What You Need To Know About Installing a Toilet on Your Boat

It is illegal to dump waste out into open water in the US and many other places. This means that if you want a toilet aboard your vessel, this waste needs to be adequately stored and treated to be pumped out later. There are multiple ways you can go about this, depending on your needs and situation.

System Type

There are three general types of marine sanitation systems: manual, vacuum and electric. The manual system is the only type that doesn’t require an electric pump, so this may be your only option if you operate a boat without electricity, like a sailboat. The easiest boat sanitation system newport beach ca is the vacuum system, which requires little maintenance. Electric macerating systems work somewhat like a garbage disposal, so it’s important to educate all who will be using your toilet on what is okay to flush.


The first rule of thumb for choosing hosing is to make sure that it is specifically recommended for marine sanitation. You should stay away from corrugated hose because the ridges can trap sewage and create stink. All vented loops should be kept above the water line to avoid a bad smell, as well. When it comes to holding tanks, do not use metal because urine is corrosive- high-density polyethylene is your best option.


Raw water has an odor, and saltwater can create deposits, so if you are able to carry a freshwater tank, that is the recommended protocol. However, this will require extra work, and the holding capacity needs to be taken into consideration. Vacuum sanitation systems require the least amount of water, and electric macerating systems require the most water, leaving manual in the middle in terms of water consumption.

A toilet is a major convenience on any vessel and worth your consideration. With the proper boat sanitation system on board, it’ll be a breeze to provide this for your passengers. Be sure to reach out to a professional for installation if you do not feel comfortable doing it yourself.

Author: Erik Gray