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Navigating and living on the waterways of Great Britain & Ireland and news of canal developments.
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TOPIC: Options to comply with PLA byelaw 49/sewage treatment

Options to comply with PLA byelaw 49/sewage treatment 15 Mar 2020 21:22 #114482

  • Jamie Gosling
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Hi Eric,

I went with the Ecomar in the end, and have had it for about 2 years. On the whole it's been good - it was a lot of money but it solved the problem. The only maintenance it's needed regularly are the rods which sense the level in the black water tank cleaning, and the sprung valves in the anti syphon loops leaking due to limescale build up.

Getting hold of the hydrogen peroxide is a bit of a pain as most places will only sell to a business and it has to be specially shipped. Ive been getting it from the supplier of the ecomar (aquamare in Plymouth) but they charge top money for the privilege! It doesn't actually use that much though - 3 x 25l drums (about £300 from aquamare) lasts about 2 years for a full time liveabord family.

Hope that helps, let me know if you have any more questions.

Jamie
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Options to comply with PLA byelaw 49/sewage treatment 04 Feb 2020 09:54 #113528

Hello Jamie,
Just wondering if you have any update on if you’re going to go with the EcoMar system? Or any other solutions. We’re in same “boat” as to wondering if/what type of treatment plant is best.
Thanks
Eric
Groningen NL

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Options to comply with PLA byelaw 49/sewage treatment 15 Jun 2017 18:02 #91899

I've been contemplating some form of digester tank and came across this website which seems to have lots of info, and suitable systems:

"Accepted by the Environment Agency for discharge to watercourses and ditches..."

www.wte-ltd.co.uk/vortex_sewage_treatment_plant.html


I couldn't find the price with a brief look, but I was sure a tank suitable for a barge was around £1,000 however there are some more cost breakdowns of systems below:

www.wte-ltd.co.uk/sewage_treatment_costs.html

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Options to comply with PLA byelaw 49/sewage treatment 11 Jun 2017 10:35 #91648

Oof!
Thanks Jamie. We'll stick with the compost loo then.
Lorna

Original Message
From: DBA Forum (WGBAI) - Jamie Gosling [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
Sent: 10 June 2017 17:05
To: Waterways Great Britain and Ireland subscribers
Subject: Options to comply with PLA byelaw 49/sewage treatment


Hi Lorna,

The quote we got was about £12k (plus VAT if you're not exempt) for the unit itself, and an estimate between £2.5k-£4.5k (also plus VAT) to install it. We have two toilets, and already have a holding tank, which you need for the EcoMar.

Jamie

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Options to comply with PLA byelaw 49/sewage treatment 10 Jun 2017 18:05 #91636

  • Jamie Gosling
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Hi Lorna,

The quote we got was about £12k (plus VAT if you're not exempt) for the unit itself, and an estimate between £2.5k-£4.5k (also plus VAT) to install it. We have two toilets, and already have a holding tank, which you need for the EcoMar.

Jamie

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Options to comply with PLA byelaw 49/sewage treatment 09 Jun 2017 21:44 #91620

Jamie,
Here is another option for on-board waste treatment systems. raritaneng.com/marine-sanitation-devices/ .

The Raritan systems do seem to meet USCG regulations

Their systems also seem to be smaller (and less $$) scale than the ECOmar systems, though.

I cannot claim any knowledge or experience with the Raritan Engineering systems and don't know if they meet UK and EU discharge regulations.

More options for thoughts can be helpful.

Good luck, I will be interested in what you path you eventually choose

Eric Davis
Barge RIA
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Options to comply with PLA byelaw 49/sewage treatment 09 Jun 2017 11:44 #91591

Hi James,
I am curious to know if you ever got a price for the ECOmar 20?
Thanks
Lorna

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Options to comply with PLA byelaw 49/sewage treatment 25 May 2017 02:07 #90917

The PLA wrote the byelaw badly - it doesn't apply while you underway and not moored:

49. DISCHARGE OF SEWAGE INTO THE THAMES

49.1 The owner of:

a) a vessel licensed under section 124 of the Act or
b) a houseboat

must, from1 January 2015, ensure that no sewage is discharged into the Thames.

49.2 In this byelaw “houseboat” means any vessel (other than a ship registered under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 or any vessel usually used for navigation) which is used primarily as a place of habitation, or as a place for accommodating or receiving persons for the purposes of shelter, recreation, entertainment or refreshment, or as club premises or offices, while it is moored.


On the other hand you could become a passenger trip boat ('Class V's) and then you can happily discharge non-indigenous (tourist) sewage into the Thames for the foreseeable future.

David
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Options to comply with PLA byelaw 49/sewage treatment 24 May 2017 09:24 #90869

Hi James,
I cannot really give any help other than I know there is a good compost toilet group on Facebook (if you use it). It is called "compost toilets for boats and of-grid living".

I am interested in your findings as the barge I have my eye on in France has 4 sea toilets so I will need a suitable solution as well. Fortunately the marina I am in has elsan and pump out so my options are increased, I am however interested in things like the incinerator toilet as boy that would make for a really simple installation!
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Options to comply with PLA byelaw 49/sewage treatment 24 May 2017 08:13 #90865

  • Jamie Gosling
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Hi all,

I'm not sure if this post would be beter in Barges or here - we live on a barge on the tidal Thames, and are looking into our options to comply with byelaw 49 prohibiting discharge of sewage into the river. We had been under the impression that facilities were going to be provided by our mooring, but it looks like that's now not going to happen, so we're looking for self contained ways to comply. There's a few options, but I haven't come accross much personal experience of any of them, so I'd appreciate any opinions!

The leading option is probably a Tecnicomar EcoMar sewage treatment plant ( www.aquamare.co.uk/shop/tecnicomar-ecomar-20-sewage-treatment-plant/ ). It looks good on paper - it would fit in our engine room, should operate automatically, should have minimal running costs and it allows us to keep our existing flushing (macerator) toilets. The downsides are it's expensive, and we've not been able to see one in action so it's difficult to judge how loud/smelly/reliable it would be. It also has the advanage of being approved by the PLA.

Several people (including the PLA) have mentioned composting toilets as an option, but having looked into it I don't think it's likely to work for us, as we're a family of 5, so would need somewhere to store the solid waste for a number of months while it composted, someone to take it away once it was compost, and also somewhere to dispose of the liquid waste, which is expressly forbidded from going into the river. I don't have a problem in principle with composting toilets, but it doesn't seem that they'd be likely to actually help us comply with byelaw 49; I'd be interested to hear if anyone has any experience of using one on a barge?

An incinerating toilet (eg. www.gaelforcemarine.co.uk/en/gb/Cinderella-Classic-Electric-Incinerating-Toilet-220-240v/m-4256.aspx ) is another option as we have mains supply. It's cheaper to buy than an EcoMar, but having done the sums, I think the running costs for 5 people (in electric) would soon outstrip the up front cost of an EcoMar, and just in terms of day to day living, I think keeping the flushing toilets would be better.

We already have a holding tank, but there's no road access to our mooring, and currently no river pump out service. I've heard of at least two people interested in starting one but who don't think they can make it pay, and presumably the economics get less compelling as the PLA enforce people to comply to the byelaw using other methods. We could fit a bigger tank and plan to take ourselves to a pump out once a month (I think it's available at Chiswick?), but this obviously has a financial cost as well as an inconvenince factor.

Thanks for taking the time to read, if anyone has any other ideas or personal experience to offer it would be gratefully recieved!

Jamie

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