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Marine toilets - toilet facilities for boats (heads): this article describes marine toilets, beginning with some history and photographs of toilets use on the b-39, a Russian submarine (photo at page top) and the U.S.S. Dolphin, an Amerian research submarine.
We include references to marine toilet suppliers, products, history, and designs.
Морские туалеты - туалет для лодок: эта статья описывает морские туалеты, начиная с некоторого истории с фотографиями туалетов использовать на B-39, русской подводной лодки (фото на странице вверху) и USS Дельфин, Amerian исследования подводной лодки. Мы включать ссылки на морской туалет поставщиков, продукции, истории и конструкций.
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At left and then below we illustrate two pump type toilets (туалеты in Russian) used aboard two submarines. At left is one of three toilets installed on the b-39, commissioned in 1974 and decomissioned in 1994.
This boat, a widely-respected diesel-electric submarine, was part of the 9th Submarine Squadron based in Vldivostok. It carried a crew of nine officers and as many as 56 enlisted men. The toilet operated by a combination of air and water pressure - you can see a foot pump in the photo's foreground.
[Click to enlarge any image]
Much earlier than the modern seagoing vessel and submarine toilet facilities illustrated below, on sailing ships toilets consisted principally of a rectangular box or "head" (placed near the bow of the vessel near hull or deck level) designed to dispose of sewage waste by bow-wave action. A more private toilet facility was provided for the captain in quarters nearer to the ship's stern.
While those earlier seagoing toilet facilities involved thoughtful design (cleaning the toilet by wave action), on more modern ships toilets usually flush by use of a combination of water pressure and on occasion air pressure. Marine toilet pumps may be operated by hand (smaller boats) or by electricity, or by electricity and compressed air.
Pump-operated marine toilet history and anecdotes include problems with clogging. But as Schobe (2003) and others have pointed out, space and the ratio of numbers of toilets and its relation to crew size are also important considerations that extend beyond convenience to health.
Aboard the b-39 submarine (toilet shown at above left), the San Diego Maritime Museum's documents explain, with so many people aboard, lingering in the toilet facility was "tantamount to a crime".
At left (unfortunately photographed through a plexiglass barrier to keep tourists from peeing where they should not) is a similar on-board toilet installed on the U.S.S. Dolphin, an American research submarine launched in 1968 and decommissioned in 2007.
This famous sub made a dive to a depth of 3000 ft. early in its career, and was the last U.S. diesel-electric submarine. The Dolphin carried a much smaller crew aboard: 3 officers, 18 enlisted men and 4 scientists for a total of 25 people.
Perhaps if the Russian and American submariners shared toilet facilities side-by-side as I've placed these photos, the cold war may have ended sooner.
At above left is the U.S. Dolphin research submarine. Shown at above right is the b-39 Soviet submarine docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The b-39 was photographed from the deck of the much older Star of India. After its decomissioning in 1994 the b-39 was sold to a group of Canadian businessmen for its new life as an exhibition boat.
These boats can be visited at the Maritime Museum of San Diego California, an institution that also provides historic information about these and other important and interesting boats, ships, ferries and related craft.
Shown at left is a marine toilet or "head" aboard the HMS Alliance submarine - Wikipedia, 4/28/14, original source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Heads_on_HMS_alliance.jpg
The HMS Alliance (P417), a British Royal Navy A-class (Acheron) diesel-electric submarine was completed in 1947 and has served as a memorial and museum ship since 1981.
The Alliance was designed for use in the Pacific Ocean and intended to support long partrols that included submerged passages of up to 36 hours. This boat, at 281 feet, is larger than the other vessels described in this article. - Wikipedia & Royal Navy citations below
Question: what about using a porta-john on a boat - isn't high temperature a worry?
This question was originally posted at CHEMICAL TOILETS: 4/23/14 Anonymous said:
How do you avoid high heat on a boat?, and should I be worried about this?
Reply: No if proper chemical treatment is used, otherwise yes heat is a concern with some portable toilets & some fixed, waterless incinerating toilets
If you are asking about flush-toilets used on boats without a waste holding tank, heat should not be an issue regardless of whether the toilet flushes by manual or electric pump. Some equipment may be damaged by freezing however, as we cite below.
If you are asking about a chemical toilet for boat use, in normal use the addition of odor control treatment chemicals to the toilet base should prevent troublesome methane gas formation at problem levels by controlling the amount of bacterial action - basically stopping it. See HOW TO ADD CHEMICAL DEODORANT / DISINFECTANT to a chemical toilet
Watch out: if someone omits the recommended chemical toilet treatment, then it is possible that some models may use a holding tank that is too air-tight, un-vented, that could result in a toilet explosion. Check with the product manufacturer to make sure that the model about which you inquire is rated for high temperature locations and marine use.
At CAMPING & EMERGENCY TOILETS I describe a real-world worry about harmful explosions that can occur if un-treated sewage waste is kept in a tightly sealed container and exposed to high temperatures.
Watch out: If you are asking about an incinerating toilet, you should definitely be worried about high heat. The electric incinerating toilet I found reported as for boat use (and possibly 12V) (INCINERATOR TOILET SYSTEMS) not only uses a lot of current that may be a problem on small craft, but it was an older, used unit. I could not find a current electric incinerating toilet for boat use from the manufacturer - which is not to say it doesn't exist, but I sure couldn't find one.
In April of 2014 toured the b-39 , a Soviet submarine docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego where among other details one can note the submarine toilet design and use. I illustrate these respected boats in the article above. The flushing of the toilets on these subs was pump operated with a mix of air and water.
Toilet facilities on much older craft ranged from nothing - hanging out over a rail or bowsprit - to an open commode seat in the transom or aft section of the ship.
Until I can find more current information I don't recommend picking up an incinerating toilet for boat use (unless maybe you're sailing on the all-steel Star of India - on second thought not even there).
At above left we include a photograph of the Star of India in 1880-1890 when she sailed under her original name, the Euterpe. Here the Euterpe was docked at the Shaw Savill Wharf at Port Chalmers in New Zealand. In her second life (of many) as an emigrant transport ship, the Euterpe the ship sailed between Britain and Australia and New Zealand, delivering roughly 450 emigrants to those countries. - source: Maritime Museum of San Diego, DF 4/2014
In a discussion of marine toilets it's noteworthy that so many people crowded aboard a roughly 220 ft. ship also had to do with crowding conditions reflected a century later in our discussion of toilets aboard the Soviet b-39.
Besides the two submarines the b-39 and the Dolphin, and the Star of India (nee Euterpe), among its large collection of intersting boats the Maritime Museum of San Diego includes the HMS Surprise, the huge steam-driven Berkeley ferryboat, the steam yacht Medea, Swift Boat, Pilot, the Californian, the America, the Stars and Stripes, and the Abracadabra.
For toilets left on boats stored in freezing conditions see FREEZE PROTECTION for PORTABLE TOILETS
Incinerating Toilets Used on Boats ?
As we explained at INCINERATOR TOILET SYSTEMS, the Incinolet toilets draw electricity (120V or 240V for some models) only when the toilet is in use, unlike some composting toilets where electricity may be needed at all times, even during "off seasons" since the composting toilet unit includes a heater and ventilation fan.
Electrical consumption for these components will be much less than that used during an incineration cycle.
Although incinolet model specifiations are not readily accessible on the company's website, we have seen a Marine version of this incinerating toilet, the Incinolet Model WB / TR-III listed as a Type III MSD Certified toilet for use on inspected & uninspected vessels.
Really? we were not able to find contemporary (April 2014) descriptions indicating this product is actively being marketed for marine use. Check with the manufacturer.
Modern Marine Toilets on Surface Vessels
So what do toilets look like on boats that don't have to manuver under water? Here we illustrate several examples.
At above left, a back-flush toilet opeated by a gravity-cistern on a passenger cruiser in New Zealand. At above right, aboard the ferry Aurora that operates between South Island and Steward Island in New Zealand we see a marine toilet in the head - which is no longer located in the head of the ship.
Below are additional details of this marine toilet.
Marine Toilet Resources: where to buy a toilet for a boat
Below we illustrate two contemporary marine toilet examples, the Johnson AquaT manual pump marine toilet and the Johnson AquaT electric flush marine toilet. Contact information for the company and for other marine toilet suppliers is given below. Generally you'll also find toilets from these manufacturers distributed by marine supply companies.
Regulations on Marine Toilets & Sewage Disposal in Waterways or At Sea
U.S. Regulations on Marine Sewage Devices
The U.S. Coast Guard (U.S. Department of Homeland Security) Systems Engineering Division (CG-ENG-3) publishes information about marine sanitation from which we excerpt:
International Convention for Prevention of Pollution From Ships - MARPOL 73/78
This regulation, which admits of voluntary compliance for U.S. Vessels (see USCG information above) is intended to minimize pollution of the oceans and covers a variety of contaminants including oil, exhaust, fuels, and "noxious liquid substances", harmful packaged substances, sewage, garbage, and air pollution. The scope of pollutant environments include air, water and soil and also specifically addresses radioactive contamination and lists international agreements in these matters in an extensive list by treaty and country.
Additional Environmental Organizations of interest and related to MARPOL
Research on Marine Toilet Facilities
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