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Old 10-06-2016, 11:46 AM   #21
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Perhaps for you, but I don't see it that way. It's hard to know the level in your holding tank and it's hard to predict how many times a person will poop in one day.

There are solutions for both of those questions. It would be nice though to have an electronic counter on an electric flush toilet that would tell you the number of cycles. That would seem to be the most accurate and foolproof method to know how much has gone into the holding tank.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:59 AM   #22
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All is good as long as there is manned, operational pumpouts available and you have a huge holding tank....if not?

In my area, there are 5 or more fuel pumps for every pumpout. They are never broken....the pumpouts always seem to be broken.

Just nice to have the option for not that much trouble or expense.
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Old 10-06-2016, 12:00 PM   #23
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We cruise the same waters and recall the days when overboard discharge was prohibited yet there were very few pump outs in the Sound and those few were rarely operational. That is not the situation now. There are plenty of pump out stations in the sound now that are free to use, well maintained, and readily available. At almost all of those facilities there is also a dumping spot for portable toilets, or a bucket, for those boats without holding tanks.
I think that I didn't explain my point very well... When you look at Point Defiance or any other area where the vast majority of boat are 20 ft or under, they simply don't have any other option other than the bucket or jar..

The larger boats do have adequate heads but we are in a small minority when you look at the total number of boats on our waters. My point is maybe 1 in 20 people on water in our area have adequate toilet facilities on their boat, the other 19 use a bucket, for when you gotta go you gotta go.
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Old 10-06-2016, 12:25 PM   #24
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I think that I didn't explain my point very well... When you look at Point Defiance or any other area where the vast majority of boat are 20 ft or under, they simply don't have any other option other than the bucket or jar..

The larger boats do have adequate heads but we are in a small minority when you look at the total number of boats on our waters. My point is maybe 1 in 20 people on water in our area have adequate toilet facilities on their boat, the other 19 use a bucket, for when you gotta go you gotta go.
Yeah, I get that part. However, lets say you poop in bucket while out fishing off Pt Defiance, it is easy to dump and rinse that bucket at the porta-potti dump station right there at the Pt Defiance dock. Or at the two in Gig Harbor, or Narrows Marina, etc....

I think a big part of it is that a fisherman in his open 18' boat that goes out for hours isn't really thinking about EPA and USCG regulations. I like to believe that if they were simply better educated, they would willing to comply since it is now so convenient.

As to Psneeds comment, I do understand the problem of not being able to find working pumpout facilities. I lived it for decades. However in Puget Sound, after years of boaters complaining and working with the state that is no longer a consideration. Sure it is less convenient than overboard discharge, but working pumpouts are readily available here, now. That may not be the case in all areas.
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Old 10-06-2016, 03:56 PM   #25
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Consider this scenario: Your holding tank is full and there are no pumpout stations nearby (or that are open). Your wife announces "I have to poop."

What are you going to do? Pump your tank overboard or tell your wife to either hold it or climb down the swim ladder and poop in the river?

Never say never.
Put the Admiral in charge of the holding tank and I guarantee this desperation scenario will Never arise.
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Old 10-06-2016, 06:15 PM   #26
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For those of us boating in the Gulf and San Juan Is the focus is not necessarily the boats dumping holding tanks, it is the cities dumping sewage into the Straits of Juan de Fuca.
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Old 10-06-2016, 06:23 PM   #27
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Perhaps for you, but I don't see it that way. It's hard to know the level in your holding tank and it's hard to predict how many times a person will poop in one day.
It's not that hard to estimate the volume. The average adult uses the toilet 5x/24 hours...average flush volume is 2 liters...so each person continuously aboard will add about 3 gal/day to the tank. Or, you could just install a tank level monitor that tells you how much is in the tank...they aren't expensive.

And actually, USCG regs require that you have the ability to know when the tank is at least 3/4 full. If the tank is made of a material and is in a readily accessible location that allows visual inspection, no mechanical monitor is needed...but if it's not, you're required to have one.
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Old 10-06-2016, 07:35 PM   #28
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It's not that hard to estimate the volume. The average adult uses the toilet 5x/24 hours...average flush volume is 2 liters...so each person continuously aboard will add about 3 gal/day to the tank. Or, you could just install a tank level monitor that tells you how much is in the tank...they aren't expensive.

And actually, USCG regs require that you have the ability to know when the tank is at least 3/4 full. If the tank is made of a material and is in a readily accessible location that allows visual inspection, no mechanical monitor is needed...but if it's not, you're required to have one.
When we stay in marinas, we normally use the marina facilities except at night so it would be hard to keep track of the head level by the number of people aboard per day and I'm not going to make people sign a log every time they pee or poop.

I have a tank level monitor but it always shows "full" so it's not much use. It uses sensors on the outside of a poly tank but poop sticks to the inside walls of the tank so it shows full. I can manually clean the tank walls and it will work for a short time and then start reading full again.

I never heard of any USCG regulations regarding monitoring the holding tank and I'm sure that there are many boats out there that would be in violation of any such regulation. My previous boat for one.
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Old 10-07-2016, 12:44 AM   #29
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It's not that hard to estimate the volume. The average adult uses the toilet 5x/24 hours...average flush volume is 2 liters...so each person continuously aboard will add about 3 gal/day to the tank. Or, you could just install a tank level monitor that tells you how much is in the tank...they aren't expensive.

And actually, USCG regs require that you have the ability to know when the tank is at least 3/4 full. If the tank is made of a material and is in a readily accessible location that allows visual inspection, no mechanical monitor is needed...but if it's not, you're required to have one.

Peggy, do you know of any type of flush counter for a marine head?
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Old 10-07-2016, 12:59 AM   #30
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It`s all about "convenience", in more ways than one. The next marina runs a fleet of hire houseboats. They installed multiple pump out connections on the marina, between each pair of hire boats.
Beats moving each boat to/from one pump out point, or waiting to use a public one you hope is working.
If you make it easy and practical, people will comply. Make it a PITA to comply and they`ll look for ways around it.
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Old 10-07-2016, 05:49 AM   #31
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I can't believe all this talk of flush counters. What a complicated / over the top way of working! It's equivalent to not being prepared to drive a car unless it has a range estimator on it so you know how many miles you have left. That's a relatively new feature on cars, but it's by no means a must-have, essential, can't-do-without function!
Cars have had fuel tank gauges on since the early 1900's, and that's been perfectly adequate for around 100 years without people running out of petrol all over the place.

In the same way, it's perfectly workable to fit a tank gauge on your waste tank, and be able to manage it very successfully. When the gauge gets up to around 3/4, start making arrangements to get it emptied before it gets completely full.
Is it that hard to do? Do you really need to know down to the very last flush?

There are plenty of gauges around now that don't use moving parts which could get gunged up and require cleaning. Mine is effectively a pressure gauge which measures the head of liquid above it. But there are others that bubble air through a tube, and measure the air pressure required to push the air through the tube.

KISS. Keep it Simple, Stupid.
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Old 10-07-2016, 07:24 AM   #32
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And actually, USCG regs require that you have the ability to know when the tank is at least 3/4 full. If the tank is made of a material and is in a readily accessible location that allows visual inspection, no mechanical monitor is needed...but if it's not, you're required to have one.
I never heard of that regulation about requiring to know when 3/4 full.
Never heard of anyone being asked during an inspection or boarding.

I have the old "snake river" system that uses "tape" on the outside of the (fiberglass) tank. Seems to work fine and is dead simple.
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Old 10-07-2016, 09:32 AM   #33
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Pomp it before you go and then anytime you dock overnight,or fuel. At the dock we pump out each week weather it is needed or not. Make it easy and you won't have to make it into a science project.
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Old 10-07-2016, 09:48 AM   #34
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Peggy, do you know of any type of flush counter for a marine head?

You're kidding, right? If you pump a manual toilet 6x to move bowl contents to the tank, is that 6 flushes or one? What if more pumps are needed? How many seconds on an electric flush button is a flush? Some electric toilets use more flush water than others...so what possible value could a flush counter have???

I never heard of that regulation about requiring to know when 3/4 full.


33 CFR 159.83
Each sewage retention device must have a means of indicating when the device is more than 3/4 full by volume.

It's the reason for the SeaLand TankWatch I.
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Old 10-07-2016, 10:47 AM   #35
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I can't believe all this talk of flush counters. What a complicated / over the top way of working! It's equivalent to not being prepared to drive a car unless it has a range estimator on it so you know how many miles you have left. That's a relatively new feature on cars, but it's by no means a must-have, essential, can't-do-without function!
Cars have had fuel tank gauges on since the early 1900's, and that's been perfectly adequate for around 100 years without people running out of petrol all over the place.

In the same way, it's perfectly workable to fit a tank gauge on your waste tank, and be able to manage it very successfully. When the gauge gets up to around 3/4, start making arrangements to get it emptied before it gets completely full.
Is it that hard to do? Do you really need to know down to the very last flush?

There are plenty of gauges around now that don't use moving parts which could get gunged up and require cleaning. Mine is effectively a pressure gauge which measures the head of liquid above it. But there are others that bubble air through a tube, and measure the air pressure required to push the air through the tube.

KISS. Keep it Simple, Stupid.

I understand your point. OTOH, I have tank level monitors that don't work well. It shows me the tank is either "not empty" or "full". Yes, I will see if I can pull it out and see what I can do to improve it. My tank construction will not allow an exterior sensor.

As for simple, if I knew that the holding tank would handle about 50 flushes and that so far we have flushed the head 37 times, that is very simple and much more accurate than a gauge that simply tells me the tank is not yet full. So, I may be stupid, but that seems simple to me.
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Old 10-07-2016, 11:19 AM   #36
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If you have a toilet that "flushes", you could count each time you flush. If you have a manual toilet (as I do), a "flush" varies depending on the number of times the user pumps the handle (and of course, the volume of sewage introduced into the toilet). I can't imagine having a piece of paper in the head where every user must account for his or her toilet use.


I couldn't get anywhere with the link Peggy posted but I do have a level sensing device. It just doesn't work and unless I can find a way to keep poop from sticking to the inside of the tank, it never will.
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Old 10-07-2016, 12:12 PM   #37
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I couldn't get anywhere with the link Peggy posted

I didn't post a link...the forum software highlighted the word sewage as a search term. What I quoted is the law as stated in Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations part 159.83 If you need proof, here's the link to it:

33 CFR 159.83 - Tanks Level indicator.


I do have a level sensing device. It just doesn't work and unless I can find a way to keep poop from sticking to the inside of the tank, it never will.

You can't keep it from sticking to the walls, but there are products that will remove it...I'm told that NoFlex is one, and that regular applications will prevent it. You have nothing to lose by trying it.

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Old 10-07-2016, 12:23 PM   #38
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I have tank level monitors that don't work well. It shows me the tank is either "not empty" or "full". Yes, I will see if I can pull it out and see what I can do to improve it. My tank construction will not allow an exterior sensor.

If you can pull out the senders, you can replace 'em. The SCAD system has an internal sender...it's sealed in a PVC tube, so it never comes in contact with the tank contents, therefore can never become clogged.
SCAD Internal Sender Instructions

It'll cost you a little less if you buy it directly from the mfr Profile Tank Monitors

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Old 10-07-2016, 12:31 PM   #39
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I do have a level sensing device. It just doesn't work and unless I can find a way to keep poop from sticking to the inside of the tank, it never will.

You can't keep it from sticking to the walls, but there are products that will remove it...I'm told that NoFlex is one, and that regular applications will prevent it. You have nothing to lose by trying it.

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http://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-Bo...dp/1892399784/

Yep, there are other tank level monitoring systems, too.

We've been experimenting with Noflex for the last couple years. The verdict is still out... but then part of that is because I don't have easy sight-lines to the tank itself... so don't check it directly very often...

I'd say it'd be worth a shot, though. If it works for a given situation, it's a relatively easy solution.

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Old 10-07-2016, 04:00 PM   #40
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Peggy, do you know of any type of flush counter for a marine head?
Dave
How about a bilge pump counter? ?

I'm with Peggy here...level sensor makes alot more sense. Get it working or replace it would be my approach
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