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Old 09-01-2007, 18:53   #1
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Location: Missouri
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No Discharge Zones

Hi All,
I am considering the purchase of a Raritan Electro San MSD.
I wrote the following to Raritan Customer Service
DO you have a listing/chart of current No Discharge Zones. It is really hard to track done where I can and Cannot discharge my Lectra/San. If you have a link to a web site that will work.

They responded quickly with the following.

08 January 2007 -- John Dalton
Here is the link to the EPA listing, by state, of current No Dis-charge Zones for marine sewage:
Thanks for contacting Raritan, and Happy Boating 2007 !!!
Best Regards, Raritan Engineering Company, Inc.
Celebrating 48(+) years of Quality, Service, and Reliability
G. Victor Willman, Senior Technical Advisor
I wrote back with
I keep hearing about other NDZ area’s that are not listed in the EPA site???
They responded as follows:
09 January 2006
There's a lot of bad information out there. Those are the only
officially listed areas. That being said, there are a number of
areas that are, by definition, NDZ's and are not included on the
list, such as: The Great Lakes, any lake area that is not navi-
gable all the way out to the ocean or Gulf, etc. In addition, in any
marina, the "Dockmaster is King." If he says no treatment systems
in his marina, holding tanks only - then so be it. But as a general
rule, when in doubt, go by the EPA listing and you should be alright.
Worst case scenario, if it's an area in doubt, and you think you're
OK there, they likely won't cite you the first time, but will usually
issue a warning instead.
Attached is a document put out by the Coast Guard, that most
of their own inspecting officers aren't even aware of. It explains
in a little more detail, what the actual requirements are. It is
dated 1994, so bits and pieces of it may not be current (partic-
ularly the listing of states that have NDZ's), but the overall infor-
mation is correct; the laws haven't changed since then.
Best Regards, Raritan Engineering Company, Inc.
Celebrating 48(+) years of Quality, Service, and Reliability
G. Victor Willman, Senior Technical Advisor

Here is the attached document. If anybody wants the MSWord document send me a PM and I will mail it to you.
U.S. Department of Transportation, United States Coast Guard

Consumer Fact sheet #13

One of a series of fact sheets published by:
U.S. Coast Guard office of Navigation Safety and Waterway Services
Washington, DC 20593-0001


Recreational boats are not required to be equipped with a toilet. However, the Clean Water Act requires that if a toilet is installed, it must be equipped with an operable Marine Sanitation Device (MSD) that is certified by the Coast Guard. Installed toilets that are not equipped with an MSD, and that discharge raw sewage directly over the side, are illegal. Portable toilets or "porta-potties" are not considered installed toilets and are not subject to the MSD regulations. But they are subject to disposal regulations which prohibit the disposal of raw sewage within territorial waters (3 mile limit), the Great Lakes, or navigable rivers


Vessels 65 feet In length and under may install a Type I, II, or III Marine Sanitation Device. Vessels over 65 feet in length must install a Type II or III MSD.


TYPE I This device is certified to treat the sewage with disinfectant chemicals, and by other means, before it Is discharged into the water. The treated discharge must meet certain health standards for bacteria content and must not show any visible floating solids.

TYPE II This MSD is also a treatment device, but it is certified to provide a higher level of sewage treatment. Because it is larger in size than a Type 1, and generally has higher power requirements, it Is usually installed only in larger recreational boats.

TYPE III This MSD does not allow the discharge of sewage. Type III category devices include recirculating and incinerating MSDs and holding tanks. Holding tanks are probably the most common kind of Type III MSD used on recreational boats. Sewage is stored in the holding tank until it can be pumped out to a reception facility on shore, or at sea beyond the territorial waters of the United States.


Reception facilities (sometimes called pumpout stations) are not required by Coast Guard regulations. Their availability at marinas or other locations is largely a function of local boater demand. Most cruising guides and boating almanacs list the availability of pumpout stations. However, because of the growing number of No Discharge Zones (see below) and the increasing number of boaters, the Federal Government and the States are encouraging, and assisting with funding, the installation of more pumpout stations along U.S. waterways.
They are also turning their attention to a requirement for standardized MSD pumpout fittings that will make it possible for all vessels to easily use any pumpout station.

For the future -- The Clean Vessel Act of 1992 (Public Law 102- 587, Subtitle F) recommends the following: "For all vessels manufactured after December 31, 1994, a standard deck fitting for removal of sewage should be constructed to the "International standard ISO 4567 Shipbuilding - Yachts - Waste water fittings" for holding tanks, which is a female 38.1 mm (1 ="") pipe size with 11 threads per 25.4 mm (inch). These threads could utilize a quick-connect, or cam lock fitting. For existing vessels, an adapter, such as a tapered cone, should be used for non-standard deck fittings. All pumpout connectors should fit the standard deck fitting. For vessels manufactured after December 31, 1994, it has been recommended that, because of possible confusion between waste, fuel and water deck fittings, the deck fittings should be identified with the words 'WASTE', 'GAS', 'DIESEL', and 'WATER', and color coded. Fittings should be provided with black caps for waste, red caps for gas and diesel, and blue caps for water.'

In the meantime, because there are a variety of fitting sizes at various marinas, boaters should acquaint themselves with what, if any, fitting adapter they should have to enable discharge at any pumpout location.


Every manufacturer of Coast Guard certified treatment MSDs must affix a certification label on the MSD. The label will show the name of the manufacturer, the name and model number of the device, the month and year of manufacturer, the MSD type (i.e. Type 1, Type I, or Type 111), a certification number, and a certification statement. This is proof that the device has been tested to most the U.S. Coast Guard regulations for design and construction, and the Environmental Protection Agency regulations and standards as required by the Clean Water Act. Holding tanks (Type III MSDs) will not be labeled, They will be considered Coast Guard certified if they are used to store sewage and flushwater only and they operate at ambient (outside) air temperature and pressure. A holding tank must have enough reserve capacity to retain the wastes generated while the vessel is operating in waters where the discharge of raw sewage is prohibited. Isolating the overboard discharge piping from the head with a valve is not considered equivalent to providing a holding tank.


A boat can be equipped with any type of MSD permitted under the regulations. However, whenever a vessel equipped with a Type I or Type 11 MSD (these types discharge treated sewage) is operating in an area of water that has been declared a No Discharge Zone, the MSD cannot be used and must be secured to prevent discharge. No Discharge Zones are areas of water that require greater environmental protection and where even the discharge of treated sewage could be harmful. When operating in a No Discharge Zone, a Type I or Type II MSD must be secured in some way to prevent discharge. Closing the seacock and padlocking, using a non-releasable wire-tie, or removing the seacock handle would be sufficient. Locking the door to the head with a padlock or a door handle key lock is another acceptable method of securing the MSD while in a No Discharge Zone.

Generally, all freshwater lakes (and similar freshwater impoundments or reservoirs that have no navigable connections with other bodies of water), and rivers not capable of interstate vessel traffic, are by definition considered No Discharge Zones.

In addition, States may (with the specific approval of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) establish No Discharge Zones in other waters within the State. Currently, the following States have established such EPA-approved No Discharge Zones: California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico.- New York, Rhode island, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Others are planning to follow suit. Boaters should check with their State Boating Law authority for more specific information on the location and limits of No Discharge Zones. States are empowered to set and enforce further restrictions for pollution control in their own waters. You can locate your State Boating Law Administrator, by calling the toll-free Coast Guard Hotline -- 1-800-368-5647.

Note: currently listed No Discharge Zones, as named by the U.S. E.P.A. can be found at the following link:


It is illegal to discharge raw sewage from a vessel in territorial waters (within the 3 mile limit), the Great Lakes, and navigable rivers. However, a valve may be installed on any MSD to provide for the direct discharge of raw sewage when the vessel is outside U.S. territorial waters. The valve must be secured in a closed position while operating in U.S. waters. As described under NO DISCHARGE ZONES, use of a padlock, non-releasable wire-tie, or the removal of the valve handle would be considered adequate securing of the device. The method chosen must be one that presents a physical barrier to the use of the valve.

NOTE: The boundaries of U.S. territorial waters are marked on some nautical charts. Changes to the boundaries are published in Coast Guard Local Notices to Mariners.


The Clean Water Act permits a State to enforce regulations regarding the design, manufacture, installation, and use of MSDs on Houseboats, even if such a regulation is more stringent than Federal standards. "Houseboat" is defined as a vessel which, for a period of time determined by the State in which the vessel is located, is used primarily as a residence and not primarily as a means of transportation. If you own or operate a boat that fits this definition, check with the State Boating Law Administrator for any special MSD requirements the State may have.


The Coast Guard is interested in all complaints about faulty MSDs. Such complaints should be addressed to: Commandant (G-MVI-3) U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters Washington, DC 20593-0001

Complaints should be specific In nature, describe in detail the problem encountered, and should also include the name of the device manufacturer, the certification number, the type of vessel the MSD is installed on, when it was installed, and what the maintenance schedule is for the MSD.


If you observe any boat not complying with these regulations regarding water pollution, report it to the nearest Coast Guard Marine Safety - Of f ice (MSO). To locate the MSO near you, call the toll free Coast Guard Hotline -- 1-800-368 5647.

Or you may report it to the National Response Center 1-800-424-8802 (In Washington, DC area call (202) 267-2675. )

FACT SHEET # 13 January 1994 Coast Guard Consumer Fact Sheets are not copyrighted, They way be reproduced in whole or in part without permission.
S/V Setting Sun
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Old 09-01-2007, 20:29   #2
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Very useful information, thanks.

I sure as heck did not know I could just lock the door to the head if I see a Coast Guard boat approaching, and that would satisfy the requirement of no discharge within 3 NM.

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Old 09-01-2007, 21:05   #3
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The part of the Australian law that $hit'$ me, [pun intended] is not being able to discharge within 1nm of rock's and reef.

This includes stuff on the ocean floor, so according to the law that would leave a lot of QLD out, and a $65000 fine thank you very much.

More on our silly laws here Marine Sewerage laws in Queensland

Thank's to Bob at TCP.

"Money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you a yacht large enough to pull up right alongside it"...............David Lee Roth
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Old 10-01-2007, 01:51   #4
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Thanks for the very informative post!
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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