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C&RT say don't empty your compost toilet in our bins.


Alan de Enfield

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4 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

The traditional method is to take it away and spread it on the fields raw.  That's what the honey wagons did ...

 

 

...and when people caught nasty diseases as a result. There are good reasons that doing this with untreated (or barely-treated) human waste is not allowed today 😉

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Just now, IanD said:

...and when people caught nasty diseases as a result. There are good reasons that doing this with untreated (or barely-treated) human waste is not allowed today 😉

 

Yes I quite agree.

 

I was countering @haggis's thought that large scale sewage works were the traditional method. 

 

We were talking to an old chap up on the Lancaster Canal who remembers Savick Brook being an open sewer in the 1960's and couldn't understand why anyone would want to take a boat along it ...

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54 minutes ago, Bargebuilder said:

1. cost a tiny fraction to Instal; perhaps 1/10 or less of the cost of a macerator, tank and all the associated cabling and plumbing.

And:

Lower input of raw material and energy in the manufacture of a composter compared to the ceramics, pumps, plumbing and storage tanks of pump-outs.

2. Cannot block; ever.

3. Cannot smell within the boat and usually hardly noticeably outside. 

4. Require you to store two or three small buckets (10Kg each) of maturing compost, instead of hundreds of litres of the most foul smelling slurry.

5. Avoid the often unpleasant nature of macerator  toilet repairs and maintenance tasks.

6. Avoid the regular carting of heavy toilet cassettes and those splashes in the eye!

7. Vastly reduce the amount of water you need on board and so the frequency of fill-ups compared to a boat with a flushing macerator loo.

8. Avoid the need to contaminate highly processed and valuable, pure drinking water and the subsequent processing of liquid sewage, some of the processes being consumers of energy and chemicals.

9. Avoid the need to use 'blue' chemicals that may be toxic to the environment and to the bacteria that live in sewage treatment works.

10. Have almost zero maintenance costs: no macerator pump or control box failures, no flexible hose replacement, no aggressive 'black' water eating away at steel or even stainless steel tanks from the inside.

11. For static live-aboards, means no more trips to the pump-out in mid-winter when the canal might be frozen.

12. The compost produced is an excellent soil conditioner and useful fertiliser, reducing the need for energy hungry, industrially produced inorganic chemical fertilizers.

 

But you're comparing to a pump-out which is perhaps comparing apples with oranges. As someone who owns a boat that was fitted with a composting toilet, lived with it for a while, then removed it in favour for a cassette toilet, I can counter some of your points. 

1. Nope. The airhead compost toilet fitted in my boat cost £1000. The cassette toilet I replaced it with cost £500

2. Ditto with a cassette

3. Not in my experience....can definitely smell within the boat although not how some might think. Usually a strong musty smell. Bugs a problem in the summer.

4. Ditto with 2 spare cassettes

5. N/A to cassette

6. What about the very frequent (daily) carting of undiluted foul smelling urine.....stray splashes of which are awful, and the rather disgusting habit of emptying it on the towpath.

7. Ditto with a cassette

8. Ditto with a cassette

9. Green alternatives are available for cassettes

10. Ditto with a cassette

11. Ditto with a cassette, but where is your urine going when you're trapped in the same place mid winter?

12. Maybe....but most boaters can't keep the stuff long enough to get to that stage. 

 

In the end I didn't get on with the composting toilet. Even if CRT had full facilities to deal with the compost, there is the Elephant in the room of the foul undilute urine. 

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Just now, TheBiscuits said:

 

Yes I quite agree.

 

I was countering @haggis's thought that large scale sewage works were the traditional method. 

 

We were talking to an old chap up on the Lancaster Canal who remembers Savick Brook being an open sewer in the 1960's and couldn't understand why anyone would want to take a boat along it ...

 

I think by "traditional" he meant "what is done today and has been for many years in sewage works" as opposed to "new-fangled composting toilets on boats"... 😉

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4 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

There again - there is (was) a market for it :

 

 

 

 

Night Soil 1.png

Night Soil For Sale.jpg

 

There will be again with current availability of synthetic fertiliser.

 

Humanure may not be very pleasant to process, but then neither is ammonia.

7 minutes ago, IanD said:

 

I think by "traditional" he meant "what is done today and has been for many years in sewage works" as opposed to "new-fangled composting toilets on boats"... 😉

 

She.

 

I used to think she looked like a frantically waving hand poking out of Kelpie's cabin window as that's all I saw of her the first time we passed each other. :D

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

There will be again with current availability of synthetic fertiliser.

 

Humanure may not be very pleasant to process, but then neither is ammonia.

 

She.

 

I used to think she looked like a frantically waving hand poking out of Kelpie's cabin window as that's all I saw of her the first time we passed each other. :D

 

 

 

Ah yes, on our trip to Liverpool. I knew we would meet you and when I saw the name of your boat going past the window I was entrenched in domestic duties - doing the washing up! 

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2 hours ago, MtB said:

Lemme guess, you've been fooled into buying a composting toilet - only to find it doesn't compost anything.

 

No. I learnt all about composting toilets 30 years ago along with many other aspects of sustainable living as part of a mainstream Architectural education. The full process of composting typically takes place in larger vessels away from the toilet (or at best, under it) because, obviously, a toilet can neither contain sufficient waste for this length of time nor deal with the need to do it in cycles so new waste is not added to waste that has completed it's processing.

 

Next.

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9 minutes ago, chris.holden said:

 

No. I learnt all about composting toilets 30 years ago along with many other aspects of sustainable living as part of a mainstream Architectural education. The full process of composting typically takes place in larger vessels away from the toilet (or at best, under it) because, obviously, a toilet can neither contain sufficient waste for this length of time nor deal with the need to do it in cycles so new waste is not added to waste that has completed it's processing.

 

Next.

Precisely. You produce the waste material, and it then,  like dogmuck, becomes Someone Else's Problem.

The results of bagging dog waste can be seen on most of the trees and fences where people walk their pets. And you still tread in it. I'm not convinced I want human waste hung up there too, even if it has got some sawdust with it.

When there is already a complex system developed for dealing with human excreta, is there really a need to reinvent the wheel? Like septic tanks, composting toilet complete systems have their place. To coin a phrase, half-arsed semi-systems don't.

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1 hour ago, Arthur Marshall said:

Precisely. You produce the waste material, and it then,  like dogmuck, becomes Someone Else's Problem.

The results of bagging dog waste can be seen on most of the trees and fences where people walk their pets. And you still tread in it. I'm not convinced I want human waste hung up there too, even if it has got some sawdust with it.

When there is already a complex system developed for dealing with human excreta, is there really a need to reinvent the wheel? Like septic tanks, composting toilet complete systems have their place. To coin a phrase, half-arsed semi-systems don't.

 

I think what he's saying is perfectly correct -- composting toilets as taught in an agricultural architectural course are intended for use in remote habitations with proper multi-stage composting facilities, and for these they are an excellent -- probably the best -- solution.

 

For boats on the canals that move around and don't have proper landside composting facilities run by the diligent owner (e.g. Peter), they're not.

Edited by IanD
typo...
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2 minutes ago, robtheplod said:

Just to comment one of the most interesting days out I had was to go round a sewage works!   If you get the chance its well worth it.... :)

I agree, although the primary screen was a combination of fascinating and revolting  :)

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2 minutes ago, tree monkey said:

I agree, although the primary screen was a combination of fascinating and revolting  :)

 

Having moored near sewage works and enjoyed the aromas, I don't have much desire to get any closer to vast quantities of other people's sh!t, mine's bad enough... 😞

 

(but I do respect the work that they do and its essential contribution to society)

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4 minutes ago, robtheplod said:

Just to comment one of the most interesting days out I had was to go round a sewage works!   If you get the chance its well worth it.... :)

 

My tour was 50 years ago as part of my HNC in electrical engineering - the local sewage works (Stoke Bardolph on the River Trent) was one of the first generating electricity to be fed back into the grid.

 

The workers had a great additional income - the sewage sludge was spread on the fields to dry and a huge crop of melons and tomatoes* grew, they sold them of "at the farm gate" and apparently had a reputaion of provideing the best tasting toms in Nottinghamshire.

 

*The human digestive system cannot break down the seeds / pips so they pass straight thru your system and they then germinate in the warm, fertile sludge fields.

 

As the guide said when we finished the tour "it may be shit to you, but its bread and butter to us".

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31 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

*The human digestive system cannot break down the seeds / pips so they pass straight thru your system and they then germinate in the warm, fertile sludge fields.

 

I understand there use to be tomato plants on the banks of the Thames for the same reason

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30 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

My tour was 50 years ago as part of my HNC in electrical engineering - the local sewage works (Stoke Bardolph on the River Trent) was one of the first generating electricity to be fed back into the grid.

 

The workers had a great additional income - the sewage sludge was spread on the fields to dry and a huge crop of melons and tomatoes* grew, they sold them of "at the farm gate" and apparently had a reputaion of provideing the best tasting toms in Nottinghamshire.

 

*The human digestive system cannot break down the seeds / pips so they pass straight thru your system and they then germinate in the warm, fertile sludge fields.

 

As the guide said when we finished the tour "it may be shit to you, but its bread and butter to us".

Yes that was one of the main memories, lots of tomato plants around!

 

i dont recall it being off-putting or smelly at all. It was an Anglian Water open day at the local works. lots of kids about and they poured dye in to see where flow went etc... it was interesting getting close to the big tanks with revolving sprays.. you could see the heat coming off them in the autumn day!

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1 hour ago, chris.holden said:

Next.

 

 

Next, what did you learn at architectural college about how to dispose of the urine, and how to do this on a boat? 

 

Thanks.

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7 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

 

Next, what did you learn at architectural college about how to dispose of the urine, and how to do this on a boat? 

 

Thanks.

Its a DRY toilet you silly Billy. No one ever opens the side hatch and pours it in the cut!!

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2 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

Its a DRY toilet you silly Billy. No one ever opens the side hatch and pours it in the cut!!

 

All together now. "Oh yes they do!"

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2 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

Its a DRY toilet you silly Billy. No one ever opens the side hatch and pours it in the cut!!

 

I was trying to lead the OP into saying what HE would do with it.....

 

 

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Just now, MtB said:

 

I was trying to lead the OP into saying what HE would do with it.....

 

 

......... opens the side hatch and pours it in the cut??

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1 minute ago, Midnight said:

......... opens the side hatch and pours it in the cut??

 

 

SO there are three people saying this is what they would do. Pour it in the cut.

 

And isn't this the exact problem with waterless toilets? When everyone gets one as the OP is forecasting, we will be boating in urine not water. 

 

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

 

Next, what did you learn at architectural college about how to dispose of the urine, and how to do this on a boat? 

 

Thanks.

I have seen people pouring it in the hedgerow, not a problem at the moment but if we all went waterless.

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17 minutes ago, MtB said:

 

 

SO there are three people saying this is what they would do. Pour it in the cut.

 

And isn't this the exact problem with waterless toilets? When everyone gets one as the OP is forecasting, we will be boating in urine not water. 

 

 

Not only with composters. It was suggested to me last year by a lady boater that I could extend the period between pump-outs by p**ing into a large yogurt pot and using the open side hatch method of disposal as she did. As we have our own very efficient (and naturally very clean) self-pumpout we decided that it wasn't for us. 

Edited by Midnight
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50 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

I understand there use to be tomato plants on the banks of the Thames for the same reason

 

When our school got a large pile of "soil" from the sewage works it rapidly grew a very health crop of tomato plants.

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