composting toilet report - Page 28 - SailNet Community
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post #271 of 443 Old 01-06-2012
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Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
This is patently absurd.

It is also exactly the kind of medical mis-information that is rampant on the internet and on the airwaves that makes life as a medical provider in this country often a living hell.

I don't even know where to start..... There are treatments, (I've personally treated MANY a case of C-diff) there is a definative cure that works 100% of the time, there are even FDA approved treatments, the test you refer to is old and out-dated..... Really, I don't even know where to start.
The internet, while a gold mine of information, is, at the same time, a mine field of misinformation.

While so many people seem to have a phobia about composting humanure, I have a phobia about consuming antibiotics.
Medsailor, could you tell me if there is any truth to the idea that if you force your immune system to have to work, it gets stronger?
I have heard that children exposed to the outdoors more get sick less than those children who are more sheltered. Is this a myth?
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post #272 of 443 Old 01-06-2012
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I would encourage anyone considering a composting toilet to personally visit a boat with one. If possible take a cruise. Live day to day with it.

Like we have said before we own a land based system and just can not imagine having the same on a boat.

Asking guest to use them is not much different to us than asking them to use a porta-potti , a step back in human evolution. Do they work.. yes.

Are they what you'd expect for 2012....no. Maybe if you were in Haiti?? But certainly not in the USA 2012.

Of coarse these are our personal opinions. These and .01 cents will get you .01 cents....lol

To us we'd rather maintain a standard holding tank system than replace our heads with a composting toilet. For us it's simply a choice or a preference. We'd rather us and our guest be able to flush and forget. Do we have to repair the system form time to time? Sure, but at least we don't have to deal with pee and poop any other time.

So we ultimately have mixed feelings about them. In some situations they are necessary others maybe not?????
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post #273 of 443 Old 01-07-2012
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Holding tank and plumping is just another system to maintain.on board a passenger vessel The ease of not explaining and not unplugging makes installing an electric flush a no brainer. Even when alone on board, I just press the #1 or maybe the #2 button and say "Wow! I should have done that years ago". PS , Sign over the head shows stick man standing in circle to pee. Red bar crosses it .Works great.Some of us need more training .
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post #274 of 443 Old 01-07-2012
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Originally Posted by knothead View Post
Congratulations on perhaps the most uninformed and ignorant post in this thread to date.
I stand my ground that the composting toilets are just complicated porta-potties that have to be dumped just like regular porta-potties.

Everyone that has them admits they dump the urine over the side of the boat - the urine collecting bottle is ridiculously small. And what do you do with the poo mixed with whatever? I sense a clandestine and unsafe dumping just like the urine. Urine's sterile so it's just the yuck factor but poo is not and can create serious problems.

I am sure your neighbors would love to know you have spread fecal matter around for yard with all its bacteria that will infect their yard with the next rain. Gee that's so green!

Fact is that one will have zero impact on the environment using a porta-pottie or holding tank by dumping or pumping. This is the most environmentally responsible method available today.

Let's be honest, the composters are not in anyway environmentally friendly and should be banned.

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post #275 of 443 Old 01-07-2012
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Originally Posted by HeartsContent View Post
I stand my ground that the composting toilets are just complicated porta-potties that have to be dumped just like regular porta-potties.

Everyone that has them admits they dump the urine over the side of the boat - the urine collecting bottle is ridiculously small. And what do you do with the poo mixed with whatever? I sense a clandestine and unsafe dumping just like the urine. Urine's sterile so it's just the yuck factor but poo is not and can create serious problems.

I am sure your neighbors would love to know you have spread fecal matter around for yard with all its bacteria that will infect their yard with the next rain. Gee that's so green!

Fact is that one will have zero impact on the environment using a porta-pottie or holding tank by dumping or pumping. This is the most environmentally responsible method available today.

Let's be honest, the composters are not in anyway environmentally friendly and should be banned.
The grass is always greener over the leach field.
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post #276 of 443 Old 01-07-2012
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I enjoyed the reactions to this well-writen response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeartsContent View Post
Rob,

You are pretty much nailing the problem with these composting heads - they're just complicated porta-potti's. At least I can take a port-potti and dump it in any head safely and responsibly with zero environmental impact.

With composting heads, it's a given that urine is directly discharged into the water as the holding tank is far smaller than any port-potti. So it's a given the urine is dumped directly in the water which makes this composting solution no different than peeing over the side - always!

There is no safe place to dispose of the fecal matter mixed with other contents in the main chamber. It's human feces that breaks down and mixes with the material it is mixed with and all the fecal bacterial is there. Being more solid means it presents a far greater health risk when dumped at sea as it will drift in clumps - yuck. And there is no safe place to bury, dump or mix human feces on land so special dumping areas will have to be developed that can be processed. Otherwise it's synonymous with crapping in your back yard and covering it with dirt and leaves.

My take is that they should be classed as illegal on boats as a sanitation device. These are far from a sensible ecological solution and actually contribute to a less ecologically sound and healthy solution than traditional porta-potti and holding tank methods. Meaning they make the problem worse not better.

Good luck selling a boat with this system or finding a deliver captain willing to take the risk of a pollution violation.
Yes, It's opinion and strongly worded. But I don't see factual errors.

I've used them in cabins and see the sense there; the solids and liquid are dumped in a hole out the door some distance and holding tanks are not possible (hike-in situations). On a boat, we're just pretending it's a better answer.

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post #277 of 443 Old 01-07-2012
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Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
Yes, It's opinion and strongly worded. But I don't see factual errors.

I've used them in cabins and see the sense there; the solids and liquid are dumped in a hole out the door some distance and holding tanks are not possible (hike-in situations). On a boat, we're just pretending it's a better answer.
As all things in boating, it's a compromise.

I think that under many circumstances it might work just fine.

Here are my circumstances.

I'm single, but often have a girlfriend.

I spend every weekend on my boat, usually at a marina, so I use the holding tank as little as possible.

My current system, a traditional head with holding tank and Y valve means;
  • I have two extra holes below the water line (head export and sea water intake). There are two extra holes above water line (pumpout and vent).
  • I have two anti siphone valves
  • There are at least 16 joints held together by hose clamps.
  • There are two seperate pumps that can fail
  • The Y valve and holding tank will fail at some point, in fact, nearly every part in this system will fail at some point.

All in all, the modern marine toilet has more points that could fail and sink your boat that probably any other system.

Now back to me;

My boat probably gets defecated on about twice a week. That's about 60 times a year.

I also own a home, so, It would be easy for me to dig a hole and empty my stuff in the ground once a year and bury it. That's where most peoples crapola ends up anyway.

Seems to me it would be far more sanitary than lugging around 12 gallons of liquid sewage all season.

As for the urine, well, let's be honest, people piss off their boats or docks all the time. People swimming in the ocean piss all the time. I would, of course, make an effort to empty it down a marina toilet.

Or, I suppose I could take up yoga and start drinking my own.



edit: I recently sold my boat, am frantically searching for a new one and just caught myself speaking in present tense about a boat I no longer own. eek! I'm going back to Yachtworld where I belong!
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post #278 of 443 Old 01-07-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeartsContent View Post
I stand my ground that the composting toilets are just complicated porta-potties that have to be dumped just like regular porta-potties.

Everyone that has them admits they dump the urine over the side of the boat - the urine collecting bottle is ridiculously small. And what do you do with the poo mixed with whatever? I sense a clandestine and unsafe dumping just like the urine. Urine's sterile so it's just the yuck factor but poo is not and can create serious problems.

I am sure your neighbors would love to know you have spread fecal matter around for yard with all its bacteria that will infect their yard with the next rain. Gee that's so green!

Fact is that one will have zero impact on the environment using a porta-pottie or holding tank by dumping or pumping. This is the most environmentally responsible method available today.

Let's be honest, the composters are not in anyway environmentally friendly and should be banned.
Oh for God's sake man. Why don't you do just a modicum of research before making such patently absurd statements.

My neighbors do know that I compost. They have no problem with it because they have taken the time to learn a little bit about it. They even save their kitchen scraps for me.

I have never spread fecal matter around my yard. What a stupid comment. I spread compost around my yard. Pathogen free, nutrient rich compost. If you don't understand the difference, then again, I suggest you do a little research instead of putting your ignorance on display for the whole world.

Your comment that a composting toilet is just like a port-a-potty only proves that you've never compared them. A port-a-potty is pretty much just like your plain old holding tank system except the the tank is in the toilet. And they stink even worse than the traditional MSD. Whereas the composting toilet, especially when the urine is diverted contains mostly solid matter and doesn't smell at all when operated correctly.
Of course they have to be dumped. Just like a holding tank has to be pumped out.

Your final comment is so inane that it defies comprehension.

Here's a little information about composting. Educate yourself.

Compost - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

From the article:

"Humanure"

"Humanure" is a portmanteau neologism designating human excrement (feces and urine) that is recycled via composting for agricultural or other purposes. The term was popularized in a 1994 book by Joseph Jenkins[23] that advocates the use of this organic soil amendment.[24]

Humanure is not traditional sewage that has been processed by waste-treatment facilities, which may include waste from industrial and other sources; rather, it is the combination of feces and urine with paper and additional carbon material (such as sawdust). A humanure system, such as a composting toilet, does not require water or electricity, and when properly managed does not smell. Because the term "humanure" has no authoritative definition it is subject to misuse; news reporters occasionally fail to correctly distinguish between humanure and "sewer sludge" or "biosolids".[25]

By disposing of feces and urine through composting, the nutrients contained in them are returned to the soil. This aids in preventing soil degradation. Human fecal matter and urine have high percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, carbon, and calcium. It is equal to many fertilizers and manures purchased in garden stores. Humanure aids in the conservation of fresh water by avoiding the usage of potable water required by the typical flush toilet. It further prevents the pollution of ground water by controlling the fecal matter decomposition before entering the system. When properly managed, there should be no ground contamination from leachate.

As a substitute for a flush water process, it reduces the energy consumption and, hence, greenhouse gas emissions associated with the transportation and processing of water and waste water.


Humanure may be deemed safe for humans to use on crops if handled in accordance with local health regulations, and composted properly. This means that thermophilic decomposition of the humanure must heat it sufficiently to destroy harmful pathogens, or enough time must have elapsed since fresh material was added that biological activity has killed any pathogens. To be safe for crops, a curing stage is often needed to allow a second mesophilic phase to reduce potential phytotoxins.

Humanure is different from night soil, which is raw human waste spread on crops. While aiding the return of nutrients in fecal matter to the soil, it can carry and spread a vast number of human pathogens. Humanure kills these pathogens both by the extreme heat of the composting and the extended amount of time (1 to 2 years) that it is allowed to decompose.
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post #279 of 443 Old 01-07-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knothead View Post
Oh for God's sake man. Why don't you do just a modicum of research before making such patently absurd statements.

My neighbors do know that I compost. They have no problem with it because they have taken the time to learn a little bit about it. They even save their kitchen scraps for me.
There is a HUGE difference between organic compost (food, grass ...) and human fecal matter mixed with compost. The latter carries fecal bacteria and the former does not. There is a reason that you are not supped to mix the fecal compost with food gardens - it's dangerous due to the fecal bacteria! - RTM that comes with your composting toilet!!!!

If you are spreading fecal compost in your yard then my post remains valid despite the ignorance of the parties involved. It's disgusting and dangerous - especially in an urban environment. If folks get sick in your neighborhood, you could be in a heap of trouble if they track it back to you. Now more so than before as you cannot claim ignorance. Gotta love the internet!

Where you dump the bacteria does not influence where it will stay. Once it rains, this bacteria can easily end up in your neighbors vegetable garden. Note that many of the recent food contamination issues are a result of this.

This exemplifies how messed up the public understanding of responsible environmental management is (gotta love "green"). A society of no understanding of consequences, only what's in it for me!

If you've ever seen the 3rd world you'll fully understand the dire consequences of failing to properly manage sewage.

So how do you responsibly discard the waste from a composting toilet? The answer is this cannot be a zero impact solution and at any scale begins to become a serious health issue.

One can have a zero impact with a porta-pottie or pump out head.

That's just the facts, not opinion or religion.

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post #280 of 443 Old 01-07-2012
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I have never spread fecal matter around my yard. What a stupid comment. I spread compost around my yard. Pathogen free, nutrient .
I can see that with normal usage if you have your own yard available the ct sounds ideal.

How do you figure it would work out if you are limited to marina's and anchoring and are not off shore.
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