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So I have reached 52 and in celebration, like a kid rushing down to the family room on Christmas morning ready to tear into the boxes containing my Red Ryder BB gun and HotWheel cars, I scampered down to the utility room to investigate day one progress on the newly constucted experimental composting, er modlering, head. I'm a dedicated scientist so I even skipped morning coffee and toast to rush to my, er, 5-gallon petri dish.

I was greeted at the door to the utility room by Chester the wonderdog, tail wagging, head down as if to say "Whatever you encounter on the other side of this door, I DIDN'T DO IT!!!" Reassuring the dog and convincing myself that canines can hear and smell things far beyond the capabilities of mortal men, I entered the room. I was careful to hold my breath until door was closed behind me. Hey if it is gonna stink, I need to know how bad it gets without dilution, cuz that's how it will be on the boat. Opening one eye, carefully, nope no obvious color change to the ambient air:) No change in lacrimation in said eye:) Both eyes open, nope no congregation of household vermine around the subject apparatus :)

There, on the floor in all of its low tech glory sat my experimental head. The vent fan was purring away, producing a slight ripple to the cardbord vent port, proof of its succcessful aeration. I take a tentative sniff of the surrounding air...nothing. I step to directly above the machine, tentative sniff....nothing. I lowered the face to a foot from the exit vent. I feel the cool breeze of the system in action upon my unshaven cheek. Sniff, nothing...no wait the slight odor of.....sawdust. Eureka!!!!!!!!!

So one "man-unit" of waste and 12 hours of operation later with no detectable unpleasantry. Tonight torture test one...curry at luchtime!!!!
 

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the pointy end is the bow
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I scampered down to the utility room to investigate day one progress on the newly constucted experimental composting, er modlering, head. I'm a dedicated scientist so I even skipped morning coffee and toast to rush to my, er, 5-gallon petri dish.
What medium did you use in your experiment to drop you poop into?
 

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HANUMAN
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So I have reached 52 and in celebration, like a kid rushing down to the family room on Christmas morning ready to tear into the boxes containing my Red Ryder BB gun and HotWheel cars, I scampered down to the utility room to investigate day one progress on the newly constucted experimental composting, er modlering, head. I'm a dedicated scientist so I even skipped morning coffee and toast to rush to my, er, 5-gallon petri dish.

I was greeted at the door to the utility room by Chester the wonderdog, tail wagging, head down as if to say "Whatever you encounter on the other side of this door, I DIDN'T DO IT!!!" Reassuring the dog and convincing myself that canines can hear and smell things far beyond the capabilities of mortal men, I entered the room. I was careful to hold my breath until door was closed behind me. Hey if it is gonna stink, I need to know how bad it gets without dilution, cuz that's how it will be on the boat. Opening one eye, carefully, nope no obvious color change to the ambient air:) No change in lacrimation in said eye:) Both eyes open, nope no congregation of household vermine around the subject apparatus :)

There, on the floor in all of its low tech glory sat my experimental head. The vent fan was purring away, producing a slight ripple to the cardbord vent port, proof of its succcessful aeration. I take a tentative sniff of the surrounding air...nothing. I step to directly above the machine, tentative sniff....nothing. I lowered the face to a foot from the exit vent. I feel the cool breeze of the system in action upon my unshaven cheek. Sniff, nothing...no wait the slight odor of.....sawdust. Eureka!!!!!!!!!

So one "man-unit" of waste and 12 hours of operation later with no detectable unpleasantry. Tonight torture test one...curry at luchtime!!!!
Now that's what I call SCIENCE!

Keep us posted. We eagerly await...
 

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Media

What medium did you use in your experiment to drop you poop into?
Dust from my power miter saw. It consists of some unknown species of pine and a wee bit of red oak, both kiln dried.

I have a bag of potting soil and one of some cat litter made from wheat gluten or some such to try next.

Personally opposed to peat moss use baauseI know where that comes from and how it is mined. Some very memorable experiences come from peat bog exploration so I hate to see them dug up.
 

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Dust from my power miter saw. It consists of some unknown species of pine and a wee bit of red oak, both kiln dried.

I have a bag of potting soil and one of some cat litter made from wheat gluten or some such to try next.

Personally opposed to peat moss use baauseI know where that comes from and how it is mined. Some very memorable experiences come from peat bog exploration so I hate to see them dug up.
From my experience I have discovered a couple of things about cover material that I would like to share.
I'm using sawdust also, but I've found that it's important for it to be slightly moist. It blocks the odor much better. I also take the time to mix in about 1/4 by volume of biochar. It's my personal opinion that the charcoal helps absorb odor. Remember, my system does not use a fan at all but is a simple bucket emptied once a week. I can't really prove the biochar helps with the odor since there is none, but at the very least it is a valuable additive for the finished compost.
 

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Closet Powerboater
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Dust from my power miter saw. It consists of some unknown species of pine and a wee bit of red oak, both kiln dried.

I have a bag of potting soil and one of some cat litter made from wheat gluten or some such to try next.

Personally opposed to peat moss use baauseI know where that comes from and how it is mined. Some very memorable experiences come from peat bog exploration so I hate to see them dug up.
Not only is peat moss non-renewable and damaging to the ecosystem it is harvested from, when we used it it came with bug eggs that hatched into a bunch of compost-larva. Nearly put the wife off the whole project!

Coconut coir is what we use. Compressed bricks expand many-fold to form a large quantity of a nice dirt-like substance. When they're dry and compressed they're easy to store, light weight and field expedient for boat storage and usage.



Coconut Coir:www.cosmiccoir.com - Coco coir, Coconut coir, Coco peat, Hydroponics, Best coco coir, Growing media, Clean super washed, Coconut peat, Coco pith, Coco coir chips, Coconut husk chips

MedSailor
 

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Not only is peat moss non-renewable and damaging to the ecosystem it is harvested from, when we used it it came with bug eggs that hatched into a bunch of compost-larva. Nearly put the wife off the whole project!

Coconut coir is what we use. Compressed bricks expand many-fold to form a large quantity of a nice dirt-like substance. When they're dry and compressed they're easy to store, light weight and field expedient for boat storage and usage.



Coconut Coir:www.cosmiccoir.com - Coco coir, Coconut coir, Coco peat, Hydroponics, Best coco coir, Growing media, Clean super washed, Coconut peat, Coco pith, Coco coir chips, Coconut husk chips

MedSailor
That's the point I was making earlier. This is not actually composting which is a very environmentally safe and responsible activity.

1. Urine goes over the side. If it's no big deal then invite your neighbors to pee in your pool!
2. Pooh gets dumped somewhere on land, could be laced with fecal bacteria that can cause sickness (unless you store it for a few years - yah right!).

Portable or pump out heads are way above this standard and can easily be disposed of in a responsible and non-environmentally fashion.

You either care or you don't - karma. ;)
 

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OK.... here we go....

That's the point I was making earlier. This is not actually composting which is a very environmentally safe and responsible activity.

1. Urine goes over the side. If it's no big deal then invite your neighbors to pee in your pool!
Have you considered what wildlife does when it has to go potti? I can assure you that they don't hold it until they are away from the water. If your sailboat can produce as much urine in a year as one whale in one shot, I'd be mighty impressed. Backyard pool doesn't even fit into the same category as a natural ecosystem that both feeds on the nutrients, and is HUGE in comparison.

2. Pooh gets dumped somewhere on land, could be laced with fecal bacteria that can cause sickness (unless you store it for a few years - yah right!).
Are you aware of what sewage plant effluent contains? Look it up, I'm not a teacher, and I'm sure you're old enough to look into the stats for your own municipality.

Portable or pump out heads are way above this standard and can easily be disposed of in a responsible and non-environmentally fashion.
Really....

You either care or you don't - karma. ;)
Either you spout rhetoric based on xenophobic opinion, or you get the facts and you don't. - Science.
 

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OK.... here we go....


Have you considered what wildlife does when it has to go potti? I can assure you that they don't hold it until they are away from the water. If your sailboat can produce as much urine in a year as one whale in one shot, I'd be mighty impressed. Backyard pool doesn't even fit into the same category as a natural ecosystem that both feeds on the nutrients, and is HUGE in comparison.


Are you aware of what sewage plant effluent contains? Look it up, I'm not a teacher, and I'm sure you're old enough to look into the stats for your own municipality.


Really....


Either you spout rhetoric based on xenophobic opinion, or you get the facts and you don't. - Science.
:laugher
I'm sorry, but the first 2 paragraphs and the last one are in sharp contrast. Each side of the debate seems equally able to select only useful arguments. and reduce counter arguments to the absurd.

Perhaps a few links would be interesting. I'm not saying what these add up to; my opinion is mixed and not set.

EPA fact sheet.
http://water.epa.gov/aboutow/owm/upload/2005_07_14_comp.pdf

An interesting early attempt.
Henry Moule - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The don't seem to be many NSF approved devices. But I haven't researched this.
NSF Certified Products - Wastewater Treatment Units and Related Products, components and Materials
Excel Composting Toilet by Sun-Mar
Do Air Head or Nature's Head have any EPA or NSF approvals? I didn't see them on the web sites. Based on the other reading and their size, I'm fairly sure they would fail and so have not tried.

Type 1 MSDS have been subjected to NSF testing and approval. However, since they are discharging into the water, this is a different thing. Do remember, however, that since the influent is ~20x more concentrated than normal POTW influent (as determined by BOD5--no shower or flushing water) that the results should be divided by 20x.
http://www.epa.gov/nrmrl/pubs/600r10008/600r10008.pdf

NIH evaluation of dry heads.
Survival of Fecal Coliforms in Dry-Composting Toilets

Clearly septic tank waste and diapers are allowed in landfills.
http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/municipal/landfill/criteria/landbig.pdf


So, there is some science and some regulations. I seems to me that the non-MSD boat heads fall in the gaps somewhere; a regulator is going to see them as porta-potties I guess, since they neither discharge nor compost (to NSF standards). They simply dump solids rather than liquids. Real and perceived health and environmental hazards vary with the disposal in both cases, and are minimal--too small to fight over--in either case if managed well. As for mismanagement (over the side, mate, or just throw that under the bushes), well, that's just fight territory.
 

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2. Pooh gets dumped somewhere on land, could be laced with fecal bacteria that can cause sickness (unless you store it for a few years - yah right!).
-QUOTE]

Years? Bit of an huperbolic statement. Consult holding times at 30 C on page 5 of this EPA fact sheet. http://water.epa.gov/aboutow/owm/upload/2005_07_14_comp.pdf

Seems summer storage in a container in the sun ought to kill things in a matter of weeks, provided it is kept aerobic, and moist. Hey if you want to flush and forget, taking no more responsibility on, have at it and pump ut or dump to a land head.. I myself enjoy the challenges of doing appropriate disposal independent of the municipality.
 

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I'm not sure the "crops" collumn is correct.

2. Pooh gets dumped somewhere on land, could be laced with fecal bacteria that can cause sickness (unless you store it for a few years - yah right!).
-QUOTE]

Years? Bit of an huperbolic statement. Consult holding times at 30 C on page 5 of this EPA fact sheet. http://water.epa.gov/aboutow/owm/upload/2005_07_14_comp.pdf

Seems summer storage in a container in the sun ought to kill things in a matter of weeks, provided it is kept aerobic, and moist. Hey if you want to flush and forget, taking no more responsibility on, have at it and pump ut or dump to a land head.. I myself enjoy the challenges of doing appropriate disposal independent of the municipality.
The soil collumn states 50-120 days. For most of us, some of those days will be below freezing and don't fully count (document stated 20-30C), unless composting is active enough to generate heat. But more than 120 days should not be a problem in a shore-based compost pile.
 

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I also take the time to mix in about 1/4 by volume of biochar. It's my personal opinion that the charcoal helps absorb odor. Remember, my system does not use a fan at all but is a simple bucket emptied once a week. I can't really prove the biochar helps with the odor since there is none, but at the very least it is a valuable additive for the finished compost.
At last another use for my wood stove waste.:)
 

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The soil collumn states 50-120 days. For most of us, some of those days will be below freezing and don't fully count (document stated 20-30C), unless composting is active enough to generate heat. But more than 120 days should not be a problem in a shore-based compost pile.
Actually doesn't it state <120 days and usually <50 days? So I'd say this is compatable even at worst case.
 

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Actually doesn't it state <120 days and usually <50 days? So I'd say this is compatable even at worst case.
:)
Still picking facts you like....

No, not all worst cases. For example, I'm still sailing and it won't hit 35F today. No composting activity. I would need to hold the material until perhaps May or June.

But I can put it in the trash or wait that long. and that may be OK.
 

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@pdq:

I work in water/wastewater. When I consider the arguments here about environmental responsibility when it comes to sewage, I usually just chuckle. But in the interest of clarity, a lake or ocean is a very large ecosystem that will have no trouble absorbing the effluent from the typical density of recreational boaters. Some may have higher densities and larger issues, but I'm talking averages. If you peed in your neighbours pool, he might get uptight if he found out, but realistically it would only cause his chemical/filtration costs to go up. Remember, urine is water with a nutrient content which can either be chemically inactivated or filtered.

As to the 'other' waste product being discussed. Don't eat it, it's not good for you. If you mix it by hand, make sure you wash them very well before eating your sandwich. If the thought of it being dumped under a random tree or a dumpster upsets you, then you might want to watch pet owners very carefully when they're out walking fido.

I love interweb debates. :/
 
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:)
Still picking facts you like....
Ha ha the difficulty with electronic exchange or perhaps a quote betraying a desire to seem scholarly and incontrovertible. Obviously I can't tell without knowing the poster personally not base concludion on this exchange to this point so I'll assume the former and chalk it up to poor communication on my part :)

To recap:I intitially responded to a point by another saying composting boat waste off the boat would take years. I pointed to a document referenced elsewhere that showed pathogenic performance at 30 to 80 C. I concluded a container in the sun would be compatable with such consitions (as an aside I know I can maintain said temps in the sun from solar heating design efforts). Again I was referring to a table showing performance at temps between 30 and 80 C. The poster quoted above chose to interpret said table as establishing limits from 50 to 120 days. That was incorrect and I pointed that out and indicated a worst case in the table of less that 120 days...again it is a table at 30 to 80 C. Politely I pointed this out I might add. Quote above is countered by an ad hominem attack alledging some bias on my part and adding in conditions outside the referenced table parameters and outside the intitial point of the post response.

I never said anything about a cold boat anywhere in the string and nowhere reference data for conditions below 30C and did not insintuate that referenced shoulddata apply to other conditions. Therefore I believe it inappropriate for one to assume my string of exchange had done so or that I misapplied or biased any facts in the discussion.

So having said my piece and defended my honor, I'll now lay down the pen and let the quoted poster conclude they have in some way put me in my place; chastised me appropriately for my obvious lack of intellectual rigor; and perhaps provide further opportunity for the development of a data set for me to test my hypothesis about the quoted poster's motivation. Peace.
:laugher:laugher:laugher
 

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If you mix it by hand, make sure you wash them very well before eating your sandwich.
After a couple of days "hands on" with my prototype I do have one observation I believe worth noting. Stirring, agitating the container, etc. without an airstream vented outside would tend to generate fine particulate suspended in the atmosphere as things dry. The extent to which this dust might be contaminated with fecal associated pathogens is something I heretofore have not considered. This might be a point to consider when one thinks about where this apparatus is to be used, i.e a rolling pitching boat with limited ventillation below decks.:rolleyes:
 
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