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View Poll Results: Do you ever sneak pump your holding tank overboard
never 60 34.29%
only in "emergency" than filled it that wasn't planned 16 9.14%
only at night 7 4.00%
when out in the open, but maybe not outside the limit 52 29.71%
whenever I think it's OK because no one will notice 17 9.71%
reguarly pump it overboard 29 16.57%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 175. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-07-2010, 05:17   #1
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Sneaking the Holding Tank Overboard

Not to say I have ever done this; but how "common" is it to sneak some of your holding tank overboard when you shouldn't have pumped it. Sometimes sh.. just happens. Also I can think of a wide degree of how outside the regs you can be when doing this. The other day I was out and was sailing a course to take me out beyound the 3 miles limit; near as I could tell I was beyound the limit a long time before I got to the line on the chart that said I was legal to pump the tank.
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:21   #2
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I have never done it because there are no discharge regulations where we sail, but I would have no problem doing it if I had to as long as I was not near a beach or a shellfish farm. Whole cities discharge their sewage into the ocean, and the ocean processes it just fine. A few gallons from a sailboat is utterly meaningless in the open ocean, whether its one mile or twelve miles off.

Note that it is perfectly legal to use a bucket and throw it overboard; just not to use your marine toilet that way. Ridiculous.
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:41   #3
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I voted never. I never pump into the holding tank. Always overboard, just like all the other marine mammals and most waterfront cities.
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Old 06-07-2010, 06:29   #4
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I remember the last time I was in San Diego being told that US Warships were exempted from using holding tanks.

Wonder if there is any truth to that?
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Old 06-07-2010, 06:38   #5
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I remember the last time I was in San Diego being told that US Warships were exempted from using holding tanks.

Wonder if there is any truth to that?

Wasn't when I was in the Navy. But then that was a submarine and it is hard to direct discharge when submerged.
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:30   #6
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175 views and only 14 poll votes, fess up no one will know it was you
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:54   #7
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I've never really used my holding tank. We avoid it as much as possible since the marina has facilities and we're never out for more than a couple of hours. However, I made the mistake of never checking to see if the valve was opened or closed before cruising out one night and was boarded by the Coast Guard for inspection. I didn't get a ticket, but they did issue me a warning because it was open. They said it not only has to be closed, but closed and zip-tied shut to pass inspection.

It is now closed and zip-tied shut.
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:57   #8
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175 views and only 14 poll votes, fess up no one will know it was you
You don't have a choice to fit my case and probably the case of many -- "don't have a holding tank or have a holding tank but never use it; pump directly overboard"

You also don't have a choice for "Pump overboard after treatment with Lectrasan or similar treatment system" [that describes our old boat].
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Old 06-07-2010, 23:06   #9
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Got rid of mine - thought I carried enough sh*t around with me already
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Old 07-07-2010, 00:05   #10
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As a diver, if you're going to discharge into the harbors, all I ask is you at least do it at high tide so that the water gets flushed.
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:30   #11
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The funny thing about rules is they arnt universal. They apply to all unless individuals decide they dont.

The EU is one big mass of rules, which Im prety certain say that discharging into lakes and inland waterways is illegal. So much so, that boat manufacturers have by law, to build in holding tanks, and some member states are going a step further by demanding grey water tanks are fitted and used, so not even soapy water goes overboard.

Then you get to France, with her thousands of miles or canals and rivers, where there are hardly any official pump out stations and everyone pumps out or discharges directly into the river,with the full blessing and knowledge of the authorities.

Once again, one rule for us and no rules for them.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:29   #12
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Eeww. Seriously? Ever heard of the "Tragedy of the Commons?" Just because someone else does it, doesn't mean you should too.
The no-dumping laws should apply to everyone - military, commercial, private, whatever you call yourself. Buckets too, filth is filth no matter what container it comes out of.
And as for "just like all the other marine mammals" - unless you have a truly unusual diet and lifestyle, there is stuff in your waste that isn't in that of the whales. They don't drink, smoke, use medicinal or illicit drugs, use sunscreen, eat foods with chemical additives and preservatives, or any of a multitude of other things that release through your bodily wastes.
I'll give it a pass if your tank is full, AND you have no other pump-out option, AND you do it far enough out to be "past the line" (not where you think the line is, where GPS/chart says it actually is).
It's not a question of how your tonnage dumped compares to someone else's. We should all be doing what we can to protect the world within our own situation.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:03   #13
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When I started diving, the navy still discharged directly into the harbour; fortunately, the navy soon after adopted tougher environmental regs (before they were required), so I can personally attest to the effects that human waste, food waste and grey-water had in enclosed harbours. Mind you, Esquimalt Harbour is quite small, so the output from a half-dozen warships might have been a little more pronounced than the output from a couple of yachts, but the harbour become shockingly cleaner in a very short time after we stopped discharging directly overboard. Keep in mind too, that the effluent was now pumped ashore to the Victoria sewer system which is pumped essentially untreated into the deep water a couple miles offshore.
So I say don't pump out alongside, but don't be too fussed about legal limits, particularly if you macerate and pump out at a moderate rate.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:04   #14
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Eeww. Seriously? .... I'll give it a pass if your tank is full, AND you have no other pump-out option, AND you do it far enough out to be "past the line" ..... We should all be doing what we can to protect the world within our own situation.
Spoken like a true city dweller. The untreated microbe-infected cat and dog poop that runs directly into the sea from your town's storm sewers exceeds the actual combined pollution of every yacht the world around. I'd estimate....
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:24   #15
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Spoken like a true city dweller. The untreated microbe-infected cat and dog poop that runs directly into the sea from your town's storm sewers exceeds the actual combined pollution of every yacht the world around. I'd estimate....
I never said it wasn't. But as long as I'm in the city, I use the toilets - I don't go in the yard or street, and I clean up after any animals that are my responsibility. The fact that others don't doesn't mean I get to be destructive too.
To take the logical path to an extreme: Ted Bundy killed a a bunch of people (30 is a generally accepted estimate). By your reasoning, does that mean, as long as you keep the total below an even dozen, you're allowed to kill anyone you want?

Basically: I take responsibility for my waste and I only expect you to take responsibility for yours. Dumping it in the water is not taking appropriate responsibility, it's leaving it for everyone else (not to mention the environment) to suffer with.
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