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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Composting Toilets
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Thread: Composting Toilets Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-23-2007 12:43 PM
Sailormann Well...here are the Canadian Regulations that apply on the Great Lakes:

Quote:
Environmental Protection Act

R.R.O. 1990, REGULATION 343

DISCHARGE OF SEWAGE FROM PLEASURE BOATS

Consolidation Period: From February 12, 2007 to the e-Laws currency date.

Last amendment: O.Reg. 35/07.

This is the English version of a bilingual regulation.

1. In this Regulation,

"pleasure boat" means a boat used primarily for the carriage of a person or persons for pleasure, whether on charter or not, and whether for compensation or not, and includes a boat used on water for living purposes; ("bateau de plaisance")

"sewage" means organic and inorganic waste, and includes fuel, lubricants, litter, paper, plastics, glass, metal, containers, bottles, crockery, rags, junk or similar refuse or garbage, and human excrement, but does not include,

(a) liquid wastes, free of solids, from water used in a pleasure boat for household purposes, or

(b) exhaust wastes, cooling water and bilge water from a pleasure boat; ("eaux d'égout")

"storage equipment" means equipment of a design and construction suitable for the storage or the incineration and storage of human excrement in a pleasure boat including such equipment that is an integral part of a toilet; ("appareil d'entreposage")

"toilet", in relation to a pleasure boat, means equipment designed or used for defecation or urination by humans. ("cabinet de toilette") R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 343, s. 1.

2. No person shall discharge or deposit, or cause or permit to be discharged or deposited, into any water, sewage from a pleasure boat. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 343, s. 2.

3. The owner and the operator of every pleasure boat in which a toilet is installed shall ensure that, while the boat is on water,

(a) the boat is equipped with storage equipment; and

(b) such toilet and storage equipment are installed so as to be non-portable. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 343, s. 3.

4. The owner of a pleasure boat in which a toilet or toilets and storage equipment are installed shall ensure that each toilet and the storage equipment are installed so that,

(a) the toilet and equipment are connected in such a manner that the equipment receives all toilet waste from the toilet;

(b) 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;

(c) no means of removal of toilet waste is provided other than the means mentioned in clause (b);

(d) equipment designed for the incineration and storage of human excrement is supplied with such electrical current or other source of heat as is necessary to reduce to ash all excrement deposited therein; and

(e) all parts of the system for removal of toilet waste are congruent with one another and the boat. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 343, s. 4.
This is R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 343, s. 3 referenced above:

Quote:
3. The owner and the operator of every pleasure boat in which a toilet is installed shall ensure that, while the boat is on water,

(a) the boat is equipped with storage equipment; and

(b) such toilet and storage equipment are installed so as to be non-portable. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 343, s. 3.
Note that the regulation states that the toilet needs to be INSTALLED so as to be non-portable WHILE THE BOAT IS ON THE WATER

This means that while your boat is floating your portable toilet needs to be held in place with a secure system that would not allow it to be moved. i.e.: it is not acceptable to use something that can be passed from cabin to cockpit, or moved around the cabin.

The unit needs to be equipped with a vent and pumpout fitting, and you need to connect this to a pumpout fitting on the deck.

The Thetford MSD Sanipotties are definitely legal, as are some others:

Quote:
SaniPottie MSD marine toilet.
3.0-gallon (11.4-liter) holding tank capacity.
Permits overboard discharge, dockside pumpout,discharge into remote holding tank. Includes stainless steel hold-down brackets.
09-22-2007 05:28 PM
therapy23
Quote:
Originally Posted by pegasus1457 View Post
But what stopped me is that these things need an "exposure" on more or less a daily basis, in order to keep the enzyme farm from dying out. As pretty much a weekend sailor, that killed it for me. But for liveaboard use they look
to be a good fit.

The airhead site specifically talks to "weekend" use.

http://www.airheadtoilet.com/howitworks.html

Their use of it seems to be a lot less than I think I/we would use it.

Maybe I am too full of it!

Then there is all that paper supply.

And they don't explain exactly how you "flush" it.

And what about "the squirts"?

And the liquid dumping part for a beer drinker might be ummm.........well.........forget it.
09-22-2007 03:35 PM
pegasus1457
some things to think about

I researched the composting toilet a few years back.

The electrical consumption on the model I looked at was pretty minimal - just
a circulating fan,

But what stopped me is that these things need an "exposure" on more or less a daily basis, in order to keep the enzyme farm from dying out. As pretty much a weekend sailor, that killed it for me. But for liveaboard use they look
to be a good fit.
09-21-2007 12:58 PM
tjvanginkel As I understand it here in BC there are not yet requirements for pleasure craft regarding overboard discharge except in Marine parks... Not to sure about this. I also understand that we cannot enter Washington state with having a holding tank. Is this true? If it is would a composting toilet meet their requirements? And is there any one out there that has used one on board? If so what and how much and are you happy with it?

I hadn't heard of the airhead until now. The one I had been looking at is from !you know what.sun-mar.you know what! and certainly seems much bulkier... 23" deep. I also like the solar fan option on the air head. My aunt uses a composting toilet at her recreational cabin and is very satisfied with that but it is definately big. However, they have found, if they don't pee in it so much things work much better and it doesn't smell. Seems like you could easily work around that on a boat....
09-21-2007 11:01 AM
canadianseamonkey 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?
09-21-2007 10:29 AM
wnor 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.
09-21-2007 08:33 AM
wnor 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"
09-21-2007 07:14 AM
arbarnhart 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.
09-21-2007 01:23 AM
Sailormann
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)
09-20-2007 06:15 PM
arbarnhart 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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