Seawater contains bacteria and sulfate. Flush with seawater, deprive the bacteria of oxygen for long, and facilitative (those that can go aerobic or anaerobic) start using sulfate (SO4-) as an electron source. The result is H2S (rotten eggs) and the head stinks. The cure? Either use the head every 8 hours (thus, smell is not a problem when living aboard or actively cruising) or flush with fresh water.
But you can just plug the freshwater pipe into a manual head; water will blow through, flooding the compartment, and bugs can swim up-stream. The water closet, introduced a century ago, prevents both by employing a float valve and creating an air gap (bacteria can't fly, as a rule).
What about a miniature water closet? $38 from McMaster Carr
But I haven't tried it. I'm happy enough with sea flush and a rinse with potable using the shower head before going home.
- Introduction to Sail Delmarva
- Site Map
- Anti-Chafe Gear
- Marine Winterizing Primer
- Diesel and Biocides
- Man-Overboard Recovery and Climbing Gear
- Silica Gel Vent Filters to Keep Gasoline and Diesel Dry
- Solar Panels
- Holding Tank Odors vs. Carbon Vent Filters
- My Other Blog (Chesapeake Gunkholing and Kayaks)
- The Purpose of Work
- The Book Store
- Book Questions and Comments
- Practical Sailor Magazine
- PDQ 32/34 Shoal Survivor--Under Contract