This is one of those highly emotive topics with regards to canal boat ownership. Any chat on the towpath or outside the sanitary station will reveal that owners fall into distinct “camps” on the subject of loos & their management.
We suppose that this is due in part to the fact that whatever system you have, you will need to become fairly well acquainted with its operation and shortcomings. This is something no land lubber ever really has to deal with in a normal domestic situation, unless employed as a plumber or sanitation worker!
Due to the nature of boats and environmental regulations, human waste has to be stored on board. Full stop. A form of holding tank where the waste is stored is common to all types and it is this method of storage and disposal that divides owners.
In this section we hope to be able to advise you on which system is the best suited to your needs.
As an overview, we will say that the days of galvanised buckets and gazunders are, for most, long gone (the chamber pot that “gaz’under” the bed in case you’re wondering).
Modern canal boat sanitation systems range from portable caravan type chemical toilets to porcelain lined fully flushing systems that closely resemble domestic WC’ s. From plastic to vitreous china bowls the choice is restricted only by your budget and requirements.
Below you will find a brief summary of the principle systems you will encounter, namely the removable cassette and the fixed holding tank.