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Old 18-12-2008, 08:20   #1
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Direct Discharge Head

As many of you know we are planning our trip to the US and Caribbean soon. My vessel does not have a holding tank. I have done some basic search's and not finding out alot wheather or not I can cruise with this type of Head.

Do I need a Holding tank in the USA (Saltwater)?

Do I need a Holding tank in the Bahamas or Caribbean?

Thanks for your feedback,

Todd
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Old 18-12-2008, 08:32   #2
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Poop in the water

Regardless of what the regulations may be, and in consideration of all the environmental pressures on the worlds oceans and water ways, the more important question should be "Is the discharge of my waste overboard morally the correct thing to do?"
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Old 18-12-2008, 08:46   #3
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You might get some answers here...No Discharge Zones
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Old 18-12-2008, 08:52   #4
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Thanks Bob, appreciate the help.

I morally dont have a problem with Human waist being discharged from my head. Of course as a responsible human I do not discharge anything I haven't eatin first. I do recycle any item I can wheather it is pop bottles or compost. I have a strick rule one the boat, if anyone see's garbage floating they get the boat hook and pick it up.

We all have to do our part to keep mother earth clean. I however dont feel that human biodegradable waist is a big issue. Of course not using a holding tank does require polite mannor's when at anchor with other boater, swimmers, etc.

Nothing worse then rowing by or swimming by another boat when they flush the head.
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Old 18-12-2008, 09:02   #5
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In the US, it is illegal to discharge raw sewage close inshore. There is no law that says you must have a holding tank. You just cannot use your head if you have no way of treating or containing your sewage. Other countries have the same or similar laws as well. If you want the flexibility of being legal when visiting other countries AND have a head on board that you can use, then its an excellent idea to have a way of treating or containing your sewage on board.

Besides its a disgusting, selfish and disrespectful thing to dump poop in the same water that other people use for boating or swimming.
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Old 18-12-2008, 09:08   #6
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In the US, it is illegal to discharge raw sewage close inshore. There is no law that says you must have a holding tank. You just cannot use your head if you have no way of treating or containing your sewage.

Besides its a disgusting, selfish and disrespectful thing to dump poop in the same water that other people use for boating or swimming.
I'll add that while you may not be required to have a holding tank I believe you are required to have any direct discharge valve secured in the closed position. (Wired shut, locked, etc.) I'm fairly certain you can cited by the coast guard if this valve is not secured, even if there is no evidence of illegal discharge.
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Old 18-12-2008, 09:09   #7
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Regardless of what the regulations may be, and in consideration of all the environmental pressures on the worlds oceans and water ways, the more important question should be "Is the discharge of my waste overboard morally the correct thing to do?"

I agree completely with this statement. Be aware that if you don't have a holding tank in the US and you have a head you are not be legal and will find yourself in for some serious fines whether you are using the head or not. No authority is going to believe you have a head on board and are not using it and the bucket on deck is not going to work either. You have to dump the bucket somewhere. There are many areas in the US where direct discharge of even treated sewage is illegal. So avoid all of the hassles and install a holding tank even if it is a small one due to space restraints. It is easy and not that expensive.
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Old 18-12-2008, 09:09   #8
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Waverider - you need to install proper equipment before setting out.

Can untreated sewage be discharged from vessels (with installed toilets) into rivers, lakes, estuaries, or coastal waters?
  • No, unless the boat is more than 3 miles from shore in coastal waters. Vessels with installed toilets may not discharge treated or untreated sewage into freshwater lakes, freshwater reservoirs, or other freshwater impoundments whose entrance point(s) and exit point(s) are too shallow to allow these vessels to enter or leave. These waters are no-discharge zones for vessel sewage under 40 CFR 140.3(a)(1). That prohibition also includes freshwater lakes bordering two or more states whose entrance point(s) and exit point(s) are too shallow to allow vessels subject to these regulations to enter or leave. Rivers that do not support interstate traffic by vessels subject to this regulation are no-discharge zones under 40 CFR 140.3(a)(1). In contrast, under 40 CFR 140.3(a)(2) the waters where a Coast Guard approved marine sanitation device permitting discharge of sewage is allowed (unless the waters have been designated as a no-discharge zone for vessel sewage) include: coastal waters and estuaries, the Great Lakes and their inter-connected waterways, fresh-water lakes and impoundments accessible through locks or other secondary waterways, and other flowing waters that are navigable interstate by vessels.

    The penalties a quite severe if you are caught without the proper MSD in place on your vessel. You need a holding tank for your waste - simple as that.
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Old 18-12-2008, 09:14   #9
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Thanks Bob, appreciate the help.

I morally dont have a problem with Human waist being discharged from my head. ... I however dont feel that human biodegradable waist is a big issue.
.
I can't speak to the issues in your previous cruising areas regarding this. However if you will be spending time in U.S. waters you need to realize human waste discharge has been a big issue in many areas and has caused many problems.
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Old 18-12-2008, 09:16   #10
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"Is the discharge of my waste overboard morally the correct thing to do?"
YES!!! Many countries do NOT want holding tanks used as it produces a large glob of polution (and toilet cleaning products) in one place when pumped out instead of a slow trickle... (no jokes please )

There are few, if any, pump out facilities except in main cities and ports of the deluded countires.
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Old 18-12-2008, 09:20   #11
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YES!!! Many countries do NOT want holding tanks used as it produces a large glob of polution (and toilet cleaning products) in one place when pumped out instead of a slow trickle... (no jokes please )

There are few, if any, pump out facilities except in main cities and ports of the deluded countires.
Mark, Can you tell us which countries don't want or have regulations against having holding tanks? In the US it does not matter whether pump out facilities are available. You must have a holding tank.
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Old 18-12-2008, 09:26   #12
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3 miles out to sea it is legal to discharge the holding tank, or directly over. A valve will allow you to discharge, or retain the waste. A pump will allow you to dischare the tank after crossing the three miles. We have a direct over the side head, and a head with a tank, and yes the direct over needs a way to secure the valve to make the potty patrol happy. Our marina gets frequent visits by the P.P., but I have never been asked while cruising.....i2f
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Old 18-12-2008, 09:29   #13
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Ok I am off to buy a holding tank......lol. Wow I didn't think this would spark such a conversation. It is alway better to be safe the sorry, my boat is equiped to take a holding tank so its an easy fix.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 18-12-2008, 09:30   #14
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I agree completely with this statement. Be aware that if you don't have a holding tank in the US and you have a head you are not be legal and will find yourself in for some serious fines whether you are using the head or not. No authority is going to believe you have a head on board and are not using it and the bucket on deck is not going to work either. You have to dump the bucket somewhere. There are many areas in the US where direct discharge of even treated sewage is illegal. So avoid all of the hassles and install a holding tank even if it is a small one due to space restraints. It is easy and not that expensive.
In US waters close inshore:
Its legal to have a head whose discharge valve is locked closed. Its also legal to have a treatment system and not have a holding tank. Its also legal to have a bypass valve that dumps directly overboard, but it better be closed and locked.

If you have a head with an open valve that dumps directly overboard, then you are in violation.

When cruising overseas, no authority is going to believe you when you don't have a holding tank or a treatment system but that's okay because you never have to go to the bathroom anyways.
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Old 18-12-2008, 09:32   #15
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There are also black waste bags that can be put in place. Problem with them are rubbing a hole through the bladder.....STINKY MESS!...i2f
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