overdue at Sans Souci
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Midland Ontario
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It's not clear to me how Isle Royale is preventing gray water discharge (not that I'm advocating it at the park). Apparently a system-wide reg was considered by NPS in 2003, but it backed off for a variety of reasons. The main ones were that the USCG does not consider gray water a contaminant under the Clean Water Act, boats aren't set up with separate holding tanks, USCG doesn't certify gray water holding tanks, and control of gray water discharge should be "site specific." Isle Royale seems to be leaning on the Clean Water Act for its "federal regulation" justification, but the CWA talks about controlling discharge of oil and other hazardous materials in bilge water. It does talk about gray water, but it seems to be up to USCG to apply the CWA to boating.
California Water Resources Board encourages boaters and marinas to retain and discharge gray water, but I don't there's a law in that state. It says this on the subject:
"USCG defines gray water as drainage from dishwasher, shower, laundry, bath, and washbasin drains. It does not include drainage from toilets, urinals, hospitals and cargo spaces. Gray water is NOT sewage and may be discharged overboard without passage through an MSD or a holding tank. In fact, draining galley wastes into the MSD is not recommended, because food waste is much more difficult to decompose than the human sewage which the marine sanitation device is intended to handle. If retained, gray water must be included in a separate waste retention capacity for the vessel (source: Coast Guard Regulations, 33 CFR 151.05)."
C&C 27 Mk 1
Midland Bay Sailing Club
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It is better to be vaguely correct than specifically wrong.