What to do with bilge water? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 35 Old 07-12-2011 Thread Starter
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What to do with bilge water?

So, next week I'm taking the boat off my mooring to a local marina where my mechanic and I are going to solve, once and for all, a mysterious diesel leak AND then clean out the bilge and make it smell like flowers.

So, if I scrub my bilge with a degreaser-cleaner and shop-vac it ... do marinas typically have a place where I can dump the shop-vac waste? In the past, my bilge socks have collected the mess ...but it's beyond that now.

By the way, I have my bilges OFF because I don't want to cause the next Deep Horizon here on the Severn.

Severna Park, MD
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post #2 of 35 Old 07-12-2011
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Originally Posted by dvuyxx View Post
So, next week I'm taking the boat off my mooring to a local marina where my mechanic and I are going to solve, once and for all, a mysterious diesel leak AND then clean out the bilge and make it smell like flowers.

So, if I scrub my bilge with a degreaser-cleaner and shop-vac it ... do marinas typically have a place where I can dump the shop-vac waste? In the past, my bilge socks have collected the mess ...but it's beyond that now.

By the way, I have my bilges OFF because I don't want to cause the next Deep Horizon here on the Severn.
I would use some oil diapers to absorb the oil then dispose of the remaining water overboard or by pouring it out on some asphalt.
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post #3 of 35 Old 07-12-2011
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I would use some oil diapers to absorb the oil then dispose of the remaining water overboard or by pouring it out on some asphalt.
In MD, as in VA, that will likely result in some upset people and possible fines.

By both state dept of environmental quality...that contaminated bilge water and subsequent rinse water will have to be dealt with in a correct fashion. That means that you will have to pump it out...to a barrel and have it disposed of properly.

Ignorance is no excuse to break the law. Your yard will have the appropriate stuff to deal with this. It will cost you..about $1-2 per gallon, a year ago when I last did this.
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post #4 of 35 Old 07-12-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks. Agree ... I feel like even if the water looks clean, it is seeping some level of petrol into the ground and eventually running off into the bay. I'll ask the marina about a barrel to dump into.

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post #5 of 35 Old 07-12-2011
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Originally Posted by kd3pc View Post
In MD, as in VA, that will likely result in some upset people and possible fines.

By both state dept of environmental quality...that contaminated bilge water and subsequent rinse water will have to be dealt with in a correct fashion. That means that you will have to pump it out...to a barrel and have it disposed of properly.

Ignorance is no excuse to break the law. Your yard will have the appropriate stuff to deal with this. It will cost you..about $1-2 per gallon, a year ago when I last did this.
In my experience, the diapers absorb the oil leaving only water. Unless you've used soap or something to dissolve the oil in the bilge.
Why would pumping or pouring the remaining water out be a problem?

The reason I suggested pouring out the water on asphalt is that any remaining oil residue would simply evaporate.
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Usually a marina will have a "waste oil" barrel. Old motor oil, oil contaminated bilge water, anything with oil in it, goes into that barrel and goes out for recycling, or use as heating oil.

knothead-
"Why would pumping or pouring the remaining water out be a problem? " No problem, as long as it is WATER. but "any remaining oil residue would simply evaporate" if what you dump leaves ANY rainbow sheen on the ground, for any amount of time? Get out the checkbook, no one wants to hear about evaporation. It is still an "oil spill" and ground contamination is possible, so they don't debate it, they just scoop up the fluid AND THE GROUND BENEATH IT and send you the hazmat disposal bill.

A man in Florida let his kids play with a bottle of mercury, supposedly gotten from a potions store or found in his garage when he bought the house...the authorities wound up tearing up the driveway that the kids had spilled it on. And bringing in dump trucks. And last I heard, coupe of months ago, they were debating who would pay the quarter million dollars or so that they figured for the earthmoving and hazmat.

There are some places you just don't want to go.

Last edited by hellosailor; 07-12-2011 at 03:37 PM.
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post #7 of 35 Old 07-12-2011
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mysterious diesel leak? Where is your fuel tank ? Mine had super small pin holes in the bottom which was sitting on plywood aft of the shaft and before the rudder tube. I was in denial for a couple of weeks until I finally decided to pull it and replace with a plastic tank. It really wasn't all that difficult. My friend helping me had it out even before I got back to the dock with camera!

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post #8 of 35 Old 07-12-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Usually a marina will have a "waste oil" barrel. Old motor oil, oil contaminated bilge water, anything with oil in it, goes into that barrel and goes out for recycling, or use as heating oil.

knothead-
"Why would pumping or pouring the remaining water out be a problem? " No problem, as long as it is WATER. but "any remaining oil residue would simply evaporate" if what you dump leaves ANY rainbow sheen on the ground, for any amount of time? Get out the checkbook, no one wants to hear about evaporation. It is still an "oil spill" and ground contamination is possible, so they don't debate it, they just scoop up the fluid AND THE GROUND BENEATH IT and send you the hazmat disposal bill.

A man in Florida let his kids play with a bottle of mercury, supposedly gotten from a potions store or found in his garage when he bought the house...the authorities wound up tearing up the driveway that the kids had spilled it on. And bringing in dump trucks. And last I heard, coupe of months ago, they were debating who would pay the quarter million dollars or so that they figured for the earthmoving and hazmat.

There are some places you just don't want to go.
Yeah, I guess you're right.
It's just that in light of things like the Gulf oil spill and sewage treatment plant overflows and such it seems kind of silly that someone can't pump out their bilge water after removing the oil from it.
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post #9 of 35 Old 07-12-2011
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I like mine with a little scotch over ice...delicious
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post #10 of 35 Old 07-12-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knothead View Post
Yeah, I guess you're right.
It's just that in light of things like the Gulf oil spill and sewage treatment plant overflows and such it seems kind of silly that someone can't pump out their bilge water after removing the oil from it.
Go to a Wal-Mart parking lot during or after a rain if you want to see some "rainbow sheen."
I suppose you could always take your bilge water to the closest Wal-Mart...
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