Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-01-2019, 07:44 AM   #1
Guru
 
Tom.B's Avatar
 
City: Cary, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Skinny Dippin'
Vessel Model: Navigator 4200 Classic
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,636
Urine in a fiberglass tank

QQ - For a variety of reasons (wind, cold, repairs going on), we have been unable to pump out for 3 or four months. We have urine only in our fiberglass tank. Is it getting acidic or somehow damaging the tank sitting in there for so long?


Thanks.
__________________
Advertisement

__________________
2000 Navigator 4200 Classic
(NOT a trawler)
Tom.B is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2019, 07:50 AM   #2
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 18,724
No....especially if gelcoated.

When I cleaned out mine after 20 years of neglect, it looked cleaner and better than my hull sides.
__________________

psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2019, 08:53 AM   #3
Guru
 
HeadMistress's Avatar


 
City: AR
Country: USA
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,606
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom.B View Post
QQ - For a variety of reasons (wind, cold, repairs going on), we have been unable to pump out for 3 or four months. We have urine only in our fiberglass tank. Is it getting acidic or somehow damaging the tank sitting in there for so long? Thanks.
Two probable causes: 1. Urine isn't damaging the tank, but it can produce urine crystals called "struvites"...especially common in toilets that use fresh water. If the toilet uses salt water, sea water minerals AND struvites can block the pumpout hose or discharge fitting in the tank

2. a blocked tank vent. All tank vents have two primary functions: to provide an escape for air displaced by incoming contents and to provide a source of air to replace contents as they're drawn out. When air can't get out, the tank can become pressurized...when no air can be pulled in, the pumpout or overboard discharge pump pulls a vacuum that won't allow more than a gallon or two to be removed.

So first, make sure that flushing the toilet is forcing air out the tank vent. If it's not, use a screwdriver blade, ice pick--whatever works to scrape out the vent thru-hull (the most common location for a vent blockage). If there's a screen in it, knock it out...screens cause more problems than they solve or prevent.

If there's a filter in the vent line, it could be the blockage if it's ever gotten wet. Replace--or better yet, remove it.

If a blocked tank vent isn't the culprit, there have been several recent threads dealing with sludge and struvite buildup in tanks, discussiing which products work best.


--Peggie
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't completely understand it yourself." --Albert Einstein
__________________
© 2019 Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since '87.
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors"
HeadMistress is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2019, 10:53 AM   #4
Grand Vizier
 
Delfin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,398
Struvites are a significant constituent of kidney stones and form in waste tanks when the pH of the solution is basic. Because sea water had a pH of 8+, sea water flush toilets are more prone to struvite formation (and other precipitates) than fresh water. The cure is prevention, by keeping the pH of the tank acidic, which can be done with vinegar, or injection of a formaldehyde solution like San-X, which has the added benefit of killing e coli, should you care. And just FYI, but formaldehyde breaks down quickly in the environment, has the same toxicity as bleach, so don't drink bleach or San-X, and don't stick your nose into either bottle.

Tom, not sure if your using sea water flush or not, but if you're concerned about precipitates, dump a couple of gallons of white vinegar into the tank. As long as the pH is acidic, struvites won't form and if they have will slowly dissolve in a week acid solution.
__________________
Delfin
"Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis." - Jack Handy
Delfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2019, 11:56 AM   #5
Guru
 
HeadMistress's Avatar


 
City: AR
Country: USA
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,606
Because sea water had a pH of 8+, sea water flush toilets are more prone to struvite formation (and other precipitates)...

Most "other precipitates" such as sea water calcium carbonate and salt are pretty much limited to systems that use sea water, but the high incidence of struvites in RV tanks and sanitation plumbing contradicts the idea struvites are more common in sea water toilets than in fresh. The pH level in the tank may play a part, but failure to use enough flush water plays a bigger one. A weekly dose of 1-2 cups of distilled white vinegar flushed all the way through to the tank, followed after 45-60 minutes by a quart of clean fresh water will prevent most buildup. White vinegar CAN also dissolve a buildup, but the vinegar would have to be replaced every hour for it to work, making it way too labor intensive.

SanX (nee TDX) or any other toxic chemical in the tank would make it impossible to use aerobic bio-active tank management to prevent odor 'cuz killing bacteria doesn't work.

--Peggie
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't completely understand it yourself." --Albert Einstein
__________________
© 2019 Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since '87.
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors"
HeadMistress is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2019, 05:38 PM   #6
Guru
 
Tom.B's Avatar
 
City: Cary, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Skinny Dippin'
Vessel Model: Navigator 4200 Classic
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,636
I wasnít clear... SORRY! It isnít that we are failing in attempts to pumpout... more that we were unable just to get to the pumpout dock due to scheduling. I was just making sure that decomposing urine isnít messing up the tank. Sooooorryyyy.
__________________
2000 Navigator 4200 Classic
(NOT a trawler)
Tom.B is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2019, 06:02 PM   #7
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 18,724
Again, no. Without all the confusion.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2019, 07:20 PM   #8
Member
 
City: Vancouver
Country: Canada
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 11
No it will not fiberglass holding tanks are mint and built to stand up to waste no matter how acidic or harming you might think it is ,it will be fine.
Vactech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2019, 08:14 PM   #9
Guru
 
Besslb's Avatar
 
City: Cary NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Skinny Dippin'
Vessel Model: Navigator 42'
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 758
Thanks Yaíll!! Tomorrow looks like a perfect weather window to get to the pumpout dock!!

As long as the pumpout is back on from the low temps, we should be back on track! (And itís only been 3 months, one of which we werenít onboard much)
Besslb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2019, 06:22 AM   #10
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 18,900
The hassle with putting poison into the waste is far beyond stink control.

A small marina that is not connected to a municipal sewer may have its septic system poisoned to the point that will require repair or replacement.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2019, 09:59 AM   #11
Grand Vizier
 
Delfin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,398
Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
The hassle with putting poison into the waste is far beyond stink control.

A small marina that is not connected to a municipal sewer may have its septic system poisoned to the point that will require repair or replacement.
Pump out stations go to septic systems???
Delfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2019, 10:11 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
City: Marion, Massachusetts
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Wanderer
Vessel Model: Pilgrim 40
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 259
Yes, some do. Not all marinas have municipal sewer and donít want to pay a hauling fee. Scary though, as boat waste is not the same as house waste.
PMF1984 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2019, 10:27 AM   #13
Grand Vizier
 
Delfin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,398
Quote:
Originally Posted by PMF1984 View Post
Yes, some do. Not all marinas have municipal sewer and donít want to pay a hauling fee. Scary though, as boat waste is not the same as house waste.
It would have to be a very, very large tank and field to handle public use, or pumped out very, very often. You need about 500 gallons of capacity per person using a septic system, so a tank and field to handle even a small marina would be an epic system. Love to see that system pass inspection....
Delfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2019, 11:24 AM   #14
Guru
 
ranger42c's Avatar
 
City: Maryland
Country: USA
Vessel Model: 42' Sportfish
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 4,216
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delfin View Post
Pump out stations go to septic systems???

Maybe, but our marina's pump doesn't go to a municipal sewer system... instead it's routed to the marina's in-ground holding tank... and then subsequently pumped out by a mobile service when necessary.

-Chris
__________________
South River, Chesapeake Bay
ranger42c is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2019, 11:38 AM   #15
Grand Vizier
 
Delfin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,398
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Maybe, but our marina's pump doesn't go to a municipal sewer system... instead it's routed to the marina's in-ground holding tank... and then subsequently pumped out by a mobile service when necessary.

-Chris
I think FF's concern was running bacteria killing chemicals through your marine head killing the bacteria in the septic tank, which is perfectly reasonable. However, any septic system that is sized to function as a septic system with anerobic and aerobic decomposition of organics (which takes weeks) for a few hundred people is completely impractical, so any such septic system in a marina would depend on those pumpouts, since it is very unlikely the system would be functioning normally anyway. Bottom line, the chemicals in your john wouldn't have much impact since the system wouldn't function as a septic system in the first place.
__________________
Delfin
"Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis." - Jack Handy
Delfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2019, 02:18 PM   #16
Guru
 
HeadMistress's Avatar


 
City: AR
Country: USA
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,606
Most small marinas on inland lakes and rivers have septic tanks...my YC on Lake Lanier north of a Atlanta did (and most likely still does...I moved from Atlanta 17 years ago). Pumpouts aren't the only thing that go into it...the rest rooms and club house kitchen also do. The houseboat rental business on Lake Lanier Islands had a septic tank too and so did other small marinas. They're a lot more common than you think they are and because they do indeed function as septic tanks those places who have 'em are very strict about which holding tank products they'd accept...if the boat uses toxic chemicals, they won't pump it. Larger marinas have inground holding tanks that are serviced by pumper trumps. Some smaller city sewage treatment facilities won't even accept waste from pumper trucks that service marinas.



--Peggie
__________________
© 2019 Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since '87.
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors"
HeadMistress is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2019, 03:52 PM   #17
Enigma
 
RT Firefly's Avatar
 
City: Slicker?
Country: Bumpkin?
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12,169
Greetings,
Re: Post #16. I really hope "pumper trumps" is NOT a political comment.


__________________
RTF
RT Firefly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 04:24 AM   #18
Hospitality Officer
 
Andy G's Avatar
 
City: Pittwater
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Sarawana
Vessel Model: IG 36 Quad Cabin
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,653
"Umm, hello Janet, yes RT Firefly is just over there. No, I'm sure it was just a typo.

Yes, I know, he does quite a few typo's".

Edit: my apologies Mr RT, it wasn't a typo after all. Very brave of the Headmistress I must say.
Andy G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 08:21 AM   #19
Guru
 
HeadMistress's Avatar


 
City: AR
Country: USA
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,606
Quote:
Originally Posted by PMF1984 View Post
Yes, some do. Not all marinas have municipal sewer and don’t want to pay a hauling fee. Scary though, as boat waste is not the same as house waste.
No it's the not the same. The only thing that goes into holding tanks is toilet waste and a few bad tank product choices. But house waste also includes chemical cleaning products, whatever was rinsed out of any container before putting it in the trash, rinsed off shoes...whatever was spilled on anything that goes into the laundry...everything that goes down a sink drain.

(RT, some day you may figure out that there's a difference between having something to say and just having to say something.)

--Peggie
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't completely understand it yourself." --Albert Einstein
__________________
© 2019 Peggie Hall
Specializing in marine sanitation since '87.
Author "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors"
HeadMistress is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2019, 10:11 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Knot Salted's Avatar
 
City: Muskegon, MI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Knot Salted
Vessel Model: 1981 Californian 34 LRC
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 183
I had no idea that there was so much going on besides bacterial activity.
Vinegar treatment coming up for Knot Salted!
Thanks everyone.
__________________

Knot Salted is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012