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Re: Airhead

I put an airhead in my boat last spring. Have had alot of problem with excessive moisture in the poop tank. I recently re-mounted the unit so it slopes forward, so the urine will flow better to the urine tank. When I vented the unit, I was uncertain if it would work properly and did not want to hole my deck above the head, so ran a vent line aft to a dorade in the lazarette, about 20 feet, up sloping. I'm wondering if water is condensing (sp) in that line and dripping back into the poop tank. I'm finding that with two people after about a week the unit needs emptying, disappointed so far with the system. Any ideas anyone?
Check out Pooh Powder, the most absorbent material I have ever seen. Sprinkle a bit on the top of a glass of water and the whole glass full turns to gell. A ten pound bag from the source should last years ,if you only use a sprinkle or two , only when needed.
 

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I 'm not sure it I am breaking any rules because I am the designer and builder of the C-Head, but I just wanted to address some of the issues that have been brought up regarding composting toilets for boats, in general.

As I have previously stated when discussing composting toilets, it is absolutely true that "composting" toilets sold on the boating market do not compost waste. If anything they "precompost" but that is of little importance because boaters don't compost their waste anyway. They discard it. A "composting" toilet for boats is more correctly called a "mouldering" toilet. People use composting toilets on boats for a couple of reasons. Odor control, ease of installation and maintenance, and freedom to spend extended time in sensitive areas with no pump-out service.

The observation was made that composters (if you will) dump solid waste in the water because it is easy. Well first, it is not easy and second, composted s*** floats so in fact, they don't usually throw it overboard without incriminating themselves or fouling their boot tops. Holding tank owners dump illegally, regularly and that is the worst kept secret in the world.

I do not believe that throwing bags of s*** in the dumpster at the marina is either a good idea or a sustainable one. The best system uses 5-gallon plastic buckets that you treat with a cup of chlorine bleach before sealing them up with a locking lid and discarding them. Biodegradable buckets are available. All composting toilet users should follow this practice. Incidentally, you can store a month and a half's waste for two people in a five gallon bucket using a composting toilet as compared to pumping out every week with a holding tank system and having the privilage of paying for it too.

Urine is easily deodorized with a shot of Campa-chem, easily disposed of and truthfully is not much of an issue. Hope this is helpful.
 

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This thread is hilarious!

Some people will go to the greatest lengths to try to convince themselves they're correct.

It's not really fair to call these toilets composting as it gives a bad name to legitimate composters (very green).

Dumping your piss over the side and your crap over the side, in people's yards or a dumpster is completely not green - it's disgusting.

Hopefully legislation will be created to protect the public from this serious health threat. Why not just use a 5 gallon bucket? It's pretty much the same thing.

Thank goodness there are responsible and competent boaters that can maintain and properly use a holding tank and pumpout.
 

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Oh, yeah this is a huge problem that requires legislation!:rolleyes:
 

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I don't make a claim that composting toilets on boats are "green" and I specifically debunk that claim. It is a way of storing waste that (1) allows the owner to store a large amount of waste onboard (over a months worth) and (2) in an odorless manner and (3) very inexpensively and conveniently and, at the same time, (4) have the convenience of disposing of it at their leisure instead of having to dump in an emergency because the holding tank is full and they have to go . . .now! It also contrary to what you may think, incentivises people to wait to dispose of their waste since there is no hurry and no need to break the law. That part if it is green. If you spend a month in the Keys or on the St Johns River, you will come to appreciate these abilities.

If you were really green, you would believe that owners with holding tanks should be made to keep a log of pumpouts and should have their Y valves taged with bands that can only be broken and rebanded at certified pump out stations by a licensed official (for a fee). That would be green. But be careful what you wish for. Local and state governments are looking for ways to raise money and there are a whole lot more holding tanks out there than there are composting toilets.

With respect to resale of boats with composting toilets, fully a third of the boats I have boarded, you can smell the head at the dinette table. Try reselling one of those. The only person who is likely to buy it at your price is someone who is going to replace the current system with a composting toilet. If you do have a "composting" toilet at the time of the sale, you can reinstall a conventional holding tank system if you need to to satisfy the new owner without having to tear out the old one or pay someone a healthy sum to do it for you.
 

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Is it possible to flush the contents of the composting toilet down a conventional toilet?
 

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No, first, peat moss and saw dust will swell when wet and clog the system. Second, it would be a difficult chore. BTW, if your composting toilet is portable, it is not legal to have both a portable and a discharge system on board. One or the other. The law is a little gray in that it says that the discharge system must be rendered inoperable if portable toilets are used. It doesn't specify how and that is probably up to the inspecting officer. A lock on the Y valve might suffice. I don't know how well known or enforced this rule is.
 

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So, fireboat, how does a compostable toilet stack up against...A plain urinal plus a plastic bucket and a bag of quicklime? As used in one-holers around the world? Still the same "bucket of stuff" to cap off and haul away when it is full, but AFAIK the quicklime is supposed to sterilize it and break it down pretty quickly.
 

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Quick lime and a five gallon bucket is fine for a single bumboat guy but try to get a lady to sit over a rising pile of encrusted desolving poop. The best "bucket" method should be attractive on the outside and disguise what is going on on the inside by having no sewer smell and no visible growing pile of s*** under your butt. Quick lime is dusty and also a health hazard. (Google "Is quicklime dangerous?") If you get it in your eyes , it can blind you and there is really no other use for it onboard.

Mouldering (AKA composting) toilets that churn the mixture, as opposed to the "bucket and bury" method, allows you to make a little medium (sawdust or peat moss or coir) go a long way and as you know, storage space on a boat is at a premium.

If you want to get a jump on the sterilization process instead of waiting to add chlorox when you seal the disposable bucket, you can add laundry detergent to the mixture at the beginning when you first charge the collection container with fresh peat moss. This will for all intents and purposes sterilize the medium but it will not be suitable for compost.

I find that this is overkill and the chlorine works best. You never have to smell it because you seal the bucket immediately. Chlorox is usually carried on most boats for one use or another, and it is cheap. You could also use a bottle of hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorox if you wish. You can carry the full disposable bucket on the boat sealed until you find an appropriate means of disposing of it.
 

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Sunsets and Warm Beer....
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It's amazing how many people are afraid of poop...

Why is it, it's ok to throw away diapers, but not "composted" toilet waste??? At least it's dry and odorless...
 

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Some people (actually a lot of people) are what Jenkins calls fecophobic. It should be pointed out that with compact "composting" toilets, the waste is, in fact, not composted. The composting process under ideal conditions takes six months to two years to become completely free of any biohazard and that is from the day of the last deposit. But with only a couple of people using a composting toilet regularily instead of being open to the public for use, a composting toilet on a boat or even a homestead has little danger of spreading disease to it's users if minimal sanitary practices are used. No more than a holding tank system for sure and since repairs are virtually non-existant, you could say "less" dangerous. If handled correctly, you never have to come into physical contact with your waste again after you have used the toilet.
 

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Sometimes forum discussions can be a lot like a composting toilet. People stirring up a lot of crap but if you dig through the mixture, you can find some kernels of truth and good information. Also like poop, the discussion tend to dry up in the sunlight of truth.

As a former Army Special Forces medic charged with setting up base camp sanitation and as a retired Firefighter/Paramdeic with years of antiseptic practice, and as a five year live aboard cruiser and composting toilet user, I have some notion of what I am talking about and I do consider myself something of an expert on the subject of compact composting toilets.

I write this, not to toot my own horn, but it is hard to stand by and watch bad information (like bacteria) being passed from one person to another (fecal cranial contact, if you will). I would gladly answer any serious general questions about compact composting toilets. I will not compare brands to each other but I will discuss the process, how to use one and why it can be a superior system compared to holding tank systems in many cases. Don't be shy.
 

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OK, fireboat. Here's the biggie. Since there are no composting toilets, and the devices using that name still generate a bucket of sewage, sanitary waste, whatever you prefer to call it, what are the proper, legal, and sanitary ways to disposing of that "it ain't compost yet" waste?

As opposed to using a pump-out station, where there's a process to dump the sewage into a regular and approved sanitary waste system?
 

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Sunsets and Warm Beer....
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OK, fireboat. Here's the biggie. Since there are no composting toilets, and the devices using that name still generate a bucket of sewage, sanitary waste, whatever you prefer to call it, what are the proper, legal, and sanitary ways to disposing of that "it ain't compost yet" waste?

As opposed to using a pump-out station, where there's a process to dump the sewage into a regular and approved sanitary waste system?
He has covered this in the posts above...
 

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I would say touched on it, but not covered it. Taking a bucket and tossing it in the dumpster, or burying it, would not address the legal issues. Not to mention, consuming a $5 bucket non-bio-degradeable each trip, or the many places where that plastic bucket is required to be washed out and placed in the recycling.

Let's suppose you are in LI Sound, or on the Chesapeake or Biscayne Bay or in the Keys. Now, what so you do with a bucket full of sewage? I'd say mail it to your Congresscritter, but that's illegal to put in the US Mail, too.
 

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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. :/
Good point. BTW, what is the legality of disposing of baby diapers (or grown-up diapers- Depends) or pet waste in garbage cans or dumpsters?
 

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Quick lime and a five gallon bucket is fine for a single bumboat guy but try to get a lady to sit over a rising pile of encrusted desolving poop. The best "bucket" method should be attractive on the outside and disguise what is going on on the inside by having no sewer smell and no visible growing pile of s*** under your butt. Quick lime is dusty and also a health hazard. (Google "Is quicklime dangerous?") If you get it in your eyes , it can blind you and there is really no other use for it onboard.
I have used just lime (not quick lime), it works without the health issues and is cheap- buy a large bag at the hardware store.
 

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Yes, and concerning illegal disposal of poop...what the heck are we going to do with all those messy seagulls. They flout the law right in front of law enforcement on a regular basis, occasionally sending down poop bombs in aerial attacks. I say LOCK 'EM up along with racoons, squirrels, fish, insects, fido, ***** cats, and those lousy sea otters, and the whales!!...well, where are their composting toilets, huh?
 

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I went through a ton of diapers on two children without ill effects :)

Baby diapers seem to get dumped at every rest stop on the eastern coast of the USA without ending the world :)
 
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