket. But I bet if you label it a "green solution to waste disposal," you could charge $15 for a $5 bucket.
I'm putting together my business plan!

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post #28 of 443 Old 01-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonRelyea View Post
I've read that below 70 degrees, the composting bacteria get "sluggish".

Does anyone know what the effects are if the temp drops below 60 overnight or for days on end when I'm not on the boat?

I'd really like to get a composter but am worried about the temp aspect during spring and fall here in the northeast.
From what I've been told, and my limited experience, I don't think that the material will be full composted until it sits for a very long time no matter what the temp. If the system is used regularly I would imagine that it would have to be emptied well before it's composted. I don't necessarily think that this is a drawback as long as one has a compost pile or somewhere the stuff can be dumped where it can finish the process.

Last edited by knothead; 01-19-2010 at 11:16 AM.
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post #29 of 443 Old 01-19-2010
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This is an interesting thread.

I think that the issue of price is not being looked at in a fair light.

A composting toilet is a complete system.

A marine head is one element in the system.

To fairly compare you would have to account for the installation labor of each unit. The sum of all the parts; through-hull fittings, hose clamps, vents, hoses, etc.

You should also look at the time spent maintaining fixing each unit. I suspect that with a traditional head a lot of things are ignored until they finally break. At no time then is the entire system in perfect working order, each single element is at a different point in it's life span, spreading out the hassle and maintenance.

IMHO the composting head is on par with a traditional marine head system.

Also; the some of the sun-mar units can be factory set-up to drain excess liquids. Their website shows it draining to a gray water dry-well. A sailor could have it drain to a tank (in the space beneath the unit?)
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post #30 of 443 Old 01-20-2010
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Another question is resale value. I do not think there is any doubt that these lower the resale chances or value of the boat, by how much is not clear.

Have faith that the oceans are going to rise and flood the world, that plague and pestilence brought on by Climate Change is going to punish us for not believing. Please do as they say it is our only hope. :P
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