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Old 11-07-2021, 06:39   #1
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% legal holding tank dumping?

I live near the ICW, St Pete FL. On any given weekend, there are thousands of boats on the waterway, many with a half dozen or more people aboard. Yet the pump out stations are usually wide open. Few venture out an inlet past the 3 nm limit for legal dumping. I doubt many have LectraSan MSDs aboard.

No way to know for sure, but anyone have a guess of percentage of holding tank dumps that are not legal? If pressed, I'd guess 25% or more.

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Old 11-07-2021, 06:57   #2
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Re: % legal holding tank dumping?

In the eastern Caribbean there are almost zero pump-outs. The existing pump outs are very expensive. One in the BVI in 2016 warned $70 US to pump our 20 gallon tank. Boats hang at anchor for weeks, especially in COVID with limited opportunity to transit, months on the hook. Most places have stated offshore pumping requirements but never enforced, even in Bonaire. If they are serious, they should charge a reasonable fee, operate a pump out boat. It is ludicrous to expect 1000 boats in Le Marin to go 5 miles out when one boat alone could handle it.

Many US east coast venues operate a poop boat. This is way better than docking to pump.
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Old 11-07-2021, 07:29   #3
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Re: % legal holding tank dumping?

Can't really say. I know in the Great Lakes I never knew of anyone NOT getting legally pumped out, but I'm sure it does happen. At my previous home marina in NL I doubt if anyone went the legal 3-mile distance. And there were ZERO pump out facilities.

At least most had the decency to sail/motor out into the big bay, but there was one large motor cruiser that was in constant use at the dock. Once a week they'd fire up the big engines, and motor their way just outside the marina entrance. They'd do a few spins around, then back in. Took me a little while to figure out what their weekly tiny excursions were all about.

I agree with Nicholson58; if you don't make it easy, and fairly cheap, people will dump their crap elsewhere. It's why I never use our sea water pump when in confined places where many other boats are docked or anchored. You just know what's going over the side.
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Old 11-07-2021, 07:39   #4
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Re: % legal holding tank dumping?

I’d be willing to bet that most of those aren’t dumping. They’re weekend boats, used a few hours on Saturday and then tied to the dock and left or lifted into the rack. At some point during the week marina staff or other pump out service sucks them dry.

There’s still going to be a small percentage that’s dumping though.
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Old 11-07-2021, 07:41   #5
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Re: % legal holding tank dumping?

Well, there really shouldn't be a problem. There is a Federal Clean Vessel, clean oceans program administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It offers grants to States, to in turn, offer grants to marinas and anyone wanting to establish marina based or mobile pump out services.

In 2020 Florida received $1.5 million and $800,000 from the program for coastal and inland pumpout equipment grants respectively. Florida added $500,000 and $300,000 in matching grant money for coastal and inland grants respectively. Florida gave out a combined total of $3 million for pumpout equipment grants for both coastal and inland pumpout facilities.

In Maryland, where I sail, marinas or mobile pumpout boat operators can receive up to $15,000 reimbursement for equipment and fees to establish pump out stations. The program limits them to charging no more than $15 per pump out.

Maryland and Florida both have hefty fines for anyone caught doing direct discharge. It is much cheaper and easier to have it done at the pumpout station. Most people do it when they fuel up.

If you see boats that you suspect are doing direct discharge, have the Florida FWC people check on them. I have heard that they are quite diligent about enforcement.
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Old 11-07-2021, 08:06   #6
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Re: % legal holding tank dumping?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
At my previous home marina in NL I doubt if anyone went the legal 3-mile distance. And there were ZERO pump out facilities.

At least most had the decency to sail/motor out into the big bay, but there was one large motor cruiser that was in constant use at the dock. Once a week they'd fire up the big engines, and motor their way just outside the marina entrance. They'd do a few spins around, then back in. Took me a little while to figure out what their weekly tiny excursions were all about.
in Croatia but also in all countries signed Marpol convention. empty black tank 12 nm from shore all pleasure and commercial ship, ship with waste reverse osmosis factory installed 3 nm from shore. penality fine 1300$ 11000$ and extra skipper/captain 300-900$
i empty in open sea nobody around me 1nm and no helicopter in air couple nm, preferred time night. but my tank is small 70 liter and 20 liter poop.
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Old 11-07-2021, 08:29   #7
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Re: % legal holding tank dumping?

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Originally Posted by Midwesterner View Post
Well, there really shouldn't be a problem. There is a Federal Clean Vessel, clean oceans program administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It offers grants to States, to in turn, offer grants to marinas and anyone wanting to establish marina based or mobile pump out services.

In 2020 Florida received $1.5 million and $800,000 from the program for coastal and inland pumpout equipment grants respectively. Florida added $500,000 and $300,000 in matching grant money for coastal and inland grants respectively. Florida gave out a combined total of $3 million for pumpout equipment grants for both coastal and inland pumpout facilities.

In Maryland, where I sail, marinas or mobile pumpout boat operators can receive up to $15,000 reimbursement for equipment and fees to establish pump out stations. The program limits them to charging no more than $15 per pump out.

Maryland and Florida both have hefty fines for anyone caught doing direct discharge. It is much cheaper and easier to have it done at the pumpout station. Most people do it when they fuel up.

If you see boats that you suspect are doing direct discharge, have the Florida FWC people check on them. I have heard that they are quite diligent about enforcement.
While I think these programs are great, they appear to have one massive problem. They provide a big incentive to install these systems but no or very little incentive to maintain them. So here in MD we have tons of inoperative pump out stations that will never get fixed because the marina owner was only paid to install it and when it breaks they don't have sufficient reason to fix them. Which is not only bad for the Chesapeake but a huge waste of all those big initial fixed costs we as taxpayers fronted. I'm not sure why but it seems impossible to get anyone to care about this, even in the environmental lobby and among those who pushed installing them in the first place.
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Old 11-07-2021, 08:29   #8
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Re: % legal holding tank dumping?

In Monroe County Florida they have an ordinance that all boats on anchor or moorings for an extended period of time, must show a receipt showing that they have been pumped out in the last 30 days.

There are operators in the area that have received the state and federal grant money and operate mobile pump out boats.

If Pinellas County does not have a similar ordinance, you may want to get involved in your local county government and push for such one.

As a person who sails on the Chesapeake, and has done two charters, and gone swimming in the Florida Keys, I appreciate these laws, and effective use of my tax dollars. I like how socialism is practiced in this country.
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Old 11-07-2021, 08:39   #9
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Re: % legal holding tank dumping?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Can't really say. I know in the Great Lakes I never knew of anyone NOT getting legally pumped out, but I'm sure it does happen. At my previous home marina in NL I doubt if anyone went the legal 3-mile distance. And there were ZERO pump out facilities.

At least most had the decency to sail/motor out into the big bay, but there was one large motor cruiser that was in constant use at the dock. Once a week they'd fire up the big engines, and motor their way just outside the marina entrance. They'd do a few spins around, then back in. Took me a little while to figure out what their weekly tiny excursions were all about.

I agree with Nicholson58; if you don't make it easy, and fairly cheap, people will dump their crap elsewhere. It's why I never use our sea water pump when in confined places where many other boats are docked or anchored. You just know what's going over the side.
Great lakes and saltwater are two very different mediums...
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Old 11-07-2021, 08:40   #10
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Re: % legal holding tank dumping?

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While I think these programs are great, they appear to have one massive problem. They provide a big incentive to install these systems but no or very little incentive to maintain them. So here in MD we have tons of inoperative pump out stations that will never get fixed because the marina owner was only paid to install it and when it breaks they don't have sufficient reason to fix them. Which is not only bad for the Chesapeake but a huge waste of all those big initial fixed costs we as taxpayers fronted. I'm not sure why but it seems impossible to get anyone to care about this, even in the environmental lobby and among those who pushed installing them in the first place.
Well Rob your government has heard you, and your government has responded. It turns out that the state of Maryland has issued grants this year for service and maintenance of pump-out stations.


https://news.maryland.gov/dnr/2021/03/18/pumpout-operations-and-maintenance-grant-program-now-open/

I've not encountered any inoperable pumpout stations. The one near me on the South River is in operation, as is one I have used on the Rhode River. There was also a mobile pump-out boat going around the anchorage in Saint Michael 6 weeks ago.

I only travel there to my boat, but I have been pretty impressed with Maryland's attempts to keep the Chesapeake Bay clean. However, the Washington Post has recently reported on how the Maryland EPA needs to turn up the heat on small communities to upgrade their sewage treatment plants.
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Old 11-07-2021, 08:44   #11
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Re: % legal holding tank dumping?

FYI:

The no discharge rules for sewage within Florida's waters applies within 3 nautical miles on the Atlantic coast and 9 nautical miles on the gulf coast.
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Old 11-07-2021, 08:51   #12
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Re: % legal holding tank dumping?

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Can't really say. I know in the Great Lakes I never knew of anyone NOT getting legally pumped out, but I'm sure it does happen. At my previous home marina in NL I doubt if anyone went the legal 3-mile distance. And there were ZERO pump out facilities......

......I agree with Nicholson58; if you don't make it easy, and fairly cheap, people will dump their crap elsewhere. It's why I never use our sea water pump when in confined places where many other boats are docked or anchored. You just know what's going over the side.
Michigan and Ohio are two states that subscribe to the US Clean Vessel pumpout grant program. Sadly, it appears that, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, do not.

My state of Missouri also does not. Now that I am more aware of the program, I am going to do some research as to why my state does not, and if it is a problem. We have marinas on the Mississippi River, and on our big recreational lakes in the Ozarks.

The program stimulates small business, in that anybody interested in starting a mobile pump out service, can get the grant money for the equipment and maintenance
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Old 11-07-2021, 08:51   #13
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Re: % legal holding tank dumping?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwesterner View Post
In Monroe County Florida they have an ordinance that all boats on anchor or moorings for an extended period of time, must show a receipt showing that they have been pumped out in the last 30 days.

There are operators in the area that have received the state and federal grant money and operate mobile pump out boats.

If Pinellas County does not have a similar ordinance, you may want to get involved in your local county government and push for such one.

As a person who sails on the Chesapeake, and has done two charters, and gone swimming in the Florida Keys, I appreciate these laws, and effective use of my tax dollars. I like how socialism is practiced in this country.


Difference is that the keys are a federal no discharge zone. Which sort of screws people like me who’ve got a treatment system. I installed it after being pillaged for pump outs. Small boat, small holding tank means I was paying at times up to $5 per gallon to pump out waste at a subsidized pump.
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Old 11-07-2021, 08:55   #14
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Thumbs up Re: % legal holding tank dumping?

Happy to say Vancouver sponsors a pumpout boat the serves False Creek. It is owned and operated by two neat guys that run Skoom Yacht services. I believe there is no charge for this service. False creek is looking pretty good these days and has a very healthy Herring spawning environment.
Good on you Vancouver!
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Old 11-07-2021, 09:03   #15
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Re: % legal holding tank dumping?

Massachusetts doesn’t charge for pump outs, so no excuse not to comply.
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