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Old 10-08-2016, 06:27 PM   #61
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Unfortunately, there have been repeated movements to have all of Puget Sound declared a ND area. They have not yet been successful, but I am afraid that they will be soon. If it weren't for that concern I would be very interested in a type I system.
Only about 5% of boats ever have or are likely to have a treatment device...so if enough people decide against buying one out of fear they won't be able to use it, the enviro-zealots don't need to succeed in getting NDZ legislation passed to turn any body of water into a de facto NDZ. They win the battle without ever firing a shot.

The sad thing is, even with plenty of available affordable pumpouts, more tanks are dumped than pumped. All those macerator pumps on boats in waters too far from open ocean beyond 3 miles to ever use 'em legally are ample evidence of that.

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Old 10-08-2016, 06:30 PM   #62
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The cities around the bay pollute the water, not the boats in the bay.

Sewage - Chesapeake Bay Foundation Blog

We in Hampton had millions of gallons of raw sewage pouring into the back river this past summer from a broken pipe.
But see, they love to blame and slam all the boaters. If every boater simply discharged into the water, compared to the cities, it is meaningless by comparison. Maybe it makes good politics politically correct thinking.

And where I boat, are not very many fish anymore. You go out to the ocean to catch fish. The bottom of the bay has collected all the effluent of the surrounding cities and is mostly dead of fish.
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:39 PM   #63
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I am still hung up on 33 CFR 159.12a(c) that discusses that a holding tank doing its job under ambient temp and pressure (typical trawler) need not met any other requirements of part 159 such as the level indicator.
You did manage to get into the weeds after all...<sigh>...

Not any part anywhere in part 159...

Elsewhere in 33 CFR 159 you'll find requirements for the mfrs of Type I and II MSDs (treatment devices)...including that they must be submitted to the USCG for certification and every unit must be made exactly like the one submitted. Any changes, they must be resubmitted for certification.

33 CFR 159.12a relieves the USCG of the burden having to certify every container someone wants to sell as a Type III (holding tank) by automatically certifying any device that's "designed to prevent the overboard discharge of treated or untreated sewageor any waste derived from sewage" and "is used solely for the storage of sewage and flushwater at ambient air pressure and temperature" as a Type III. And states that a any device that meets those two conditions doesn't have to meet any other conditions to be automatically certified as a Type III.

And that's the only thing that 33 CFR 159.12a addresses.

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Old 10-08-2016, 07:41 PM   #64
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If your waste is sticking to the wall, I would think you need to use more water when flushing.
That reduces urine crystals, but it doesn't prevent the buildup of animal fats on tank walls.
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:47 PM   #65
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You did manage to get into the weeds after all...<sigh>...

Not any part anywhere in part 159...

Elsewhere in 33 CFR 159 you'll find requirements for the mfrs of Type I and II MSDs (treatment devices)...including that they must be submitted to the USCG for certification and every unit must be made exactly like the one submitted. Any changes, they must be resubmitted for certification.

33 CFR 159.12a relieves the USCG of the burden having to certify every container someone wants to sell as a Type III (holding tank) by automatically certifying any device that's "designed to prevent the overboard discharge of treated or untreated sewageor any waste derived from sewage" and "is used solely for the storage of sewage and flushwater at ambient air pressure and temperature" as a Type III. And states that a any device that meets those two conditions doesn't have to meet any other conditions to be automatically certified as a Type III.

And that's the only thing that 33 CFR 159.12a addresses.

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You are repeating what I already know...

Because it doesn't refer to other specific sections, it just broad stokes any other regs in this part......I am not sure why doesn't that include the monitoring.

You don't have to respond as I am in the weeds, plus Iwill be checking directly with the USCG next week....it just is not clear to me and has others not seeing it so clearly either.
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:01 PM   #66
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Given the rain here this weekend, I came down to the boat to spend some quality time with my holding tank. I have the Sealand Tankwatch 4 system on my current boat. This is a display that has 4 lights, one each for Empty, Low, Mid, and Full. In the 6 months that I have owned it I have only seen the Empty light flash once briefly and that was in some rolling conditions after (legally) discharging the tank in Georgia Strait. The rest of the time the display has shown Low, then when the tank is about 1/2 full it shows Mid, then finally Full when it really is full.

I pulled off the cover of the tank and checked that each of the three floats was working properly. They were. They weren't clogged with crap (I have a fondness for alliteration) and weren't all that dirty. When I lifted up the deepest probe then the empty light would illuminate. My assumption is that when the Low probe was installed, it was cut too long. I released the compression fitting on the tube and raised it another inch. My hope is that the next time the tank is pumped that it will actually show Empty and then Low when the tank is about 1/4 full. I also raised the Mid probe about an inch in the hope that it will light the indicator when the tank is closer to about 3/4 full. My thought is that it will give me a little more information, such as "as soon as the Mid light is illuminated I need to find a pump out that day or the next.

I did discover that it is possible to adjust the lengths of the probes to some degree without having to open up the tank.
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Old 10-08-2016, 11:39 PM   #67
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The discharge of treated waste from your ElectroScan is legal everywhere in your waters--actually everywhere on the whole west coast north of Santa Barbara except for one small harbor off SF Bay (Richardson Bay) and a few misguided marinas in WA and several provincial park anchorages in BC...so you should only have to use your tank so rarely that even 10-15 gallons should be more than adequate.
When we are in marinas and anchorages that ask we not discharge I make an effort to follow their rules as a courtesy. I do not utilize the holding tank while we are underway.
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:49 AM   #68
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............. The sad thing is, even with plenty of available affordable pumpouts, more tanks are dumped than pumped. All those macerator pumps on boats in waters too far from open ocean beyond 3 miles to ever use 'em legally are ample evidence of that.
That's only evidence that the boats were built with macerator pumps, not that people are using them illegally.

And since it's not illegal to poop directly into the water but is illegal if you put the poop in a container first, what's the difference? It's still poop.

In my area, boat ramps don't have toilets. This means that hundreds of people go out on hundreds of boats every summer weekend. Are they going eight to twelve hours without relieving themselves? My bet is, they are not. We watch them dock their boats, climb down the swim ladder into the water, stand there for a minute or two and then climb back out.
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:39 AM   #69
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A couple of comments as we're late to this exciting thread. First, I don't care whether it's required or not, or how fancy or simple, but I would always want some means of knowing how full all my tanks are-fuel, water, and holding.

Second, when cruising inland, there are always plenty of pump out stations available. It's just a matter of taking time to use them. The boat we're looping on has what I'd consider an undersized holding tank at 36 gallons. We pretty much pump it every day. 36 gallons for 3 heads (4 with crew cabin), typically 6 people or so aboard, isn't much. We greatly appreciate those marinas that have portable equipment and pump out where you're docked as opposed to you having to move to a station.

Third, when cruising along the coast, we almost never have a day we cruise and don't go 3 nm off shore so we discharge any time we cruise. Now, I know many here just stick to the ICW so face the challenge we face inland.

We just consider fuel, water, and holding tank as three items to monitor and to plan to take care of regularly as needed.
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Old 10-09-2016, 02:51 PM   #70
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That's only evidence that the boats were built with macerator pumps, not that people are using them illegally.

If you'd spent the last 25 years helping hundreds of people on inland and coastal waters install, trouble-shoot and replace overboard discharge pump, you'd know too that they ARE using 'em illegally. Several years ago someone posted a survey on a brands-specific boat owners site...fewer than 25% checked that they always used a pumpout.

And since it's not illegal to poop directly into the water but is illegal if you put the poop in a container first, what's the difference? It's still poop.

The difference is, there's no way to enforce a prohibition against "direct deposit." If there were, there'd be one.

The real irony in all the marine sanitation madness is, there are only about 12 million registered boats in the US, 90% of which are <20'. Anything smaller than about 23' isn't likely to have even a portapotty. That doesn't leave enough boats with toilets in whole US to put as much sewage into the waters in a year as just ONE major sewage treatment plant spill can put there in a day.
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:19 PM   #71
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[QUOTE=HeadMistress;
The real irony in all the marine sanitation madness is, there are only about 12 million registered boats in the US, 90% of which are <20'. Anything smaller than about 23' isn't likely to have even a portapotty. That doesn't leave enough boats with toilets in whole US to put as much sewage into the waters in a year as just ONE major sewage treatment plant spill can put there in a day.[/QUOTE]


This is an important point. Unfortunately, rational thought and perspective doesn't usually hold sway. Even so, I honestly don't mind doing my small part in helping to keep my cruising grounds healthy.
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:51 PM   #72
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Peggie always nails it!

Just don't dump/poop/discharge in any anchorage. Usually they have less flushing (okay, I know) by tidal waters than open areas and there are frequently lots of swimmers. "Doing it" in an anchorage is disgusting. Even doing it stealthily at night, you are a moron and you will go to hell..
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Old 10-09-2016, 04:18 PM   #73
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Funny no mention of gray water being so pristine...

All the garbage from galley sinks and who know what is washed off human body parts all day long that drains or gets pumped out into those same anchorages.......

Hey....didn't I just read a news article that said the radiation from the dsmaged nuclear power plant in Japan finally has found its way through the the entire Pacific?

Maybe bacteria doesn't stand a chance in the water anymore.....
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Old 10-10-2016, 04:57 AM   #74
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Here's a link to the gauge that I fitted, for those who are interested.
I went for the deluxe LCD display version. Lots of graduations, not just a few lights, and as I said no moving parts.

The best part is the price - especially for you at current $/ exchange rates!
Waste Water Gauge | MCS Boat Products

As I said, I can't believe how difficult some people are making this seem. It's not. You just need to know the depth of your tank, and quote it when ordering, as it's calibrated and made to suit.
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:53 AM   #75
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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.
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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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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...
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In marine tanks, it's the animal fats in waste that build up on the wall of the tank. As I posted earlier, NoFlex should take care of that.



I said earlier that we’ve been using Noflex, but that the verdict is still out --- with respect to tank sidewalls. That’s partly because I don’t often have direct “eyeballs on” the tank, and partly because the last time I was looking at it (had it opened up to replace the tank level gauge sensor), our tank sidewalls weren’t pristine. OTOH, I’ve never tried a Noflex cleaning regime specifically focused on sidewalls, since our gauge sensor is internal, independent of sidewall cleanliness.

But the more I think about it now, the more I’m inclined to think it useful for Wes to try using Noflex in a manner specifically targeted at cleaning the tank sidewalls, given his gauge is external, and given it’d be a relatively easy and cheap solution – if it works.

1) Pump-out, rinse, pump-out, rinse the tank.
2) Fill the tank to normal capacity with fresh water
3) Add the max amount of Noflex (for that size tank/amount of water*)
4) Let it work as long as the Noflex remains active*
5) Pump-out, maybe rinse and pump-out again.
6) Start using the tanks, and assess results

* Learn from Dave Strank the max amount of Noflex, whether it’s safe to add that much all at once, and how long it will remain active. He posts here occasionally...


If that were to work, it'd maybe also be a reasonable tank treatment method for end-of-year or Spring commissioning, too. We've not paid all that much attention to the inside of our holding tank, but for those who must... it'd be useful to know if this is a viable approach or not.


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Old 10-10-2016, 08:04 AM   #76
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I can clean the tank walls manually by removing the access plug that I installed for this purpose. It's just that I don't really care to do this and it requires running the macerator (in the marina) to get ride of the waste.


After going to all this trouble a few times to get the level monitor to work, I just said the heck with it.
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:08 AM   #77
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I can clean the tank walls manually by removing the access plug that I installed for this purpose. It's just that I don't really care to do this and it requires running the macerator (in the marina) to get ride of the waste.

After going to all this trouble a few times to get the level monitor to work, I just said the heck with it.

I wonder if a Noflex flush approach, then followed by the normal daily treatment, would effectively eliminate the problem.

At least cleaning the sidewalls that way -- if it works -- wouldn't require using your macerator.


Easier than changing monitors, maybe. If it works.

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Old 10-10-2016, 10:24 AM   #78
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RV supply places sell a spray head to clean RV black tanks...
Nozzle on the that sprays horizontal & rotates.
If you have an access plate or sensor on the top they might assist w the cleaning and rinsing.
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Old 10-10-2016, 11:30 AM   #79
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I can clean the tank walls manually by removing the access plug that I installed for this purpose. It's just that I don't really care to do this and it requires running the macerator (in the marina) to get ride of the waste.


After going to all this trouble a few times to get the level monitor to work, I just said the heck with it.

It may be the coating on the inside of the sidewalks that is causing the sensor to not function, or maybe it is the material of the tank. I believe that my tanks are fiberglass and appear to be handlayed and relatively thick. They are also painted so I am not sure how well an exterior sensor would work. I believe that sludge can also create more issues with potential odors over time. After looking into my tank this weekend, it appears that my sidewalks look ok but I do have a layer of filth that seems to be adhered to the roof of the tank.

As others have mentioned, it certainly may be worth trying to use the Noflex approach to see if that can take care of the sidewall issues. Gemini Ltd has instruction for using Noflex initially on an existing tank. Essentially they suggest using 1oz of Noflex for every 10 gal capacity of the tank and use the tank normally. My only question about that is that it may not actually help with the upper side walls or, in my case, the top of the tank.

Something that I intend to is to pump out and rinse the tank as I normally do. This means that I will rinse the tank at least twice when I pump out. I will then go back to my home dock, add the recommended amount of Noflex to the tank and completely fill the tank with water from the dock. I will then let it sit for a while (a day or a week since I still am working 5days/week) and then going back to the pump out and once again pumping and rinsing. This should help with the sidewalls and the top of the tank.
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Old 10-10-2016, 11:40 AM   #80
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My tanks are poly and translucent. The sensor kit I installed measures the potable water tank and the black water tank. The potable water part works fine. The black water part works fine if I scrub the wall where the sensor is (for a while).
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