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Old 03-22-2010, 09:42 AM   #1
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Nature's head

http://www.natureshead.net/

so i bought one of these... i get it this week.. anyone here have or hear about them? im sick of waste lines and holding tanks and the bs that goes along with them. specially living aboard pumpouts are hard in the winter. ive never been so excited about a head.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:40 PM   #2
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Re: Nature's head

Composting is a terrific concept, but IMHO, it's not quite there for onboard use yet. "Nature's Head" seems to be very similar to the AirHead..http://www.airheadtoilet.com Neither of which is a true composter but a dessicator. The main drawbacks to onboard composters and dessicators are:

1. What to do with excess liquids. 90% of human waste IS liquid...mostly urine, but even solids are at least 75% liquid. Excess liquids have to be drained off , or you have wet soggy organic material...and wet soggy material doesn't compost, it rots. Adding dry material--peat moss is the recommended material 'cuz it breaks down quickly--regularly helps some, and there's usually more liquids than the evaporator--which, btw, requires power--in the self-contained units can handle either. Both the AirHead and Nature's Head separate urine from solid wastethe urine is directed into in jugs (or a tank). You can't legally drain 'em overboard (unless you're at sea beyond the 3 mile limit), so the jugs must be stored and carried off the boat or the tank must be pumped out same as any other tank.

2. Enough peat moss to keep the thing working during an extended cruise can take up more storage space than a holding tank.

3. Composters need a 3" vent stack... AirHead originally specified a 3 vent but is now claiming that a 1.5 vent is adequate.

4. Continuous power 24/7 to run the evaporator.

5. Composting only works in temperatures above 70 F....and only works really well above 75. Below 70, bacterial activity becomes increasingly sluggish--TOO sluggish to make anything happen. So you have to keep it warm all winter--that's 24/7--or waste will just sit there. The good news is, nothing stinks much in cold weather either.

You may decide that this thing is greatest idea since the pop up toaster...but IMO, a Type I MSD (ElectroScan or PuraSan) is a MUCH better solution for the same money.
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:02 PM   #3
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Re: Nature's head

I can't legially pump overboard here. What happens when the USCG pulls me over and puts a seal on my y valve... Then the next time he pulls me over and if the seal isn't on then ur in deep ****
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:43 PM   #4
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Re: Nature's head

Oh rats...I just realized that you're on the Great Lakes....I thought you were in LIS, where the discharge of treated waste from a CG certified Type I or II is legal.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:43 AM   #5
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Re: Nature's head

Oh ya if I was I would probably just do that. Lucky me with island waters
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:55 AM   #6
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Nature's head

AS all that is going thru the Y valve is liquid , a simple modification should take care of the problem.

Since its legal to whizz over the transom , no moral problem.

A Nicro solar 4 inch fan may pull enough air with no ships battery power.

-- Edited by FF on Tuesday 23rd of March 2010 04:57:41 AM
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:13 AM   #7
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Re: Nature's head

I did some research on the Air Head toilet, which I believe as Peggy is very similar to the Nature's Head.* One of the biggest items that steered me away was the smell at the vent exhaust.* I was advised that your slip mates will not be happy when the breeze is going their way.* That being said keep us posted on yours, maybe they have changed things up.

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Old 04-01-2010, 04:46 AM   #8
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Re: Nature's head

One of the biggest items that steered me away was the smell at the vent exhaust.

This is a very common problem on the big charter tubs.

All have massive holding tanks .

Can you imagine the Joy of paying $50K a week to be aboard in Cannes and the vessels on either side smells?

The big buck solution for them is to bubble air into the waste , , the air hating bacteria that digest the waste are killed so it stinks far, far less.
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:09 AM   #9
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Re: Nature's head

You don't need bubble air, or any other external system for an odorless holding tank. You need the proper system installed with the proper hose AND MOST IMPORTANTLY the proper venting of the tank. Larger vent lines and even two vent lines will all but eliminate tank odors. Chuck
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:42 AM   #10
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Re: Nature's head

Quote:
FF wrote:Can you imagine the Joy of paying $50K a week to be aboard in Cannes and the vessels on either side smells?
*For $50K you*would be lucky to get a boat with a head.
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:54 PM   #11
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Nature's head

Quote:
Capn Chuck wrote:

You don't need bubble air, or any other external system for an odorless holding tank. You need the proper system installed with the proper hose AND MOST IMPORTANTLY the proper venting of the tank. Larger vent lines and even two vent lines will all but eliminate tank odors. Chuck
Weeeelll, Chuck...* Odor out the tank vent line and odor inside the boat are two separate issues. While its entirely possible to have both, its equally possible to have one without the other, and each must be dealt with separately. Odor out the tank vent originates inside the tank, not in the plumbing...so proper system installation and the "right" hoses won't have any impact on it.

Nor will anything you do to the tank--ventilation, tank product, frequent pumpouts etc--have any impact whatever on odor inside a boat....;cuz unless a tank is leaking, it's rarely if ever the source of odor INSIDE the boat...'cuz odor from inside the tank has only one place to go: out the tank vent.

While passive ventilation will work in most smaller (<40 gal) tanks, it doesn't work very well in large tanks, especially in deep ones, or in tanks that are locations that create long convoluted vent lines.* Aeration can be the perfect answer...

And Fred, it's not a "big buck" solution...in fact, since aeration eliminates the need for any tank product, it can actually be the LEAST expensive solution.* Case in point...the Groco Sweetank System is about $200...that's less than the price of 3 replacement vent line filters and about a wash with the price of 4 gallons of Raritan K.O.* So compared to what most people spend for tank tank products, the Sweetank pays for itself in just a couple of years.


-- Edited by HeadMistress on Thursday 1st of April 2010 07:55:14 PM
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Old 04-02-2010, 04:57 AM   #12
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Re: Nature's head

With a dozen crew and 8-10 pax , "

You need the proper system installed with the proper hose AND MOST IMPORTANTLY the proper venting of the tank."

The vent will probably be 4 inch , and let loads of stench out.

Perhaps its not needed , but it is almost standard on every charter tub.

If 40 to 120 meters is a tub?
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Old 04-02-2010, 06:10 AM   #13
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Re: Nature's head

Quote:
FF wrote:

With a dozen crew and 8-10 pax , "

You need the proper system installed with the proper hose AND MOST IMPORTANTLY the proper venting of the tank."

The vent will probably be 4 inch , and let loads of stench out.

Perhaps its not needed , but it is almost standard on every charter tub.

If 40 to 120 meters is a tub?
The black water tank is not used that much and is flushed regularly. Most boats that size use a treatment system that accepts all the black drains, processes it, then discharges overboard. The blackwater tank is only used when in a no discharge area (few and far between) or when on the hard.

The piping is either steel or schedule 80 CPVC. Smell from the piping doesn't happen. Most vent piping is 2 inch and vents as high as possible, usually in the mast platform.

Gray water tanks can be problematic and most bad smells in the boat come from drains that have lost the seal in the P-trap.

The newest systems produce an effluent that is near drinking water quality. They are light years ahead of anything a shoreside treatment system discharges into the waterways and more boats are also processing gray water.

*
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:10 PM   #14
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Nature's head

I think a compost head is great, and surprised more people aren't using them,...

well, not totally surprise, it's a psychological hurdle for the admirals, but they really work great... modern engineering..

I have a lot of experience on dirt, in a RV trailer, and many of the same issues as the seafolk.

I've had a compost toilet from Sun-Mar for many years, love driving by the lineup at the septic dump, watching them wind up nasty hoses, deal with spills and messes,.

I have 1 in my dirt cabin too, it's a non-electric version.* It is engineered so that as long as you have enough rise in the 4" stack there is negative pressure, that constantly keeps air flow going up the stack.

I'm single, but the fiber material went along way (most use peat moss) SunMar recommended coconut fibers which I used very effectively (comes in extremely compressed bricks that holds a lot of material), secret is too add the bacteria(once a month or so) that turbo-charges compost process.* Empty drawer every 6months and you have good fertile dirt, that gets recycled back to the earth.

It is a very clean process, I was surprised when I first got it* (for my no frills cabin).

I did a lot of research way back when, and the SunMar boys are great, smart and helpful, they have a patent on their design.

It looks like they put same care and engineering into their marine version.*

There is some hurdles with the stack and such, but the benefit is HUGE.. no water needed for toilets, no dumping... If you have 4 guys peeing all day, there is going to be some extra runoff that you have to handle, but it is minimal, and easy to handle. But the

I know you silver-spoons probably aren't interested,,, but worth taking a looksy...

http://www.sun-mar.com/prod_self_mobi.html


-- Edited by waterhawk on Sunday 24th of July 2011 12:10:55 PM
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:30 PM   #15
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Re: Nature's head

Quote:
Capn Chuck wrote:
You don't need bubble air, or any other external system for an odorless holding tank. You need the proper system installed with the proper hose AND MOST IMPORTANTLY the proper venting of the tank. Larger vent lines and even two vent lines will all but eliminate tank odors. Chuck
*It will in 90% of systems, but not always...it depends on the tank location, length and path of vent lines and tank depth. Sometimes aeration really is the only solution.
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:41 PM   #16
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Re: Nature's head

Quote:
HeadMistress wrote:
*It will in 90% of systems, but not always...it depends on the tank location, length and path of vent lines and tank depth. Sometimes aeration really is the only solution.
*

HeadMistress!

So, what is your perspective on Compost Heads???
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:08 PM   #17
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Re: Nature's head

Composting is a terrific concept, but IMHO, it's not quite there for onboard use yet. "Nature's Head" seems to be very similar to the AirHead..http://www.airheadtoilet.com Neither of which is a true composter but are actually dessicators. The main drawbacks to onboard composters and dessicators are:

1. What to do with excess liquids. 90% of human waste IS liquid...mostly urine, but even solids are at least 75% liquid. Excess liquids have to be drained off , or you have wet soggy organic material...and wet soggy material doesn't compost, it rots. Adding dry material--peat moss is the recommended material 'cuz it breaks down quickly--regularly helps some, and there's usually more liquids than the evaporator--which, btw, requires power--in the self-contained units can handle either. Both the AirHead and Nature's Head separate urine from solid waste the urine is directed into in jugs (or a tank). You can't legally drain 'em overboard (unless you're at sea beyond the 3 mile limit), so the jugs must be stored and carried off the boat or the tank must be pumped out same as any other tank. So I can't see much advantage to this over a portapotty...that is, unless you pour the urine over the side anyway, which is what 90% of people do.

2. Even though urine is collected separately, solid waste is 75% liquid, so peat moss or similar organic material is needed to keep it dry. Enough peat moss to keep the thing working during an extended cruise can take up more storage space than a holding tank.

3. Composters/dessicators need a 3" vent stack... AirHead originally specified a 3" vent but is now claiming that a 1.5 vent is adequate.

4. Continuous power 24/7 to run the evaporator.

5. Composting only works in temperatures above 70 F....and only works really well above 75. Below 70, bacterial activity becomes increasingly sluggish--TOO sluggish to make anything happen. So you have to keep it warm all winter--that's 24/7--or waste will just sit there. The good news is, nothing stinks much in cold weather either.

You may decide that this thing is greatest idea since the pop up toaster...but IMO, unless you're in inland "no discharge" waters, a Type I MSD (ElectroScan or PuraSan) is a MUCH better solution for the same money.
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:09 AM   #18
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Re: Nature's head

Thanks for that thourough overview!

I will look into those units you mentioned.

But I'm not totally onboard with you.* At least as far as fluid dispersal.

*

In my dirt cabin I have a NE (non-electric) compost toilet,, one time I noticed the floor in bathroom was flooded.. I had a cold spell and was stripping/replacing insulation from a mouse issue in ceiling before I got soffets put in... anyway, yeah it was cold,, not much compost activity, so toilet filled up, and started leaking out overflow tube (I had concrete floors so wasn't too grossed out* ** )

But, with a healthy active compost process and (an engineered for) heating element if you have the current to spare, should evaporate a whole lot of fluids and will in healthy compost environment.

I hear what you are saying, but not sold on non-compost sytem yet... The whole concept is to avoid the pump-out...and there are some dry-urinal set-ups for the boys to use to minimize the fluid intake...
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:52 AM   #19
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Re: Nature's head

What to do with excess liquids. 90% of human waste IS liquid

The urine is sterile and is usually simply drained OB. The Romans used to use it as mouth wash.

THe solid waste is vented with either normal heat rising , or a fan in colder weather.

Due to the light weight these composting are a favorite of multihull sailboats , where the weight of 50--100G of sewage is not desired.

It will be great to read how it works out for the first poster.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:59 AM   #20
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Nature's head

The urine is sterile and is usually simply drained OB...

Not true...Federal law does not distinguish between urine and solid waste, it prohibits the discharge* (defined in the CFR as "includes, but is not limited to, any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, or dumping") of "human body wastes and the waste from toilets and other receptacles intended to receive or store body wastes."

So sterile or not, it's just as illegal to discharge urine overboard as it is to dump a tank or flush a toilet.* It's the storage and/or evaporation of excess liquids that makes composting problematic on a boat.

THe solid waste is vented with either normal heat rising , or a fan in colder weather.

You've never maintained a compost pile, have you Fred? If you ever had, you'd know that it* has to be tossed on almost a daily basis to aerate it...otherwise it compacts, becomes anaerobic and rots instead of composting.

That's what separates dessicators from true composters. A real composting toilet collects waste in a drum that's rotated either by hand or electrically, evaporation plates, heaters and blowers AND a drain for liquids--which in a cottage, can be just drained off into the ground...but must be stored on a boat.*

It will be great to read how it works out for the first poster.

Those who have the AirHead or Nature's Head claim to love 'em. But* that's because, legal or not, a LOT of urine jugs get emptied over the side instead of being carryed 'em ashore...and also because they have a certain counter-culture "back to nature"/"off the grid" aspect to 'em that appeals to those who choose 'em.

*


-- Edited by HeadMistress on Tuesday 26th of July 2011 08:10:01 AM
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