Waste Disposal

John Senchak

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Dec 26, 2004
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Anyone have any clue what was done
with the dirty water, sewage, and other
waste products. I have looked at the deck
plans and there is no tanks found for this purpose.
I would imagine there was holding tanks
somewhere and electrical run pumps
either ejected it out of the ship to the sea
or was sent to tanks outside the ship once the Titanic was docked
 
Dec 4, 2000
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John -- you are living in 2001. Titanic was built in a different era when environmental concerns were quite secondary. Bluntly, everything went directly overboard. This included human waste as well as ashes from the boilers and garbage from the galley.

Keep in mind, 1913 was the era in which railroad toilets were little more than rolling outhouses. What you put in the toilet simply plopped on the tracks below the coach. That's why rest rooms were locked when trains were in stations.

Ships have never been even a minor source of water pollution. Most cities did not start to treat their sewage other than grind it until the mid-1950s. All the toilets on all the ships of the world could not equal the one-minute output of New York!

Today...things are different. Ask Captain Erik what happens if a lazy crew member decides to toss some garbage sacks overboard. A captain is probably better off hitting an iceberg than tossing an orange peel overboard.

-- David G. Brown
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
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To the tune of Dvorak's Humoresque

Passengers will please refrain
From passing water while the train
Is standing in the station or the yards.
We encourage contemplation
While the train is in the station
Grit your teeth and cross your legs and smile.

Not so far from the notices I remember from at least as late as the 1960s.
 

John Senchak

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Dec 26, 2004
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On G deck there is a discharge acess on both
sides of the ship. Is there where the waste
left the ship. It would seem more then likely
since its above the water line and there is
no bathrooms below this deck.
Gravity would just do it's thing and out it
would go into the sea.
I still think there would have to be pumps
to help the flow of water in case a lot
of people where using bathrooms or bathing
at the same time.
Sound's real nasty letting it go into the sea
and the passengers must have smelled something
no matter what deck they where on.

In to think when the unsinkable ship went down
and people where in the water, imagine what they
where swimming in.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hi David,

You say that all of the ashes from the boilers went overboard. I note that there are 4 Ash Places located on E-deck and I wonder what they were used for?

Looking at the Shipbuilder I note there were 10 ash ejectors, two in each of the large boiler rooms; which begs the question what happended to the ash from Boiler Room No 1?

I also note the existence of 4 Ash Hoists. I am guessing that those form part of the Ash Places; as what I has initially taken to be 4 large Ash Ejectors with steps or ladderways leading up to E-deck are located immediately below the Ash Places; which I note are located at the after starboard corner of Boiler Room No 2; the after port corners of Boiler Rooms 3 and 6; and close to the forward starboard corner of Boiler Room No 4. There being no Hoist in Boiler Room No 5.

I hope that you can explain the two level arrangement of the Ash Hoists/Places for me.

Regards,
Lester
 

John Senchak

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Dec 26, 2004
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Lester

Good question, maybe that's where they ejected
the garbage to. I don't think they just took
the garbage though first class and threw
over the railings.

With all the passengers and crew imagine
the garbage from food waste alone.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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An engineer will have to answer the fine details of ash ejection. I know that one system was used in port and another at sea. Also, I know that most of the "dirty work" of disposal was done at night when it would be less obvious to passengers who might take offense. I recall steamboats on the Great Lakes would also "blow their tubes" at night. This was a process that cleaned out the exhaust gas uptakes from the boilers and sent lots of black crud into the air.

Ash ejected beneath the ship was wetted down enough in the process that it sank quickly and..at least from the surface..disappeared. I am sure there must be a trail of ejected ash from steamships lying on the bottom beneath all of the major steamer routes. So far, however, I've not seen a report that this ash and clinkers have harmed anything. Perhaps no one has studied the question.

Ships in 1912 may have developed a lot of garbage..that is waste food..but little pollution. Dumping waste human food into the ocean provided more biomass for the critters of the deep. If nothing else, the gulls loved it. The other stuff in 1912 dumping was not really harmful. Steel cans in the trash would quickly deteriorate and glass bottles are pretty much biologically intert.

The problem with modern dumping is plastic. The damned stuff never goes away. Worse, much of it is a deathtrap for living critters. Of particular concern are those sets of plastic rings that hold soft drink and beer cans together. And, in 1912 the garbage and trash was put into steel barrels ("trash cans" in the U.S. and probably something akin to "dust bins" in the Mother Country) that were dumped, washed and re-used. Today, we wrap our garbage in...guess what...plastic! What Titanic left behind from its galleys may not have been pretty, but it was more helpful than harmful to the critters of the sea. This is not true of todays trash.

-- David G. Brown
 

Cal Haines

Member
Dec 2, 2000
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Lester asked:
> I note that there are 4 Ash Places located on E-deck and I wonder what they were used for? ... I note there were 10 ash ejectors, two in each of the large boiler rooms; which begs the question what happended to the ash from Boiler Room No 1?

> I also note the existence of 4 Ash Hoists. I am guessing that those form part of the Ash Places; as what I has initially taken to be 4 large Ash Ejectors with steps or ladderways leading up to E-deck are located immediately below the Ash Places;


Hi Lester,

The ash hoists were used when the ship was in port and the ash ejectors were used at sea. The hoists were basically a block and tackle powered by a steam cylinder that would lift bags of ash from the boiler room up to E-deck, where they could be disposed of through doors in the ship's side to the pier or a barge. I assume that they lowered the ash buckets down to a man waiting below, but I don't know for sure. The reason that the "ash place" was on E-deck is the need for the door and the fact that it had to be above the bulkhead deck. In all cases the ash hoists were located next to and above an ash ejector.

The ash ejectors used a jet of pressurized water to carry ash from a hopper in the boiler room up a tube with a curved top and shoot it away from the side of the ship. The fact that they sprayed a slurry of ash and water is doubtless why they were not used in port.

About every four hours a fireman would clean each of the three furnaces under his care, raking the ash and clinkers onto the stokehold plates. The duty of moving the ash from there to the ash ejector or hoist was that of the trimmers. The ash was probably loaded into a wheelbarrow and trucked to the ejector/hoist. I some cases this meant wheeling it through the passage between the boilers. The trimmer might have to break up the clinkers to get them to fit into the ejector.

You will note that in most cases the ejectors were in the aft end of the large boiler rooms. This makes sense, as the pumps that ran the ejectors were also on the aft side of the boiler rooms. The exception is boiler room #4, which had it ejectors forward (the pump is still aft)--I can't tell you why the difference.

The single ended boilers in boiler room #1 were intended for use in port, so they weren't too concerned with access to the ash ejectors. In port the ash from #1 was wheeled to the ash hoist in #2 or perhaps #3 (if they were disposing of ash from the port side). Apparently they didn't generate so much ash that the distance was a big problem. If boiler room #1 was used at sea they had ready access to the two ejectors in #2, via the watertight door in the bulkhead.

Cal
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hi Cal,

Thanks for the added informations; particularly that on the usage of the boiler rooms themselves and the location of the pumps etc. I had half guessed that Ash was stored on the E-deck level, but I had no idea how; or why there were doors.

If I have understood correctly the Ash was pumped directly from the floor of the Boiler Rooms to either the Ejectors on F-deck where they were immediately discharged; or when the ship was in port in bags to the Ash Places on E-deck. I take it the bags would be removed immediately and not stored in order to avoid any fire risk.

Your comments that the doors had to be above the bulkhead deck is interesting. Why? There were portholes and the ejectors themselves below that level.

Regards,
Lester
 
M

Morgan Eric Ford

Guest
Britannic tried to minimize the number of drains by running the sewage into tanks and pumping it overboard. This way there were only a few large drains per compartment instead of a lot of small ones. Might have been more sanitary while docked too.

Morgan
 

Cal Haines

Member
Dec 2, 2000
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Tucson, AZ USA
Lester wrote:
If I have understood correctly the Ash was pumped directly from the floor of the Boiler Rooms to either the Ejectors on F-deck where they were immediately discharged; or when the ship was in port in bags to the Ash Places on E-deck. I take it the bags would be removed immediately and not stored in order to avoid any fire risk.

Your comments that the doors had to be above the bulkhead deck is interesting. Why? There were portholes and the ejectors themselves below that level.


Hi Lester,

The ash ejectors and the ash hoists were two different systems. The essence of the ash ejector was just a hopper and a pipe the went up and over the side, plus the pump that provided the water. If you were to look into the hopper of the ash ejector while it was running you would see a stream of water rushing past at the bottom. The water was under enough pressure that it would climb up the pipe and blast out a hole in the side of the ship, well above the load waterline. Ash that was dumped into the hopper would be carried up the pipe in the water and right into the sea. Think of it as a toilet with a real attitude.
happy.gif
(Wouldn't surprise me if they got used for toilets as well.) They probably put the ash into the hopper, closed the lid and then started the pump. That way, if the discharge pipe was blocked by a clinker, they wouldn't have water back up into the stokehold.

The ash hoist just lifted bags of ash from the stokehold up through a big tube to the ash room on E deck. It was sort of a dumbwaiter for ashes. They could have done the same job with just a rope, pulley and man-power.

I don't have a good answer about the doors. It makes sense to me, but I can't quote you a BOT rule to that effect. The ash ejectors had a door to close them when not in use. All the portholes were watertight. I think the ones on F and below may not have been able to open but I'm not sure--I'll do some checking.

Cal
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hi Cal,

Thank you for the added info. I note Hoists and Ejectors; different systems; just that 4 hoists and ejectors were located together?

Interesting thought on the lower portholes. It would be good to have an answer.

Thanks again for all of your help on this and on the WTDs.

Regards,
Lester
 

Cal Haines

Member
Dec 2, 2000
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Tucson, AZ USA
Hi Lester,

You are correct, the ash hoists were completely independent of the ash ejectors. The four hoists happened to be located above four of the ejectors.

Here's a diagram that shows both: http://www.abratis.de/sources/pictures/pic/blue/xsection.gif You can see both a hoist and an ejector above the boiler on the right.

I checked with Scott Andrews on the lower port holes. Scott has done quite a bit of digging into the matter and is of the opinion that there were two types of portholes. One required a special wrench to open, so passengers and crew would not be opening them without permission. The other had a float mechanism to allow ventilation, but closed if the porthole went underwater. Here is Scott's article on them at the TRMA site: http://titanic-model.com/db/db-01/db_05.html

Cal
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hi Cal,

My very appreciative thanks for the added informations. Now that I have an understanding of the systems the diagram is easy to follow. I had seen a similiar cross-section diagram in the Shipbuilder (fig 44), but with the section showing the Hoist blocked out.

Also my thanks for the item on the portholes. I guess that the sealing comments explain why the doors for the Hoists had to be above the bulkheads. They were unsealed?

Regards,
Lester
 

John Senchak

Member
Dec 26, 2004
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All this talk about ash ejectors and ports
is great and very interesting but what
was the discharge access on "G" deck used
for.
Right above these two areas on "F" are bathrooms.
Below is the Turbine engine room and is not even
close to the boilers so this is not a ash
injector.
To the back of these area is food storage
and to the front is a tank room and a workshop.
(engineers store).

To me looking at the deck plans the only acess
to this area is from the Turbine engine room
by way of a ladder or stairs.

Was there a way through the water tight bulkhead
from either the tank room or workshop to these
areas and if so what was the purpose of these
compartments.

The is no access from above because on both sides
are the 2nd class bathroom groups and linen
closets.

With all the food storage and cold provisions storage to the back of this area it would
make sense that is is a food waste
discharge.

But to take food waste through a Flour and
food bulk storage is more then not likely.
There is no doors from the food storage into
the discharge area which would rule out
that its a garbage exit.

Could it be a discharge for excess water
within the bottom of the ship ballest
tanks. Futhermore there where pumps in the engine
room for flooding purposes. Those pumps
had to discarge somewhere.

Then there's the question if the boiler system
had to be cleaned and the water removed there
would have had been someway to pump the 29
boilers out.


John
 

Cal Haines

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Dec 2, 2000
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John wrote:
... but what was the discharge access on "G" deck used for. Right above these two areas on "F" are bathrooms. Below is the Turbine engine room...

Hi John,

Those spaces were actually part of the turbine engine room. It's where the discharges for the pumps in the turbine engine room were located. The largest pumps on the ship were the four circulating pumps for the main condensers. They pushed large volumes of cold sea water through the condensers where the exhaust steam was condensed back to water. There were also 6 smaller pumps that had discharges in that area. The discharge openings were near the waterline so that the pumps didn't have to work against the pressure of the sea.

Cal
 

John Senchak

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Dec 26, 2004
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Makes since now, I have seen pictures of the Titanic with water coming out of her side just
above the water line. I was under the
assumption that the ship was not 100 percent
water tight and had minor leaks. I fiquired
that's what the bildge pumps where for.
If they where not be used for flooding conditions
then it was to pump water that came in from
small leaks that occured.
Like I stated in my Stern tunnel posting,
There must have been water leaks where the
engine shafts went through the hull.

But getting back on the subject, Do you have
any information about those condensers units.


John
 

Cal Haines

Member
Dec 2, 2000
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Tucson, AZ USA
John wrote:
... Do you have any information about those condensers units

Hi John,

Sorry about not responding sooner. This one had scrolled off the bottom of my TO-DO list.

I think I have a reasonable understanding of the condensers. What did you want to know?

Cal