NYMPP: Section 3 - Hauling & Storing Boats
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Clean Vessel Act (CVA)
funds may be available to help defray costs of installing and operating pumpouts. Marinas are eligible for reimbursement for up to 75% of the costs of installation and operation and maintenance of pumpouts through the CVA program. For more information about the CVA program visit the New York Environmental Facilities Corp Web site, click here, or call them at (800) 882 - 9721.

New York Sea Grant's
Marina Pollution Prevention Web Site

Section 3:
Hauling 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.

Best Management Practices

Marinas servicing 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.

Train staff to operate the pumpout. Boaters rely on functional pumpout facilities.

Upland waste holding tanks, if above ground, should be secured and have a secondary containment area, including a concrete pad. Inspect area regularly.

Provide clean and attractive bathrooms for marina customers. Encourage customers to use them rather than the toilets on their boats.

Prohibit discharge 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.

Educate marina 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.

Provide and promote biodegradable and non-toxic holding tank deodorant. For examples of products, click here. Sell it in the ships store.

Allow pumpout boats to service customers in your facility.

Regulatory Issues

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.