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Old 15-09-2010, 13:27   #1
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Pump-Outs in the Bahamas

I was doing some more planning and found only two marinas south of Nassau that do pumpouts. I know it's illegal to pump overboard in Bahamian waters, so how does everybody handle this? With only a 35 gallon tank I figure I'm good for about a week max before the tank would 'overpressure'.

I'm also thinking that cruisers go out beyond the twelve mile limit and dump ... or am I wrong?
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Old 15-09-2010, 13:55   #2
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If it's illegal to pump out in Bahamian waters I've never heard it! When did that come in? Last year they started a pump out boat in Georgetown but it's schedule was not too reliable.
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Old 15-09-2010, 13:58   #3
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don't know where you heard that but it aint so. i would guess that 99.9% of the boats in the bahamas are pumping overboard - even the ones in marinas.
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Old 15-09-2010, 14:02   #4
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Pump outs in the Bahamas? Yeah, right. The only one I ever saw was in Port Lucaya and I was told it hadn't worked in 2 years. I personally don't pump out unless I'm more than 3 miles from shore or in deep water. For instance I only go about a mile out into the tongue of the ocean or exuma sound. Many if not most people just pump directly overboard as far as I know. That's why I never swim in the Georgetown anchorages. I have never heard of sewage dumping restrictions in the Bahamas. Has something changed since last year?
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Old 15-09-2010, 14:27   #5
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On top of that, Who goes out twelve miles to dump?!
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Old 15-09-2010, 14:41   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
don't know where you heard that but it aint so. i would guess that 99.9% of the boats in the bahamas are pumping overboard - even the ones in marinas.
This is what is attached to the Cape Eleuthera Resort & Yacht Club services notice on Active Captain:

Quote:
Pumpout:Yes - Services available at a cost of $20 at the fuel dock. Reminder it is illegal to dump in The Bahamian waters.Waste oil may be deposited at the fuel dock, in sealed containers only, at $1 per gallon.
I therefore thought that the Bahamian government had similar laws relating to overboard pumping of sewage ....
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Old 15-09-2010, 14:49   #7
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Originally Posted by UWOA View Post
I was doing some more planning and found only two marinas south of Nassau that do pumpouts. I know it's illegal to pump overboard in Bahamian waters, so how does everybody handle this? With only a 35 gallon tank I figure I'm good for about a week max before the tank would 'overpressure'.

I'm also thinking that cruisers go out beyond the twelve mile limit and dump ... or am I wrong?
On my last boat I used a Lectra San sewage treatment system and felt good about not "spoiling paradise." Now US/states have legislated numerous "no discharge zones" which make onboard treatment/discharge illegal. Overboard direct discharge was always illegal so the "no discharge zones" should really be called "no onboard treatment" zones. On my current boat, I followed the US code and installed a holding tank. Now I must discharge in paradise like all the other boats. It's really sad that shortsighted US rules spread pollution to other countries. On-board treatment provides cleaner effluent than most municipal sewage plants, but alas we have chosen to discourage it.
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Old 15-09-2010, 16:09   #8
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Go for a sail ... the generally accepted rule is 3 miles out before pumping out ... if all you put down your head has passed through your digestive systems then no harm done ... in fact marine micro-organisms thrive on it ... however, many people insist on putting a whole swathe of chemicals down the head & that really harms those poor little marine micro-organisms ...
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Old 15-09-2010, 18:14   #9
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a few years back, cruisers in georgetown harbor had a discussion about pumping holding tanks overboard. it went on and on over the net until someone figured out how much water was in the harbor, what the tidal flow rate was, etc. and determined that if every boat in the harbor (about 400 at the time) flushed at the same time it would be like flushing with 2.1 million gallons per flush. man, did that stop the talk!!

i can see a pump out in a "hole" where there's not much flow and lots of boats crowded around each other, but otherwise i say "let 'er rip"...
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Old 16-09-2010, 04:37   #10
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Emerald bay does not allow dumping in the marina and they do have pump out.

Georgetown (actually Stocking Island) hole #3 is supposed to be no dumping and there has been a grant for $$ to start pumping out in Elizabeth Harbor but it is slow getting going.

There may be some other upscale marinas that have pump out but it is a RARE thing.

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Old 16-09-2010, 15:45   #11
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[QUOTE=svtadpole;522126]Go for a sail ... the generally accepted rule is 3 miles out before pumping out ... QUOTE]

I think that's the accepted rule in the U.S. because, well, it is the rule of law. If anyone in the Bahamas goes 3 miles out just to dump their tanks, they are not dong what is generally accepted. What they are doing is exceptionally rare.
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Old 16-09-2010, 16:10   #12
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I was sailing in St. Martin a few years ago and recall some university has just conducted a study where they dumped several gallons of waste about a mile out in the ocean and then took water samples at ranges of 20 to 80 feet from the dumping immediately afterwards. There wasn't even a trace of fecal matter detected. The ocean critters globled up the stuff almost immediately. I recall that ended the debate about waste restrictions.
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Old 16-09-2010, 16:29   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defever View Post
a few years back, cruisers in georgetown harbor had a discussion about pumping holding tanks overboard. it went on and on over the net until someone figured out how much water was in the harbor, what the tidal flow rate was, etc. and determined that if every boat in the harbor (about 400 at the time) flushed at the same time it would be like flushing with 2.1 million gallons per flush. man, did that stop the talk!!
Reasons #6022 and 6023 to avoid Georgetown...

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Old 16-09-2010, 17:54   #14
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Reasons #6022 and 6023 to avoid Georgetown...

Mark
+1

On another note, I just dug out my Bahamas cruising permit from my last cruise. It noted several fishing restrictions but nothing about sewage discharge.
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