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Old 20-07-2011, 12:32   #1
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Sewage Management

Disclaimer: I'm a n00b

I was wondering:
  • how the sewage systems works on a boat
  • how to dispose of it*
*I would assume that dumping your waste is illegal, so how do you deal with it? Let's assume I live in a marina (if that makes any difference)
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Old 20-07-2011, 12:51   #2
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Re: Sewage Management?

In general you are supposed to hold it in a tank and pump it ashore. There are exceptions depending on where you are and how far offshore you are. There are also distance and location exceptions depending on if and what type of onboard treatment system you have.

Discharging untreated sewage inside a marina is illegal everywhere in the USA.
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Old 20-07-2011, 12:53   #3
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Re: Sewage Management?

The way the system is supposed to work is that you have a holding tank on your boat. When it gets full, either a pump-out boat comes to you or you take the boat to a pump-out dock, where the sewage is pumped into the municipal system. Many marinas have pump-out facilities, built with federal funding.

The legal alternative in most areas is to take the boat more than 3 miles off-shore and pump the sewage overboard. However, there are places designated as no-discharge areas where this is not permitted, but before they can receive this designation they have to demonstrate that there are plenty of pump-out facilities available.
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Old 20-07-2011, 12:56   #4
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Re: Sewage Management?

There is no equal to the Head Mistress. Every thing you could possibly care to know. Best $15 you can spend on sewage management.
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Old 20-07-2011, 13:10   #5
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Re: Sewage Management?

There are elactrical sewage treatment systems also. These basically zap the dirty stuff with a large current for a very short while which kills all the bacteria in the sewage. Having these Coast Guard Approved systems allow you more leeway in where you can discharge. Check out this older thread. Lectrasan
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Old 20-07-2011, 16:26   #6
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Re: Sewage Management?

Thanks for the plug! I'm also glad to answer questions here.

Btw...a little correction needed here. Don said, "...The legal alternative in most areas is to take the boat more than 3 miles off-shore and pump the sewage overboard. However, there are places designated as no-discharge areas where this is not permitted..."

First it's important to understand that "3 miles offshore" does NOT mean just 3 miles from shore in a bay, lake or river, it means open ocean at least 3 miles from the nearest point on the whole US coastline or any coastal islands. There are no "no discharge" waters OUTside the 3 mile limit. And while not all waters INSIDE the 3 mile limit are "no discharge" (holding tank only, no treatment devices), it IS illegal to flush a toilet directly overboard or dump a tank in all inland waters and also in any coastal waters...ya gotta be in open ocean at least 3 miles from the nearest point of land or island.

Capt Lulz...exactly what prompted you to start this discussion? Might be more useful to give you only the answers you need now and then help you sort out the rest over time.
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Old 20-07-2011, 16:56   #7
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Re: Sewage Management?

Thanks for all your replies.

I am planning to stay at a marina at a river, so the 3-mile thing isn't an option is this case.
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Old 20-07-2011, 17:03   #8
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Re: Sewage Management?

Quote:
Originally Posted by peghall View Post
Capt Lulz...exactly what prompted you to start this discussion? Might be more useful to give you only the answers you need now and then help you sort out the rest over time.
I was just thinking about it. When things in my mind don't have an answer, it annoys me because I try to fit a complete model in my head before executing a plan so that I don't run into necessary and costly problems.
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Old 20-07-2011, 17:06   #9
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Re: Sewage Management?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. lulz View Post
I was just thinking about it. When things in my mind don't have an answer, it annoys me because I try to fit a complete model in my head before executing a plan so that I don't run into necessary and costly problems.

If it involves a boat, it is gonna happen anyway.
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Old 20-07-2011, 17:10   #10
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Talking Re: Sewage Management?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Therapy View Post
If it involves a boat, it is gonna happen anyway.
Reducing problems is better than not doing so.
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Old 20-07-2011, 17:15   #11
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Re: Sewage Management?

Where specifically is the river...and where on it is the marina? And do you know yet what THEIR rules are? 'Cuz marinas are private property...they can make their own rules, provided they don't violate federal law.
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Old 20-07-2011, 17:18   #12
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Re: Sewage Management?

"I was wondering:
  • how the sewage systems works on a boat
  • how to dispose of it"
Why do you need to dispose of your sewage system?

Michael
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Old 20-07-2011, 17:20   #13
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Re: Sewage Management?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. lulz View Post
Reducing problems is better than not doing so.

Yes, of course. Sorry.

The reference to Peggy's book is good advice.

And it will lead you to others in the other various subjects like electric, diesel, refrigeration, sailing, rigging, battery management, navigation, etc, etc, etc, ad infinitum.

Some boats you buy () have them on board.

Welcome aboard B.O.A.T. owner.......even if only looking.
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Old 20-07-2011, 17:58   #14
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Re: Sewage Management?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svcambria View Post
"I was wondering:
  • how the sewage systems works on a boat
  • how to dispose of it"
Why do you need to dispose of your sewage system?

Michael
Obviously because I don't need a sewage system...
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Old 20-07-2011, 18:03   #15
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Re: Sewage Management?

The short answer, regarding how sewage systems work on our boats, is that they often work poorly.

I used to belong to a yacht club where the old salts and liveaboards would gather every afternoon at quitting time for beers and conversation. It was incredible, but a day rarely went by when the conversation didn't turn to heads at some point. It seemed that on any given day someone within our group had just replaced a joker valve, or rebuilt a pump, or.....
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