Keeping our waterways clean starts with you! Keep human waste out of Oregon's waters.
Sewage contains pathogens (bacteria, viruses, etc.) which can cause illness in humans and wildlife. According to the U.S. EPA, 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 boating:
- Use pumpout facilities 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.
- 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 purpose.