Holding tank what do you do?

rickym

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I know the subject has been done to death many times, but what I want is the views of those that have done, planning, or are doing something similar to my planned cruise.

Next year we are off. Cruising atlantic europe to the Canaries and over to the lesser Antillies. Then the East coast of USA up to Canada then back south to warmer climes for the winter. Returning to Europe after a couple of years or so.

The question is do I fit a holding tank? When I was boat hunting last year we saw several yachts that had done an atlantic circuit, some had been round the world. Some had holding tanks others did not. Interestingly, one that had a holding tank had never used it!

Advice from those 'with the tee shirt' much appreciated.

Rick
 

TQA

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If you are anchor in Florida or the ICW rather than in a marina then the toilet police may well pay you a visit. Non compliance usually costs between $250 and $500 a citation.

As a foreign flagged vessel 'attempting' to be in compliance they may exercise some discretion but don't rely on it. I do know of someone who got by with a heavy duty trash bag as their holding tank who in practice used a bucket which fell outside the inspection.

Elsewhere I would not expect you to see much interest in your toilet facilities.

Don't know about Canada.
 

vyv_cox

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The question is as much about your own point of view as it is about legislation. I have a holding tank but there is no legal requirement to use it in my sailing area. I choose to use it in ports and anchored off swimming beaches as an acknowledgement that dumping my sewage in such places is close to the height of anti-social behaviour.
 

samwise

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We did a big trip round into the Med in 2006/7 and I fitted a holding tank before we left ( which was a PIA and needed a lot of ingenuity. We did not use it much as we thought, especially on the Atlantic / Biscay side of the trip where pumping to sea is not a problem. Some Mediterranean marinas were supposed to have pump out facilities-- few did and many were bust.
However, it is clear that the authorities everywhere are set to get tougher on discharging sewage and my view is that in your case it would be well worth putting in the effort before you go rather than getting caught out later.

I would recommend fitting a Lavac. It is extremely simple and reliable and the big plus is that with a diverter valve arrangement, the pump offers the triple option of a straight flush to sea, pump to tank and pump tank content to sea.

Tek Tanks are extremely helpful, especially if you need a custom tank shape and will advise on the size you may need. Don't forget to install a deck fitting pump out arrangement so that you can use the dockside facilities when available. Do a search on the Forum, you will have more than enough info.
 

maxi77

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Many harbours in Atlantic France and Spain and in Portugal have a 'no pumping' rule though it is sometimes unclear as to just how firmly it is enforced. We have a tank and used it in every harbour, pumping it out at sea was easy enough. We only used a pump out facility oncve and it was excellent though they do seem few and far between.
 

snowleopard

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Our heads discharge into holding tanks (about 40 gall per side) and we pump out at sea. When anchored in the Tobago Cays where everyone is snorkelling among the boats and the water is crystal clear you would be pretty unpopular pumping raw sewage into the water. Not sure what you' do if you tank was one of those tiny retro-fit ones that fill up in a day.
 

rickym

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Thanks everyone.

Pretty much my views. Discharge in harbour, swimming bays and inland waterways is I agree pretty antisocial these days, although having dived with seals they have to go somewhere!!

I have a lavac as the standard head so it looks like a custom tank for the fwd head, gravity discharge to sea and a diverter valve when we can use direct discharge.

Will be next winter's project.
 
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Holding tank

In the South Pacific, fish attacked anything organic pumped out. It was completely gone in minutes,( food recycling) something they don't do with holding tank chemicals.
Entire bays in the US have been sterilized of all life forms by holding tank chemicals, designed to make a natural product "Environmentaly friendly. "
A composter eliminates holding tank, hoses , pumps , thru hulls, check valves, and the almost eliminates beak downs. Everyone I know, who has one, praises it highly, over traditional systems.
Check out Airhead.com for more info, altho the Airhead is grossly overpriced for something you can build yourself for under $50.
My book gives the info and directions for building your own.
 

prv

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Entire bays in the US have been sterilized of all life forms by holding tank chemicals

What chemicals?

A holding tank holds sewage. Then you pump it out again when you're not in a pretty swimming spot or a land-locked harbour. That's it. No chemicals involved.

Are you thinking of emptying porta-potties over the side? I agree that's pretty antisocial.

Pete
 
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Holding tanks

Not where the fish consume it instantly.
Holding tank chemicals like bleach, formaldehyde etc ,kill all life forms .
I have never seen a whale, or a fish with a holding tank on them.
 

Tranona

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Not where the fish consume it instantly.
Holding tank chemicals like bleach, formaldehyde etc ,kill all life forms .
I have never seen a whale, or a fish with a holding tank on them.

There is no need to use chemicals in a well designed holding tank system. Maybe your side of the pond ignorance may encourage folks to do that, but it is not generally done here.

The objection is discharging in shallow water with low tidal flow - ie nice little bays where people like to be in the water as well as on it. You are right - sewage in the volumes that come from an individual yacht disperse quickly, particularly in tidal waters.
 

prv

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Holding tank chemicals like bleach, formaldehyde etc ,kill all life forms

Of course they do, that's partly why no sane person puts them in a holding tank. The other part is that there's absolutely no reason to do so - what are they trying to achieve? The clue is in the name - "holding" - it's not meant to be some kind of treatment plant.

If this is a problem in your part of the world then the issue isn't holding tanks, but lunatics dosing them with chemicals for no good reason.

Pete
 
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