Blackwater and Greywater ...seperate?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Mick@itc, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Toilets flushed with freshwater are the best way to do it...Many, many advantages to fresh water flush. The only problem is fresh water capacity. Grey water flush ? Perhaps. Ive never thought about it. Should work if the water supply to the head is well filtered to keep from fouling the valves. Remember grey water from a tank has a smell...perfume injection mandatory.

    If your building a small craft with two heads a good way to go about it is the primary head...the ladies " Royal " head... is a powerful , push button, fresh water flush, turdmaster unit.
    The second outhouse head a standard sea water fed marine poop pumper.

    A good electric head is made by ACTANA. This is a DC powered toilet used in residential housing when a toilet must be fitted in a location with poor gravity drainage and black tanked . These toilets are very rugged and not labeled MARINE, so a bit cheaper.
    One advantage of the Actana...at least the model I use, is that they have a clever "short tail bilge rat " extractor hatch on the macerator pump housing. No need to take the whole toilet to pieces when one gets flushed and lodges in the Actanas Throat just unscrew the hatch plug and yank the short tail bilge rat out with a bent coat hanger. .

    Actana also have many small size holding tanks and pumps suitable for boats.

    http://www.sfa.fr/particuliers/gamm...eurs-adaptables-et-broyeurs-compacts-pour-wc/


    Ask your local plumbing shop for info . Im sure you have similar products on the local construction market.
     
  2. rxcomposite
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    rwatson,

    Grab a hold of Port Supply or West Marine catalogue. It has an advisory on sanitary system selection and options. It is usually free or cost five USD. The catalogue also contains many usefull tips on other system.

    Rx
     
  3. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Most WestMarine stores are out of their catalogue as a new one is due out in March.

    You could try on-line at westmarine.com

    -Tom

    P.S. Some of the information there is good, some is not so good...
     
  4. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    Hi Mick,

    We're beating around the bush here, what are you building-going to build-planning??

    Heads in boats can be fresh or salt, it just depends.

    How big a boat, what kind, how many heads, where and how will she be used? local regulations? fresh water tankage? watermaker?

    Steve


     
  5. Mick@itc
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    Mick@itc Junior Member

    :p...I am logging on to Wikipedia right now and putting entries up for...
    - short tailed bilge rat;
    - turdmaster;
    - poop pumper;

    Mate you made me smile from ear to ear with your post...informative and funny..thumbs up!

    Mick
     
  6. Mick@itc
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    Mick@itc Junior Member

    G'Day Steve...
    I am in the plannign phase here. Bob Oram has a 48C model that we have started talking about a version for me. 3 queen bearths, two heads (either turdmaster or poop pumper...he...he) if you liek an owners version type cat. Right now I am trying to get the "systems" into my head. Electrical, Sewerage, Drainage, Water, Hydralics and network. Also, where to build is my big headache. My place is simply inaccessable in terms of a 48 foot cat being moved to sea. So looking for the mythical shed that is both affordable and right on the water!
    So my presence here on this forum (and others) is to gain as much insight as possible into the various systems, components, pitfalls, etc.

    Regarding this thread...my background is in building commercial and domestic. A big drive...certainly in Australia) is to reuse water where possible so not private and multi-house estates are plumbed with grey water being re-used in blackwater applications. this was the driver behind my question. Are the systems seperate?...seems to be some debate about that...but I think seperate will be my way to go...but this immediately means 4 holding tanks I think. Regarding re-use of grey water...the current answer I have is the seawater may not be suitable for flushing to blackwater. Pity..thought that was pretty neat solution and wlso could bean a neat way of flushing the tanks while at sea...seawater pump directly into the tanks to flush out completly. But if seawater is not the go I will probably use grey water for flushing. Have a lot of domestic experience with this and it works well...on land. Looking forward to more feedback ont his.

    Regards
    Mick
     
  7. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    Hello Mick,

    A boat like the 48 C can be as simple or complex as you want. If permissible in your cruising grounds the simplest system would be:

    grey water direct overboard, typically to through hulls at the boot

    black water flush with salt water to holding tank with overboard discharge option (Y valve)

    This is also the lightest way to go, which on a cat is important. 8 lbs a gallon.

    The Kiss principle goes a long way on a boat.

    Steve
     
  8. Mick@itc
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    Mick@itc Junior Member

    Hi Steve...thanks for the reply. My local body of water, Port Phillip, does not allow Grey water overboard. Most of th eclassic cruising grounds like Whitsundays, don't allow it either. Yes...agree with KISS...very much so. I would like to use the salt water flush...do you use it...have experience with it?? Anyone??

    Regards
    Mick
     
  9. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    Salt water flush is very common, biggest downside is odor after it sits in the bowl awhile. Seems the microcritters in the water don't like being sucked through a pump and then asked sit still in the bowl of a head. There is no odor for a day or two, but after that it can get interesting.

    All components of all the heads I am familiar with are designed to be used with salt water. I had saltwater flush on my trawler, and it was fine except when the boat was left unattended and I forgot to throw a shot of bleach in the bowl.

    Steve

     
  10. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    The problems with Sea water flush are many....

    Safety... the sea water intake and exhaust need thru hulls with plumbing loops, syphon break. Lots of junk.

    .... Careful attention to detail is necessary when choosing the location of a sea water flush head . Centre line mounting, on or above the waterline, is optimum. Mounting off center and below waterline makes the head liable to flood especial when sailing and the head is on the lee side. Also with an off center head , powering to windward, when you drop your foul weather gear , mount a windward throne and start pumping , the sea water inlet and poop outlet may be airborne and wave washed . As you pump the helmsman or rail boys get toilet paper sparkled sun glasses and soiled gear from incoming brown breakers . The guests and boat inevitably begin to stink. If possible keep the intake and exhaust on center line or on the hull side opposite the head.

    Durability..... Nothing likes sea water. Corrosion, Inlet filters get plugged, seals erode and the inside of Sewage pipes and holding tanks will calcify faster with seawater

    Smell..... Sea water is full of living things. When it sits in the pipes the living things die and the water inside becomes deoxygenated..anaerobic. Your boat and crew hits the pub and end up smelling like the municipal dump , rotten eggs. Your mates will point fingers and laugh.

    Also remember that when you mount a toilet reading the newspaper, its easier to stay plugged in when the head is facing forward or aft, with shoulder bolstering bulkheads on each side . Mounting the toilet to Face center line leads to cross cabin launching .

    Well designed offshore WC with Actana toilet .
     

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  11. keysdisease
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    All very true Michael, except:

    Mick is talking about a catamaran with holding tank. So several of the most obnoxious items will not apply.

    centerline, above waterline, toilet paper sparkled sun glasses and soiled gear from incoming brown breakers . The guests and boat inevitably begin to stink.

    Most will not apply, and I love the brown breakers line:)

    and Mick, if you do have an overboard discharge for where permitted or pumping out offshore most cats put on the inboard side of the hull.

    Steve


     
  12. Downtown
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    Downtown Junior Member

    You might want to research self-composting toilets, as another way to go.
     
  13. SeaJay
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    SeaJay Senior Member

    Mick,
    I have a 46 motorsailer under construction and spent a bit of time pondering this issue. Here is what I came up with.
    My primary sailing is in the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento River Delta. The river and significant portions of the Bay are no discharge zones (black water). While gray water discharge is permitted in these waters, most marinas prohibit gray water discharge.
    Here is a discussion on the subject: http://archives.sailboatowners.com/...wse=T&g=T&ptl=Laws on Graywater in California
    After considering my sailing grounds and use of the boat, I elected to install both gray water and black water holding tanks. I agree that it is pretty complicated, if not impossible, in many situations to engineer a gravity fed system. However, once I opted to use pumps, it became much more feasible. My thinking on holding the gray water in its own tank is that I can then discharge while away from the marina and thus minimize the number of pump-outs which would be required if the black and gray were in a single tank. I am also installing a Vacu-Flush system which requires freshwater. So I get the freshwater advantages mentioned elsewhere, but of course, must accommodate more fresh water capacity.

    I can only assume that the regulations will become even more restrictive in the future. If I’m not mistaken, there is no discharge (gray or black) in British Columbia waters (could someone who is familiar with this area comment?). Although there are many valid arguments against restricting black or gray water discharge, I don’t see it as an unreasonable requirement for many cruising grounds.

    Regards,
    SeaJay
     
  14. Mick@itc
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    Mick@itc Junior Member

    Thanks SeaJay...great help...
    And thanks all for the great input.
    Regarding pipework? Is it a standard type of piping invovled? Or are there a multitude of pipes to be considered?

    I'm only guessing but rigid pipes would be a no-no as most everythign on a boat moves to some degree and "straight lines" are at a permium. Therefore its probably a flexible reinforced hose that is used. It also looks like...from looking up catalogues that its the same type of pipes for black and grey water...
    This is a good discussion and I hope its of use to many others too...
    Mick
     

  15. FAST FRED
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    IF it can be built into the boat , I prefer the motor home style toilet that is mounted over the waste tank.

    These will flush with a pint of water , so a FW flush is no problem.

    Good quality china bowls and almost no maint makes them a JOY.

    Non marine pricing is nice too. www.sealandtechnology.com/prodsmtoilet.asp -

    FF
     
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