Sewage contains pathogens (bacteria, viruses, etc.) which can
cause illness in humans and wildlife. According to the U.S.
, the amount of bacterial pollution (fecal coliforms) from one weekend
boater’s discharge of untreated sewage is equal to the amount from the treated
sewage of 10,000 people during the same time period! Even treated sewage (from
Type I and Type II marine sanitation devices) contains nutrients that can lead
to harmful algal blooms. Follow these guidelines when
- Encourage everyone to use the shoreside facilities before casting off.
- Use pumpout facilites for holding tanks and empty portable toilets at dump
stations or at home. It is illegal to dump any untreated sewage anywhere
within 3 miles of the coast. It is illegal to discharge ANY sewage (from Type I,
II, or III MSDs) into lakes, reservoirs or impoundments.
- When going boating for three or more hours, know where there are onshore or
floating restrooms (see link below).
- Keep fats, solvents, oil, emulsifiers, paints, poisons, phosphates,
disposable diapers and sanitary napkins out of your holding tank or portable
toilet. These items can damage the sewage disposal equipment and increase the
cost of disposal.
Take the pledge and become a Clean Boater!
Help other boaters understand ways to control boat sewage and pass pumpout/dump
station location information on. If your marina doesn't have a pumpout or a dump
station, encourage the marina manager to install one. The Marine Board provides
grants for the installation of vessel waste disposal systems through Clean
Vessel Act (CVA) funds, which come exclusively from fees paid by owners of
registered boats. CVA funds comprise three-fourths of the entire cost of most
facilities, come from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Wildlife and Sport
Fish Restoration Trust Fund) and are available through a grant program
authorized by Congress and signed into law by George H. W. Bush in 1992 to:
“provide funds to States for the construction, renovation, operation, and
maintenance of pumpout stations and waste reception facilities.” Ultimately,
the primary intent of this Act is to reduce or eliminate environmental impacts
of recreational boaters. By law, these funds cannot be used for any other