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Old 06-05-2015, 16:01   #16
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Re: msd law and florida

I would argue that having the handle "removed" is not legally sufficient, although any reasonable boarding officer should let that slip by.


Federal law calls for the discharge to be "secured". Your discharge has not been secured, anyone with calloused fingers can open it. Or a plier. And there's no way to tell if that has been done, is there?


So put the handle back on, and "secure" it in the closed position. The USCG will accept zip ties, baling wire, gobs of duct tape, anything similar that actually makes it impossible to quickly open the valve and then close it again, without proof of tampering.


If your head compartment has a locking door, locking that door and stowing the key elsewhere counts as "secured". Strapping the toilet lid down (similar to the valve) in a way that makes it unlikely to be opened, also can count as "secured".


If you can't be certain that someone didn't make a discharge while you were out, or sleeping, or dead drink...then it isn't "secured", is it?
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Old 06-05-2015, 17:25   #17
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Re: msd law and florida

Hellosailor, good point. Until can remove the head, I will zip tie the handle just in case they stop by the slip.

Right now I am planning to remove the head and install the porta potty that can later be hooked up to a deck pump out. I've looked around my cal 29 and can't seem to find a spot for a normal holding tank. I looked at the mariposa (I think that's the name) setup, but I have a seawater a/c installed above the head. I've been looking at the compost toilets, and they seem good. But I wonder how much different in terms of time and hassle, not yuck factor, it is in dealing with the small 1 gallon urine container vs the porta potty cartridge? Then having to empty the container of partial compost. My sailing plans are mostly southern east and west coast of Florida and the keys, so I believe pump out stations will be readily available. But I could be wrong.
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:19   #18
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Re: msd law and florida

As a kind member has pointed out, I stand corrected. The situation is a bit more complex, and simply closing the valve and removing the handle IS now expressly allowed under federal law. My memory erred on the side of simplicity. As to the rest of the fine details...only the Fed could make so much fuss over ordure.
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:34   #19
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Re: msd law and florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
You can pee or poop in a bucket if you want to but you can't legally dump it overboard so a porta pottie is a much better choice
just curious .. where do you see that law written?
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:24   #20
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Re: msd law and florida

Actually according to federal laws using a bucket is considered direct discharge ( same as peeing over the side) un less you put a seat on it then it becomes a portable msd ( strange but true)
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Old 08-05-2015, 13:21   #21
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Re: msd law and florida

here is the post I did on the subject over a year ago concerning the epa and a bucket quote: here is the definition of an MSD according to the EPA an MSD is any equipment for I stilation on board a vessel which is designed to receive, retain,treat or discharge sewage and a bucket is neither installed or designed to receive sewage. Water.epa.gov/polwaste/vwd/vsdmsd.cfm sorry can't cut and paste but that's the epa web site I referenced I'm not advocating it I use my porta potty but it is legal by definition of the epa : end quote
also off the epa site is the following quote: The MSD requirements do not apply to vessels that do not have installed toilets (e.g., vessels with "porta-potties").
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Old 08-05-2015, 20:28   #22
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Re: msd law and florida

According to your interpretation of the defintion of an MSD, it would be legal to dump a portapotty overboard inside the "3 mile limit." I can you assure it's not. Nor is it any more legal to dump a bucket of sewage than it is to dump a holding tank.

What you're missing is prohibition against the "discharge" of untreated sewage in all US waters as spelled out in the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) in several places. The CFR defines “discharge” as "includes, but is not limited to, any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying or dumping." The CFR doesn't limit what kind of device is discharged. Anything that is "INTENDED" to receive, retain or discharge sewage is covered... That can be a bucket or even a coffee cup if that's what you decide to use it for.

See USCG Consumer Fact Sheet #13" for the simplified version:

"Recreational boats are not required to be equipped with a toilet. However, the Clean Water Act requires that if a toilet is installed, it must be equipped with an operable Marine Sanitation Device (MSD) that is certified by the Coast Guard (holding tanks, including portapotties are automatically considered "Certified" by the USCG). Installed toilets that are not equipped with an MSD, and that discharge raw sewage directly over the side, are illegal. Portable toilets or "porta-potties" are not considered installed toilets and are not subject to the MSD regulations. But they are subject to disposal regulations which prohibit the disposal of raw sewage within territorial waters (3 mile limit), the Great Lakes, or navigable rivers." (emphasis mine).

However, there is no prohibition against "direct discharge" from you, whether from onboard the vessel (the lee rail is recommended for this) or while in the water (which accounts for why you may see people with silly looks on their faces hanging on their anchor lines).
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Old 08-05-2015, 21:00   #23
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Re: msd law and florida

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According to your interpretation of the defintion of an MSD, it would be legal to dump a portapotty overboard inside the "3 mile limit." .

See USCG Consumer Fact Sheet #13" for the simplified version:

"Recreational boats are not required to be equipped with a toilet. However, the Clean Water Act requires that if a toilet is installed, it must be equipped with an operable Marine Sanitation Device (MSD) that is certified by the Coast Guard (holding tanks, including portapotties are automatically considered "Certified" by the USCG).
Um no it would be illegal to dump a porta potty they are a self contained toilet and holding tank specificly designed to collect and retain bodily wastes for proper disposal.
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Old 09-05-2015, 15:24   #24
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Re: msd law and florida

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Originally Posted by gonesail View Post
just curious .. where do you see that law written?
There is no law that says that you can pee or poop directly into the water, it's just that there are no laws that say you cannot.
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Old 09-05-2015, 17:53   #25
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Re: msd law and florida

I have a friend in Key West with a cute powercat... She has a brand-new porta-potty still sealed in the box stowed in a locker. Down in the "head" there is a 12" watertight deck hatch, just inboard the starboard hull.... use your imagination! Oh, and perfectly legal even in the NO-DISCHARGE ZONE
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