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Old 09-03-2013, 07:19   #1
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Illegally Discharging Waste in FL

I just returned from a live aboard sailing school where the common practice was the direct discharge of waste into the water. For a week, whether at anchorage or at a marina, our waste never hit the holding tank. I thought this was just our instructor going rogue and doing what he wanted since he had a "get out of jail free card", as he would say. (He was a reserve Coastie). Then I learned that another boat from the same school was doing the same thing. Between the two boats, all 7 students were pretty shocked at the blatant law breaking, and I have to wonder how common is this?

My holding tank is currently full and smelly - am I the only one following the law?

Why would an accredited sailing school so blatantly thumb their nose at the law? I read a review of the school and another former student reported the exact same practice, so it's clearly not an isolated incident.
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:26   #2
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Re: Illegally Discharging Waste in FL

People suck, give the real Coast Guard or Florida Fish and Wildlife a call
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:26   #3
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Re: Illegally Discharging Waste in FL

I don't know about Cocoa Beach, but I wouldn't want to get caught doing that (or even having my toilet set up to be able to do that) in the Keys.
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:29   #4
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Re: Illegally Discharging Waste in FL

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People suck, give the real Coast Guard or Florida Fish and Wildlife a call
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:55   #5
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Re: Illegally Discharging Waste in FL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonpie View Post
I just returned from a live aboard sailing school where the common practice was the direct discharge of waste into the water. For a week, whether at anchorage or at a marina, our waste never hit the holding tank. I thought this was just our instructor going rogue and doing what he wanted since he had a "get out of jail free card", as he would say. (He was a reserve Coastie). Then I learned that another boat from the same school was doing the same thing. Between the two boats, all 7 students were pretty shocked at the blatant law breaking, and I have to wonder how common is this?

My holding tank is currently full and smelly - am I the only one following the law?

Why would an accredited sailing school so blatantly thumb their nose at the law? I read a review of the school and another former student reported the exact same practice, so it's clearly not an isolated incident.
If you use premium hose and install the system properly you will not have odors.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:13   #6
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Re: Illegally Discharging Waste in FL

Ha! One time when I was hauled out apparently the boat next to me dumped their holding tank on the ground below my boat. I had to work on the boat for weeks in that stench.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:28   #7
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Re: Illegally Discharging Waste in FL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonpie View Post
I just returned from a live aboard sailing school where the common practice was the direct discharge of waste into the water. For a week, whether at anchorage or at a marina, our waste never hit the holding tank. I thought this was just our instructor going rogue and doing what he wanted since he had a "get out of jail free card", as he would say. (He was a reserve Coastie). Then I learned that another boat from the same school was doing the same thing. Between the two boats, all 7 students were pretty shocked at the blatant law breaking, and I have to wonder how common is this?

My holding tank is currently full and smelly - am I the only one following the law?

Why would an accredited sailing school so blatantly thumb their nose at the law? I read a review of the school and another former student reported the exact same practice, so it's clearly not an isolated incident.
If that is the case, and you are certain and you were in a No Discharge Zone ("NDZ"), you should report the event to the Coast Guard and/or the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. In other non-NDZ areas, one can discharge waste but as a matter of principal and common courtesy should not do so in inshore waters. Inshore we always use our holding tank. Off shore, we use our forward head which is fitted with an Electrosan Waste Treatment device.

FWIW...
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:26   #8
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Re: Illegally Discharging Waste in FL

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
If that is the case, and you are certain and you were in a No Discharge Zone ("NDZ"), you should report the event to the Coast Guard and/or the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. In other non-NDZ areas, one can discharge waste but as a matter of principal and common courtesy should not do so in inshore waters. Inshore we always use our holding tank. Off shore, we use our forward head which is fitted with an Electrosan Waste Treatment device.

FWIW...

I hope you just typed this wrong!

If you have an Electroscan you can discharge within 3 miles IF it isn't a NDZ. If you don't have an electroscan you can NEVER discharge within 3 miles. If in a NDZ you can never discharge.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:15   #9
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Re: Illegally Discharging Waste in FL

The problem in the Keys and elsewhere in Florida is the lack of ample access to pumpout stations. If you are cruising from Marco to the western keys,(uninhabited) on the Gulf of Mexico, you have only a couple safe entries into Marathon and Key West and a lot of miles in between. If you sail to the Marquesas or Ft. Jefferson, you're a long way from any marina. It is difficult to cruise leisurely on a 35 foot boat or less when you have to pump out every few days. When the government makes regulations to insure no discharge, they should also make it readily available for those on the water to have numerous options for waste disposal. If you want the honest truth, most full time cruisers we met did not use their holding tanks unless they were at a marina or in an anchorage like Miami, Boot Key and Key West that had the service readily available. And, it doesn't make it right, it's just the reality for cruisers who do not return to a marina at the end of the day.
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:15   #10
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Re: Illegally Discharging Waste in FL

There is no excuse, go three miles offshore and pump it out. Our head goes into the holding tank and that needs to be pumped out either at a pump out station or overboard by hand. No way for an unintentional discharge.
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:20   #11
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Re: Illegally Discharging Waste in FL

Monroe County will pump you out for free! NO EXCUSE!Just call them and the come. pumpoutusaflkets.com
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:24   #12
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Re: Illegally Discharging Waste in FL

How hard is it to make a long tack, get on the intercom and announce "Bombadier, we are outside the three mile limit. Stand by to open the bomb bay doors."
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:46   #13
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Re: Illegally Discharging Waste in FL

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Originally Posted by Don L View Post
I hope you just typed this wrong!

If you have an Electroscan you can discharge within 3 miles IF it isn't a NDZ. If you don't have an electroscan you can NEVER discharge within 3 miles. If in a NDZ you can never discharge.
My earlier statement was evidently unclear. The following is summary of the Law from the Coast Guard's web site:

Quote:
Federal law prohibits the discharge of untreated sewage from vessels within navigable waters of the United States, which include territorial seas within three miles of shore and most bays and estuaries. Boats with Type I and II marine sanitation devices (MSD's) may discharge treated effluent in coastal waters unless they are in a no discharge area.
The Raritan Electro/San is a CG Approved Type I MSD that treats waste well in excess of minimum Clean Water Act requirements without chemicals or other deleterious materials as affirmed by several CG inspections without citations. They are not, however, usable within a No Discharge Zone. As a practical matter we rely on our aft-head and holding tank whenever we are within the 3 mile limit for the most part.

FWIW...
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:58   #14
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Re: Illegally Discharging Waste in FL

A friend from Montana got just a USD 1500 fine because of not having a holding tank. Although, in Texas I was also suggested to discharge the black waters into the Marina. Finally couldnīt do different, since there is no place to hire a truck opr something to empty. People tell, that the discharges from the houses run partially still into the waters, so whatfore the law not to discharge.
I donīt liked it either, but there is no other way to do. It seems to be kind of an American problem....
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Old 11-03-2013, 14:09   #15
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Re: Illegally Discharging Waste in FL

As for this violation, I'm shocked and sad that this behavior is taught at a sailing school. Related topic: it may help with the stink question that a guy has invented a dispenser that works per flush rather than dosing the holding tank periodically. It's supposed to be safe for pump-out stations. He's marketing now mostly to RV's but the unit will fit many marine heads. Look into Blue Streak. No endorsement implied.
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