Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Near Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
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Re: composting toilet report
I am on page 28 of 44 (so far) of post on this topic. I will read on through the rest of it and hopefully not miss anything really important (there are some fleeting comments along the way that may trick me into skipping something I should not).
My interest is real. We sail all the time on the Great Lakes so there is not "off shore limit" to get rid of matter that is not yet compost and thus the practicality of disposing of matter on land on occasion, depending on usage, is the issue that concentrates our minds first.
Now, as an aside, I also see a lot of stuff has been written about C.Diff. and the like and all matter of risk associated with untreated sewage. All valid.
Yet... When I was a boy in post-War (II) Belgium (I'm talking the 50s), I distinctly recall prepping the holes in which we would plant potatoes with raw human sewage from our own cesspit. We propably poured at least 1/2 gallon if not a whole gallon into the hole and then, when it had been absorbed in the soil, we placed the seed potato in it, covered with soil and waited for the stuff to sprout... and onto the next one to be planted... The local farmers did pretty much the same except on a bigger scale! None of us ever got ill and I am sure our hygiene was not nearly as dilligent as it is now.
This is just an aside, so don't jump on this as promoting stuff we shouldn't be doing.
My personal take, so far, is as follows:
1.- The benefit appears to be primarily in having a (dry) system that is less cumbersome and "cleaner" to maintain and repair. Both "wet" and "dry" systems rely on a subsequent disposal system - be that the municipal or septic system at the pump-out; putting it in the garbage (likely illegal since it is still waste at that time, even if it doesn't look or smell like it) or adding it to a composting system that will finish the task;
2.- You eliminate your stops at the pump out, unless you decide to "save" urine to be discharged there and can afford to be away from the dock much longer;
3.- I am not particularly anxious to adopt the "pee-in-the-water" solution. Sailing on the Great Lakes means we have no "3 mile limit", for one. We are at anchorages in coves where there is no current, or very little current, and 20 or more boats - 50 or more people? - are congregated in a relatively confined area. Yes, urine may be sterile, but I still don't want anyone to do it on my lawn, so why is it OK next to my boat? And more nitrogen in confined water? It may be irrelevant to worry about that, but... So, as a Great Laker, it looks like I may have to opt for a hybrid solution. That kind of defeats the purpose;
4.- So, I will keep on reading and will go to the Airhead etc... websites to learn more. I hope, meanwhile, that my sanitation system on board our Catalina MkII 36 survived another Canadian winter!...
In any case, many thanks to all the contributors to this thread!
Last edited by flandria; 04-18-2013 at 06:01 PM.