New York Sea Grant's
Marina Pollution Prevention Web Site
and Storing Boats - Pumpouts
Potential Environmental Impacts
Generally, marina basins are naturally sheltered and semi-enclosed,
which usually means they are not flushed as well as more open
waters. Bacteria, chemicals, and nutrients contained
in untreated and minimally treated human waste from boats may
overload small, poorly flushed waterways with high concentrations
of boats, causing local water quality problems. Disease carrying
bacteria, viruses and protozoa may enter waterways through the
discharge of untreated or poorly treated boat waste. Direct threats
to human health can arise through consumption of contaminated
water, fish or shellfish.
larger boats equipped with holding tanks (Type III marine sanitation
devices), should consider installing a pumpout system. Select
the type of pumpout system (fixed or mobile) that best meets the
needs of your marina and your customers. For examples of different
types of pumpouts, click
here. Also, see the Additional Information and
Resource on this Topic at the bottom of this page.
If the pumpout
is permanently fixed, choose an appropriate location
which is convenient and accessible to the most number of boats
throughout the tidal cycle such as the gas dock, a T-head pier
or an outer bulkhead.
If your marina
services mostly smaller boats without holding tanks, install a
portable toilet holding tank waste receptacle (dump station) in
a convenient location near small slips and launch ramps.
to operate the pumpout. Boaters rely on functional pumpout facilities.
holding tanks, if above ground, should be secured and have a secondary
containment area, including a concrete pad. Inspect area regularly.
and attractive bathrooms for marina customers. Encourage customers
to use them rather than the toilets on their boats.
of treated or untreated human waste within the marina basin. Incorporate
the prohibition into customers' slip contract. This would prohibit
boaters from discharging any sewage into the marina basin. For
this to work, there must be adequate pumpout services, customers
must be educated about how to manage their boat waste, and there
must be strict enforcement.
customers about the impacts of boat sewage and the proper way
to manage it. Post signs in the marina
outlining the rules for proper sewage handling.
promote biodegradable and non-toxic holding tank deodorant. For
examples of products, click
here. Sell it in the ships store.
boats to service customers in your facility.
There is no
state or federal legal requirement for marinas to provide a pumpout
facility. However, it may be a condition of a state or local permit
for a new or expanded marina to provide a pumpout facility for
customers and the boating public. For those facilities servicing
larger boats with holding tanks providing customers with pumpout
service may make sense from a business perspective.