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Old 08-04-2010
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For years we had boats in the Tacoma Yacht Club basin. Still have one there now. The basin was formed by a breakwater created as Asarco dumped the molten slag from it's copper smelting operation in Ruston. Not only did this make a great breakwater, and a great light show from the water as the slag was being dumped, but the slag had huge amounts of remaining copper, and other metals as well as high concentrations of arsenic. It was great. NOTHING would grow in the basin. Bottom paints were not needed. You would get a little grass growing at the water line, but once a year you put the boat on the grid and scrubbed it down really well.

Over the decades, most of the copper near the surface has leached out of the slag of the breakwater, making the water less toxic and creating a need for anti-fouling bottom paints again. Such is progress.

In WA, I don't believe we can any longer put our boats on a grid to clean the bottom. We have to haul out and the operator has to catch all effluent from bottom cleaning and painting for disposal. Interestingly, it is legal to have a diver clean your bottom. Most of us have a dive service that will scrub the bottom and inspect/replace zincs. Keep in mind that boats only get hauled here if they need below waterline repairs or need paint.

Dave
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