Waste Discharge Requirements For Mariners

The ancient days of marine operations employed the use of cedar buckets to dispose of waste products over the side of the ship, but technology and engineering advancements over several centuries have gifted mariners with more manageable means for sanitary disposal. Having a boat sanitation system Newport Beach CA companies can install is also a requirement of the law. Federal regulations require that all boats operating within US waters that maintain a permanently installed toilet must have a marine sanitation device on board. Although the systems must comply with US Coast Guard regulations, as a boat owner, you have several options for disposal.

Waste Discharge Requirements For Mariners

Legal Discharge

If you are operating more than three miles from the coastline, it is legal for a boat operator to release untreated waster overboard, whether by discharging the contents of the holding tank or directly feeding the toilet waste into the water. A sensibly designed sanitation system will give you the option to either empty the tank when you are offshore or have the connections for a dockside pump-out.

Illegal Discharge

If you are inside the three-mile limitation, it is illegal to dump any raw waste overboard. The only way you can release waste is if through onboard treatment has been performed. If not, the waste must be stored in a holding tank and transferred or pumped out once the boat docks. There, the water receives some treatment before being rerouted back out into the water waters.

Discharge Zones

There is an agreement between Canada and the US that designates all non-navigable inland freshwater lakes and the Great Lakes are no discharge zone (NDZ). There are some interstate inland waterways that do allow for the discharge of treated water, but for any mariner caught dumping in an NDZ, consequences include steep fines.

Keeping the waterways clean from illegal and untreated waste discharge helps preserve the ecosystem for both human and animal life. Check your boating system to make sure it passes the requirements of sanitation set forth by law.