Boaters Divert Sewage from Washington Waters

Evin Moore Environmental Nautical News

view of Rainier from the waterLast year, Washington boaters prevented over 11 million gallons of sewage from entering inland waters by emptying their tanks at one of 144 of the state’s pump-out stations. The network of free pump-out stations is operated by the Washington State Parks and Washington Sea Grant (WSG) as part of The Washington Clean Vessel Act program. The number of stations is constantly increasing to meet demand, with a new station just placed on West Beach Resort’s docks on Orcas Island. A solar-powered, mobile pump-out boat, created by the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building and based at the Port Ludlow Marina, is currently in the planning phase.

In addition to pump-out stations, the WSG provides free pump-out adapter kits. The kits are available at many marinas and yacht clubs and make it easier to create a secure connection between the boat and the pump. The pump-out service is meant to simplify and streamline the process to encourage boaters to comply with the new No Discharge Zone rulings passed last year. The WSG would also like to remind boaters that small oil spills make up 75 percent of the total oil spilled in local waters.

As part of their Clean Bilge Project, the WSG offers free absorbent pillows to be place around the bilge pump and an oil bib that fits around the nozzle. Good work boaters on doing your part to keep our waters clean! For more information about pump-out or spill kits, contact Aaron Barnett at aaronb5@uw.edu.

Evin Moore

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