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post #41 of 88 Old 09-12-2018
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Re: Annapolis bans composting toilets for cruisers on hook?

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post #42 of 88 Old 09-12-2018
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Re: Annapolis bans composting toilets for cruisers on hook?

I suspect that this may be in part the result of an article in the local sailing magazine, "Spinsheet" on composting toilets. The person in the article describes emptying the composting compartment once a week, and describes the composting compartment as a galvanized bucket, and the 'Pee container' as a milk bottle. Most sources that i have seen suggest that a week is not adequate time for waste to 'compost' and of course the most recent deposits are not going to be a week old. I don't know how you would add it to the effluent on the Pumpout boat, but there might be a way. (Then again what do people do with self-contained 'port-a-poti' type heads) Similarly, in theory there should be a way to bring the equipment ashore and safely empty it in a toilet.

Pollution in the harbor has become a real concern. Certainly a lot more than it was when the City's sewage treatment plant had an outfall directly in to the Bay near the mouth of Back Creek. Wind driven currents can keep the harbor from flushing properly and in certain winds visible debris builds up in Ego Alley and Up in Spa Creek. So while at this point, no one intentionally swims in the harbor, or gathers crabs or oysters, the knee jerked and the rules were written.

The City is pretty responsive to mail. So if you think that you can make a cogent case on why composting heads should not be banned or how to mitigate the effects without banning them, then you might want to drop the City a note.

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post #43 of 88 Old 09-12-2018
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Re: Annapolis bans composting toilets for cruisers on hook?

Rather than making an argument up-front, maybe someone should first ask what events/concerns/data led to the new policy. Iíd be curious to hear the facts instead of the well intentioned ďthis must be whyĒ speculation.

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post #44 of 88 Old 09-12-2018
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Re: Annapolis bans composting toilets for cruisers on hook?

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Rather than making an argument up-front, maybe someone should first ask what events/concerns/data led to the new policy. Iíd be curious to hear the facts instead of the well intentioned ďthis must be whyĒ speculation.
Point well taken. The article included the Harbor Master's name. Maybe someone should call her.

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post #45 of 88 Old 09-12-2018
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Re: Annapolis bans composting toilets for cruisers on hook?

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Point well taken. The article included the Harbor Master's name. Maybe someone should call her.

Jeff
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post #46 of 88 Old 09-12-2018
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Re: Annapolis bans composting toilets for cruisers on hook?

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Out of town until next week. I spoke with several others in the office before making my posts.
That is really great that you tried to get more information on this.

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post #47 of 88 Old 09-13-2018
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Re: Annapolis bans composting toilets for cruisers on hook?

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I suspect that this may be in part the result of an article in the local sailing magazine, "Spinsheet" on composting toilets. The person in the article describes emptying the composting compartment once a week, and describes the composting compartment as a galvanized bucket, and the 'Pee container' as a milk bottle. Most sources that i have seen suggest that a week is not adequate time for waste to 'compost' and of course the most recent deposits are not going to be a week old. I don't know how you would add it to the effluent on the Pumpout boat, but there might be a way. (Then again what do people do with self-contained 'port-a-poti' type heads) Similarly, in theory there should be a way to bring the equipment ashore and safely empty it in a toilet.

Pollution in the harbor has become a real concern. Certainly a lot more than it was when the City's sewage treatment plant had an outfall directly in to the Bay near the mouth of Back Creek. Wind driven currents can keep the harbor from flushing properly and in certain winds visible debris builds up in Ego Alley and Up in Spa Creek. So while at this point, no one intentionally swims in the harbor, or gathers crabs or oysters, the knee jerked and the rules were written.

Jeff
Yep more like 6 weeks or more..

Composted material have been used on peopleís flower beds as well as vegetable gardens...

Have forwarded article to our composter manufacturer for comments as they most likely will attend the Annapolis boat show..

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Re: Annapolis bans composting toilets for cruisers on hook?

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Yep more like 6 weeks or more..

Composted material have been used on people’s flower beds as well as vegetable gardens...
I know very little about composting heads, or about commercial composting as regulated and approved by the EPA. But I know enough to suspect that there's a huge difference between commercially composted materials approved for use in farming and the stuff that gets removed from a boat's head.

Do composting heads actually compost? I thought that commercial composting had process steps to remove toxins and heavy metals. Does a composting head do any of that? Or is it just a dessicant that sucks some moisture away from the poop? Dessication can stop some biological activity, but does not do anything to remove toxins that were already created or heavy metals that were concentrated in the feces.

I can kind of understand why Annapolis doesn't want that stuff thrown into their trash cans (or dumped directly in the harbor under cloak of darkness). But I don't know much about this, so enlighten me.

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Re: Annapolis bans composting toilets for cruisers on hook?

Youíre suspicions are right on, T5. Composting heads are mislabeled. They simply desiccate their contents, as normally used. The product that was deposited the day of disposal is still fully alive, as it were.

I am curious what would happen, if you upended a composting headís material into a dark, hot dumpster in the summer, without bagging it. My intuition is not pleasant.

While I fully agree that urine does not seem at all likely to be a risk, that must put those responsible for enforcing NDZ laws in a bind. Even the advocates of composters on this forum typically admit to pouring the pee bottle overboard. Holding tank users, with an available pumpout boat, donít pour urine in the harbor. Itís simply a discharge violation and the composting community admits to it. Do I care that they do? No, although I would love to see some study of the issue. Would an enforcement agency? Of course, society doesnít like bureaucrats to have discretion, as they abuse it, typically via discrimination or self serving.


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post #50 of 88 Old 09-13-2018
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Re: Annapolis bans composting toilets for cruisers on hook?

I would never recommend putting the outflow of standard marine composters in food-growing gardens. Full composting takes far longer than most marine users allow. It certainly is possible to fully compost the material, but not if the head is in constant use.

Thereís a reason animal manure is used for farm fertilizer; it doesnít carry anywhere near the same level of pathogens that are dangerous to humans.

I dump my urine over the side most of the time. If Iím in a marina I sometimes take the jug to the land head, but otherwise it goes over the side. All the research Iíve examined says urine is nearly sterile (nothing is 100% sterile). The biggest environemental issue with urine is that it will add to the nitrogen level of the water, which can theoretically increase the propensinty to grown algae. But no living animal has zero impact on its environment. This is mine.

Just speculating here, but I wonder if the prohibition against urine dumping has to do with the fact that most marine heads mix feces with urine. This creates the toxic slurry that is so damaging. Makes bureauocratic sense to simply ban it all, but in the case of urine separation, it makes little environmental sense.

My compost bin typically lasts us (two adults, full time) about five weeks. It usually gets disposed of when out to sea, or off the beaten path in the forests that Iím usually anchored off of. I have had to use a dumpster three times. I do my best to bag it well, and to use a large bin.

Dumping into the urban trash system is the least desirable way for CH users to deal with their end product, but as has been said, it is certainly not worse than used diapers or tampons. In reality, itís probably better, since itís already slightly composted, and diluted. Remember, the solution to pollution is dilution.

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