Horsebox cassette toilets
This is a little talked about subject and applies to all fixed and portable cassette toilets, hopefully it is one you may find enlightening.
Nowadays many horseboxes have integrated cassette toilets in their washrooms or on some smaller ones, portable toilets hidden in lockers. They will have either a dedicated fresh water tank, filled separately or take fresh water from the main drinking water tank. If it is a dedicated separate tank, you can add a nice smelling pink chemical that helps with smells and flushing (do not use this pink chemical in the drinking water tank!). The majority of these toilets have an easy to remove cassette that is the waste holding tank. Some of the larger waste cassettes even have a handle and their own set of wheels for ease of transportation when it’s time to empty.
There is a plethora of additives to add to the waste holding tank (cassette) to help with the associated smells. These additives actually have two main purposes. Firstly, they are to mask smells and secondly, they break down waste. There are two types of additive and the one you pick is ultimately dictated by where you empty the waste cassette. These additives are readily available from camping outlets and the internet and they fall into two categories. The first breaks down waste and deals with smells using chemicals like formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde or a biocides and the second (and my eco-friendly preference) is the much greener, non-toxic, non-irritant and safe for pets, uses natural biological activity in the form of friendly bacteria. This is much like the process in a septic tank.
Emptying your chemical toilet
The first rule of cassette toilets is that, whilst away from home, you must only empty them in a specifically designated place. Apart from the obvious hygiene issues, the additives that use chemicals should NEVER go straight into the sewerage system as the chemicals kill the bacterial process of breaking down waste. The same applies at home, if you empty this type into your septic tank, it will kill your friendly bacteria! Happily, the eco-friendly version is fine to empty into your home sewage system. Nowadays, many events have Chemical Disposal Point or CDP to empty your waste cassette. On some sites, it might appear as an Elsan Point (if you can remember the old air-raid shelters, Elsan was the go to toilet of choice). A good point to remember is that when emptying the cassette, there is a very handy air-valve button that allows air to flow into the cassette while the waste flows smoothly out (the last thing you need is it sputtering).
I hope this is useful and just in case you wanted to know, the chemical used in the photograph is the eco-friendly one that we use for camping and in our KPH Horseboxes.
Author: Kevin Parker
Owner of KPH Horseboxes
Manufacturer of Aeos & Helios horseboxes and prolific blogger on horse transport safety