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Old 11-06-2015, 14:37   #31
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Re: Do I need a holding tank? (legally speaking)

It's 12 miles from the coast here ... but it is confusing ... is that 12 miles beyond the barrier island? Meanwhile our marine mechanic says don't worry ... go ahead and dump ... everyone does ... ??? We don't dump. We are in a slip at the Gulfport, Mississippi small craft marina. It's first class ... we have pump out at each mechanical tower.
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Old 11-06-2015, 15:17   #32
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Re: Do I need a holding tank? (legally speaking)

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Originally Posted by Bikini Blues View Post
It's 12 miles from the coast here ... but it is confusing ... is that 12 miles beyond the barrier island? Meanwhile our marine mechanic says don't worry ... go ahead and dump ... everyone does ... ???
Yes, it's beyond the islands

I'd appreciate it if either by PM or reply in this thread you'd tell who that mechanic is, because I really don't want to do business with them
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Old 11-06-2015, 15:29   #33
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Re: Do I need a holding tank? (legally speaking)

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Originally Posted by YoloSF View Post
W're planning on departing California in October and cruising the Pacific. I've done research and I'm still not very clear on holding tank requirements. Is it a recommendation or a requirement? What are the potential consequences for not having one?
I hope your research was more informative than the generic answers here on CF.

In case you are still reading and have read the replies I hope you have come to the obvious conclusion that you need to research the question for the places you are going.

BTW - just how can you have a boat capable of this trip already if you are in Calif and not have a holding tank or at least an Electrsan etc.
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Old 11-06-2015, 15:57   #34
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Re: Do I need a holding tank? (legally speaking)

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Originally Posted by YoloSF View Post
It says it's a NDZ only for "No Discharge Zone For Large Passenger
& Large Oceangoing Vessels" - does anyone know what the definition of "Large Passenger
& Large Oceangoing Vessels" is?
The definition of "large..." is stated in that section of code as "large passenger vessels of 300 gross tons or greater, and large oceangoing vessels of 300 gross tons or greater with sewage holding capacity into California marine waters."

So the answer is 300 gross tons. If you are dumping raw sewage, that would be kind of gross as well, one supposes.

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Old 11-06-2015, 16:09   #35
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Re: Do I need a holding tank? (legally speaking)

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Originally Posted by Kiwi. View Post
In Queensland Australia you don't have to have a holding tank but you do have to have a macerator pump to shred any discharge. Also the nil discharge zones are now so large (for example the 1000 mile long Great Barrier reef zone) that it becomes pretty impractical to not have a tank.
I don't think that's correct. Prior to purchasing my vessel it was fitted with a holding tank, apparently just so if it was inspected it could be said it had one. It didn't work, but it was there on inspection.

My understanding, and someone from Queensland would know better, or google it, is that to register a vessel with a head in Queensland it is required to have a holding tank. The tank only has to be used in those areas that specify no over the board dumping. But there are lots of them in Queensland.
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Old 11-06-2015, 16:21   #36
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Re: Do I need a holding tank? (legally speaking)

AS Sailorboy suggests, you need to research for the different areas your going to.

The most obvious thing to do is to make sure your boat has a holding tank of 'sorts' so that when you travel to those areas where you are required to have one 'fitted', then you comply. It could be just a bladder with a Y valve. As long as you have a macerator, then you can rig your self something like a small Whale Gulper pump as a portable device to pump it out with. That will be the cheapest way of getting around it.

If your heading over towards Australia's East coast there are many many places you are not permitted to discharge to, and being a responsible sailor you will want to comply with those requirements / laws. This includes areas like Lord Howe Island and other Australian Islands that have no discharge parks. Usually everywhere around Australia has 'discharge' areas not very far away, e.g 3 miles out to see etc, so the above set up would cheaply cover for that scenario.

It's not relevant to your question given where your going, but way down here in our South (Tasmania, Australia), the entire Island prohibits discharge 'anywhere' which few seem to know. And there are in addition specific no discharge areas with heavy fines 'if' you got caught. But the odd thing about this 'no discharge anywhere' is that to my knowledge there's only two or three pump out marina's for the whole state. Holding tanks are not common or required. This will be changing in the next five years as the authorities will be introducing laws like Queensland that will require the fitting of holding tanks to all vessels with heads.

So, it's about researching where you are going and I'd suggest rig up a cheap holding tank like a bladder and gulper for emptying.
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Old 11-06-2015, 16:57   #37
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Re: Do I need a holding tank? (legally speaking)

Ever hear of a bucket? Or any portable 'container' adequate for a fecal bolus. Or you can just show your arse in an "emergency." In "undeveloped" countries, fishermen "hang ten" at the "head" of the vessel. Off shore, who gives a ****?
As I recall (USN), poop dump was not the problem from armed vessels ... or in Chinese waters.
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Old 11-06-2015, 16:59   #38
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Re: Do I need a holding tank? (legally speaking)

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Ever hear of a bucket? Or any portable 'container' adequate for a fecal bolus. Or you can just show your arse in an "emergency." In "undeveloped" countries, fishermen "hang ten" at the "head" of the vessel. Off shore, who gives a ****?
As I recall (USN), poop dump was not the problem from armed vessels ... or in Chinese waters.
A bucket will not keep him from being in trouble for those areas he's required to have a holding tank.
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Old 11-06-2015, 19:09   #39
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Re: Do I need a holding tank? (legally speaking)

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Originally Posted by sloopman View Post
I have a Lectrasan which is/was Coast Guard approved and does a great job. How does that fit into this picture. No holding tank.
see here:http://www.raritaneng.com/pdf_files/.../L270v0404.pdf
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Old 11-06-2015, 23:34   #40
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Re: Do I need a holding tank? (legally speaking)

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
A bucket will not keep him from being in trouble for those areas he's required to have a holding tank.
Really Rustic!?
Reading USCG and Marpol, I thought a portapotty or composting toilet was legal, but it can't be permanently installed (needed to be removable)...

I'm curious why the OP doesn't want a holding tank, is it the loss of space? If so you might want to consider a composting toilet. Also they make pretty small holding tanks like <10gal.
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Old 12-06-2015, 00:32   #41
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Re: Do I need a holding tank? (legally speaking)

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Really Rustic!?
Reading USCG and Marpol, I thought a portapotty or composting toilet was legal, but it can't be permanently installed (needed to be removable)...

I'm curious why the OP doesn't want a holding tank, is it the loss of space? If so you might want to consider a composting toilet. Also they make pretty small holding tanks like <10gal.
Did I miss the sarcasm did I
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Old 12-06-2015, 01:37   #42
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Re: Do I need a holding tank? (legally speaking)

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I don't think that's correct. Prior to purchasing my vessel it was fitted with a holding tank, apparently just so if it was inspected it could be said it had one. It didn't work, but it was there on inspection.

My understanding, and someone from Queensland would know better, or google it, is that to register a vessel with a head in Queensland it is required to have a holding tank. The tank only has to be used in those areas that specify no over the board dumping. But there are lots of them in Queensland.

I'm in QLD.
I was never asked if I had a holding tank when I registered my vessel. I know some marinas will insist you use a tank or use their loos but most people do that anyway.

As for legalities.....no idea. If they could tax it they would. Just let me enjoy my view out the head porthole.




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Old 12-06-2015, 03:11   #43
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Re: Do I need a holding tank? (legally speaking)

There's no mandatory requirement to have a holding tank in QLD for a recreational vessel. The laws relate to discharge only.
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Old 12-06-2015, 03:14   #44
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Re: Do I need a holding tank? (legally speaking)

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I'm in QLD.
I was never asked if I had a holding tank when I registered my vessel. I know some marinas will insist you use a tank or use their loos but most people do that anyway.

As for legalities.....no idea. If they could tax it they would. Just let me enjoy my view out the head porthole.
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Yes, I think you and Reefmagnet are right and the good Dr I purchased the boat of may have simply covering his basis. The following are the queensland requirements. And recreational boats are exempt from the compulsory fitting if holding tanks.

Sewage (Maritime Safety Queensland)
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Old 12-06-2015, 04:01   #45
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Re: Do I need a holding tank? (legally speaking)

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
AS Sailorboy suggests, you need to research for the different areas your going to. .

It's not relevant to your question given where your going, but way down here in our South (Tasmania, Australia), the entire Island prohibits discharge 'anywhere' which few seem to know.
Sorry RC, that's no longer correct; see here for the current Tassie situation

Boat Sewage Management Directives - EPA Tasmania

In short from the EPA link above

Vessels carrying 15 or less can discharge closer to shore but not -


from in inland waters where dilution or dispersion are sometimes difficult and water may be used for drinking purposes;
in marinas, canals and mooring areas where there may be large numbers of vessels; or
in marine reserves where the marine environment is afforded special protection; or
in listed waterways where there are particular risks or inadequate scope for dilution or dispersion; or
in waters less than 5 metres deep where there may be inadequate depth to allow adequate dilution or dispersion;
within 500m of swimming beaches during the warmer months when many people may be exposed to infectious agents; or
within 120m of a swimmer for the same reason; or
within 500m of shellfish farms where shellfish may concentrate any infectious agents; or
within 500m of a wharf or jetty where vessels and people are likely to be concentrated; or
within 120m of shore in listed areas where there is likely to be more boat traffic and people using the shoreline; or
within 50m of another vessel with crew who may draw water for washing or decide to go swimming.
In all cases the restrictions apply to any discharges containing faecal material and a discharge must not result in visible floating solids or prolonged discolouration of the receiving waters. Urine discharge is not restricted.
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