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TOPIC: Plumbing -composting heads

Plumbing -composting heads 4 years 9 months ago #452

  • juanona
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A question for our European friends: My wife and I are planning to head across the pond and are considering replacing our Lavac head and holding tank with a composting toilet. Are these 'approved/accepted' in Northern Europe (England, Norway, the Baltic etc)? Are they commonplace there, or might we be looked upon with 'suspicion' due to unfamiliarit by maritime authorities? Several folks in our neck of the woods here in Maine love their composting heads, but before looking into them further I want to be sure we would be OK in Europe. Many thanks for any feedback, Max

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Last Edit: by simoncurrin.

Re: Plumbing 4 years 9 months ago #454

  • simoncurrin
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Max I have never heard of composting heads so I suspect they are uncommon in the UK. In fact pump out facilities are few and far between in the UK once away from the main centres and I suspect a lot of yachts don't even have any kind of holding tank. I am not sure what the rules say but I think that is the reality.

Our experience was much the same in Scandinavia and even in the tideless Baltic few of the harbours we visited had pump out facilities. The Med is however a different matter with large fines in place.

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Simon Currin
Shimshal
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Plumbing -composting heads 11 months 2 weeks ago #3106

  • shills
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We have recently spent several weeks in Sydney harbour where its illegal to discharge black and grey water. As often as possible we used the many public toilets ashore, but with only a small holding tank we needed an alternative onboard and so set up a composting toilet. This is simply a lidded bucket. The more luxurious version is to have a plastic toilet seat for it. The key to its success is to only use it for your poop and keep the urine out i.e. keep the compost dry (urinate in a bottle and discharge into a public toilet when ashore). It also needs a carbon source added to it e.g. dead leaves, mown grass, sawdust, potato peelings, coffee grinds etc and sprinkle these over your droppings every time. If these two things are done, i.e. keep it dry and add a carbon source, it will compost quickly (the warmer the ambient temperature the better) and will not smell - it just smells sort of earthy sweetish. To help the aerobic composting process give the bucket a good shake every so often to aerate it and it also helps to put it out on the deck with the lid off for a few hours. A normal sized bucket lasts several weeks as the contents quickly break down in volume. Then what to do with the compost? Either discharge it out at sea outside the 4M limit or bury ashore in a deep hole in a suitable place or you might have a landlubber friend with a garden - although the general advice is not to use human waste based compost for vegetable gardens - but its good for everything else - trees, flower gardens, fruit tress etc.
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Plumbing -composting heads 11 months 1 week ago #3112

  • alshaheen
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Max
I have only just seen this thread which you started over 3 years ago, but there is some experience within the OCC. Pip and Judy Wick, OCC members in Maine, have had a composting head on their lovely boat Lucayo for about 5 years now, and they have experience of using it in European waters. Perhaps an article for Flying Fish?

Lucayo also as diesel/electric propulsion, another innovation.

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John Franklin
s/v Al Shaheen

Plumbing -composting heads 11 months 1 week ago #3113

  • juanona
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Thanks John. We did end up going to a composting head and have been very pleased with it.

Have a great summer!

Max

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