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Old 10-04-2016, 10:19 PM   #1
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Overboard discharge of holding tank.

Revel is currently equipped with a nice new Raritan Elegance with the fresh and sea water supply, a holding tank, a macerator pump to overboard discharge, and a pump-out fitting on deck. The hoses to the macerator and overboard discharge do not incorporate a vented loop. Since I will be moving the Racor filter to a place within reach, I will have to move the macerator and hoses. (See pic: One new Racor would go where the macerator is; the other where the battery charger is.)

Question one: verify that I really ought/need to have a vented loop in this macerator - overboard discharge piece of the system.

Question two: why would - where would I ever use the overboard discharge, assuming (confidently) that I would never be swine enough to pump the holding tank in prohibited waters even under duress.

Seems to me that I should/could reasonably simply eliminate the pump and overboard discharge. I mean, we're an East Coast boat with East Coast destinations in mind. The Gulf of Maine or the St Lawrence Bay are distant possibilities, particularly for this boat's sea-keeping capabilities.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:11 AM   #2
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Question two: why would - where would I ever use the overboard discharge, assuming (confidently) that I would never be swine enough to pump the holding tank in prohibited waters even under duress.

Seems to me that I should/could reasonably simply eliminate the pump and overboard discharge. I mean, we're an East Coast boat with East Coast destinations in mind. The Gulf of Maine or the St Lawrence Bay are distant possibilities, particularly for this boat's sea-keeping capabilities.

I think you've answered your own question.

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Old 10-05-2016, 08:50 AM   #3
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Unless you can hold it a long time....

There are places where a pumpout can be hard to find and broken when you got there.My area is one unless willing to travel 10 miles and maybe find a manned or working one.

Once leaving the NJ intracoastal northbound and North of Cape Cod....there are plenty of opportunities to be 3 miles out and take advantage of pumping without having to change a time table or destination to access a pumpout.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:22 AM   #4
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Question one: verify that I really ought/need to have a vented loop in this macerator - overboard discharge piece of the system.

If you can mount the macerator pump above the tank, or at least very close to the top of it, you can get away without a vented loop in that line.

Question two: why would - where would I ever use the overboard discharge, assuming (confidently) that I would never be swine enough to pump the holding tank in prohibited waters even under duress.

As psneeld said, there are too many places where finding a working pumpout is is difficult if not impossible...it's not that hard to get out beyond 3 miles in most of them. However the best solution might be to add a treatment device--the Raritan PuraSan Raritan PuraSan Promo Sheet and "hold 'n' treat" controls Raritan PuraSan Promo Sheet which would give you ability to flush overboard legally, either directly from the toilet or empty the tank, in any waters that are not designated "no discharge."
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:48 AM   #5
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Question one: verify that I really ought/need to have a vented loop in this macerator - overboard discharge piece of the system.
The vented loop is an important safety feature as it prevents water from siphoning from outside your hull and back into your holding tank (or worse). That risk exists regardless of where the macerator pump is relative to the tank. However, if you keep the thru-hull closed whenever the overboard pump is not in use, you should be safe without it.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:59 AM   #6
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If your macerator discharge is above the waterline, you don't need a vented loop or a seacock.


As for removing the macerator entirely, it's already been mentioned that you may not find a pumpout station or one that actually works when your tank is full. What then? And unless you will be keeping the boat until it sinks, consider the resale to the next owner.


BTW: Rumor has it that some people don't go out the entire three miles to pump their holding tanks. Just sayin'.
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Old 10-05-2016, 11:15 AM   #7
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I read somewhere (on the 'net, so it must be true) that you must disconnect the hose from a seacock serving black water discharge when traversing Lake Champlain. Simply removing the handle, or locking it does not suffice.

Given the location and the pleasant-ness of the task, it would not please me!

Eeeeeuw! Above waterline discharge of black water? Reminds me of old train cars and the notice over the toilet saying, "Please do not flush while train is in station."
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Old 10-05-2016, 12:23 PM   #8
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I think if you boat in the same area and know where and how reliable the pump outs are you can certainly get rid of it. But as psneeld stated not all areas have the same level of facilities....
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Old 10-05-2016, 12:33 PM   #9
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..............................Eeeeeuw! Above waterline discharge of black water? Reminds me of old train cars and the notice over the toilet saying, "Please do not flush while train is in station."
It's poop. One way or the other, it's just poop! It ends up in the same place and if it's above the waterline you can actually see that it's working.

If I were designing a boat, I might not discharge sewage above the water line but I'm not going to go to the trouble and expense of converting mine, especially when I seldom use it.

Above the waterline (and I'm talking three or four inches here) saves the cost of a vented loop and a seacock and of course there is one less hole through the boat.
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Old 10-05-2016, 12:52 PM   #10
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There are 2 threads where Lk Champlain discharge - both grey & black - were discussed at length.
Lot of confusion around gray especially and whether either is really enforcable as it conflicts w/ Federal Regs which I believe Paggy has said is a no-no

Mini Loop Hudosn R Eriec Canal Lk Champlain

Gray Water

I've been there a few times and never been - or heard of anyone being - boarded / discharges checked
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Old 10-05-2016, 04:24 PM   #11
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Overboard discharge of holding tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHeckrotte View Post
I read somewhere (on the 'net, so it must be true) that you must disconnect the hose from a seacock serving black water discharge when traversing Lake Champlain. Simply removing the handle, or locking it does not suffice.

Given the location and the pleasant-ness of the task, it would not please me!

Eeeeeuw! Above waterline discharge of black water? Reminds me of old train cars and the notice over the toilet saying, "Please do not flush while train is in station."

My macerate discharges about 6 inch s above the WL. I rarely get to use it except when heading North. It is nice in that you can see when your tank is completely empty.

Btw, even though it is above the WL there is a Seacock on the outlet.
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:05 PM   #12
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The vented loop is an important safety feature as it prevents water from siphoning from outside your hull and back into your holding tank (or worse). That risk exists regardless of where the macerator pump is relative to the tank. However, if you keep the thru-hull closed whenever the overboard pump is not in use, you should be safe without it.
Actually a siphon can only be started in a line through which liquid is being PULLED...unlikely a holding tank can start one. What can happen when a tank sits low enough in the boat to put the discharge fitting below waterline is simply water outside the boat seeking its own level INside the boat through an open "door." The pressure of water against a moving hull can also force water up a hose connected to an open thru-hull. All of which explains the need for a vented loop in any line connected to a below waterline thru-hull.

While a surveyor who's a real stickler would disapprove of allowing a macerator pump mounted high to substitute for the loop, macerator does offer quite a bit of protection for two reasons: 1. any intruding water isn't under enough pressure to overcome a couple of feet of he uphill run from the thru-hull to it...and 2. The macerator has one way valves in it that may not block wrong-water completely, but do present an obstacle that any intruding water would have to push pretty hard to get through the macerator into the tank.

However, none of this excuses the need to keep the thru-hull closed except when actually dumping the tank.
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:18 PM   #13
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I read somewhere (on the 'net, so it must be true) that you must disconnect the hose from a seacock serving black water discharge when traversing Lake Champlain. Simply removing the handle, or locking it does not suffice.

That is written into NY and NH state marine sanitation law and is required at least for locally registered boats. However, Champlain is a navigable interstate waterway, which puts it under the jurisdiction of the USCG and subject to federal law which only requires that the system be "secured," making that portion of the state law unenforceable against transient vessels. But the locals have done such a good job of selling that idea that no one has been willing to test that (or at least admit they have)...arguing that even if they won, it would be a bigger PITA--not to mention expense--than it's worth to return to the local jurisdiction to fight it if cited. So all the "loopers" dutifully modify their plumbing. However, in all the years I've been on this site, the T&T email list, the Grand Banks owners site and several others, there's never been anyone who's reported that they've ever been stopped and inspected...so till one of you is, we'll never know whether it's really necessary for transient vessels to modify their plumbing to visit Champlain or not..
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:19 PM   #14
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...However the best solution might be to add a treatment device--the Raritan PuraSan Raritan PuraSan Promo Sheet and "hold 'n' treat" controls Raritan PuraSan Promo Sheet which would give you ability to flush overboard legally, either directly from the toilet or empty the tank, in any waters that are not designated "no discharge."
Those waters NOT designated "no discharge" are getting harder and harder to find in the Northeast. I'd hesitate to recommend an expensive install which can be made illegal to use with the stroke of a pen.

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I read somewhere (on the 'net, so it must be true) that you must disconnect the hose from a seacock serving black water discharge when traversing Lake Champlain.
Peggy nailed it. One more thing though; rumor has it you need to disconnect BOTH ends of a hose. According to this story, disconnecting one end will still get you that supposed citation we've all heard about but never actually known anyone who's seen.
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Old 10-06-2016, 09:06 AM   #15
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Eeeeeuw! Above waterline discharge of black water? Reminds me of old train cars and the notice over the toilet saying, "Please do not flush while train is in station."
My discharge is above the waterline, as was the discharge of my "ex" 78 Mainship.
So I don't discharge when the boat is in the marina. Or anywhere unless under duress. It's happened.


But to your point, anywhere in the LI Sound area, CT, RI, or NY they have enough pump out boats to service your needs. I know in our marina I can go online and schedule a pump out for during the week when I am not even there. I have even had them show up when I didn't call them.


Also I never disconnected anything when I cruised thru Lake Champlain.
The valve was locked and the wiring to the pump was removed.
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Old 10-06-2016, 10:07 AM   #16
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..............Question two: why would - where would I ever use the overboard discharge, assuming (confidently) that I would never be swine enough to pump the holding tank in prohibited waters even under duress..
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.
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Old 10-06-2016, 10:57 AM   #17
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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.

I notice that folks worry a lot about a full holding tank but don't seem to worry about an empty fuel tank.

We deal with tankage capacity all the time, fuel, water, propane, etc... the holding tank is no different. Just as you wouldn't leave the dock without a plan for your fuel and water needs, no one should leave the dock without a plan for their holding tank requirements. This will mean having to plan ahead, sometimes making stops for something other than fuel, water, or beer, and at times going out of your way to get to a pump out or for those near open water, heading out to sea to the 3 mile limit to discharge your holding tank.

Harshly put, but if our holding tanks get full with no legal discharge available it simply means we failed in our duty as a captain.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:09 AM   #18
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You do realize that a vast majority of boats you see on the water, their holding tank is a bucket or a p-jar that gets flushed after every use... just an observation.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:30 AM   #19
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.............Harshly put, but if our holding tanks get full with no legal discharge available it simply means we failed in our duty as a captain.
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.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:34 AM   #20
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You do realize that a vast majority of boats you see on the water, their holding tank is a bucket or a p-jar that gets flushed after every use... just an observation.

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 have no issue at all with a boater urinating into a cup and dumping that over the side even though that is also illegal. I see no good excuse however for for anyone not properly pumping out their holding tank in Puget Sound.

So for the OP, if your boating area could conveniently take you 3 miles off shore, I would keep the macerated. If getting off shore is not in the cards, then I wouldn't worry about eliminating the macerator which is for the most part a relic of a past age.
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