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  #11  
Old 03-27-2012
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Re: no discharge zones

As long as they can point sanctimonius fingers at boaters and claim that thus, they are dealing with the problem, they can , politically, continue to ignore far more serious problems, like cities, dumping exponentially greater amounts of raw sewage into the oceans, rivers and bays. By allowing ourselves to be used thus, as political scapegoats, we empower them to do what they are doing, ignoring the real source of the problem. Thus we become part of the problem, by meekly accepting the guilt trips they lay on us for political convenience. We become enablers of the abuse.
Nanaimo has been pushing on the holding tank issue, while dumping huge amounts of raw sewage into warm, shallow Georgia Strait with little in the way of current to dissipate it. Vancouver is doing the same. .
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  #12  
Old 03-27-2012
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Re: no discharge zones

It's the typical political response to a situation - pick on a profile target so you can create the impression you are being tough about it while you avoid dealing with the real problem - that would take some work and maybe even $$$.

The amount of dog $hit washed off the streets of Vancouver into storm drains is, I daresay, many multiples of what ALL the boats in Vancouver would add in a completely uncontrolled situation.

I know how often I have taken a dump on board over the past few decades and believe me, ONE dog would add more in a week. Now, add in the bears, raccoons, coyotes etc. etc. and the laws REALLY look as stupid as they are.

No discharge in protected coves and so forth is all that is needed. Everyone I know has a holding tank and as soon as they are well out in Georgia Strait, on goes the macerator.

No problem.

The only problem areas in Vancouver that I'm aware of are Deep Cove, Sunset Beach and Eagle Harbour - their coliform counts all rise to unacceptable levels each summer and it is 100% runoff that causes it, not boats.
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  #13  
Old 03-27-2012
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Re: no discharge zones

The amazing thing about all this is that in Maryland, sewage spills less than 10,000-gallons do not have to be reported. Yep, you would be amazed at how many 9,999-gallon spills take place throughout the state.

An observation from an old guy: When I was relatively young, just 23-years-old, boats didn't have holding tanks. You pumped the handle, the human excrement was chopped up and discharged directly into the bay. There were lots and lots of boats then, mostly concentrated in an area between Baltimore and Annapolis. This was 1963, a time when this newly married kid had a 10-year-old, 30-foot powerboat that set me back a whopping $2,500. At the time, all the public beaches were open, the water beneath the Chesapeake Bay Bridge at old piling 57 was clear enough to see bottom in 20 feet of water in October. Nestled between the bridge pilings were huge clusters of succulent oysters. All you needed to get them was a pry bar, some scuba gear, a wet suit and a burlap bag. You could fill the bag in less than 30 minutes.

Keep in mind that there were times during the summer that as many as 1,500 fishing boats clustered over the Dumping Grounds at the upper end of Kent Island where they chummed with a slick consisting of crushed and ground soft shell clams. The water never seemed to get dirty, even with all those boats chumming and pumping their poop into the bay. For some unexplained reason, Mother Nature seemed to be able to handle this with no problem.

The next part of the equation is we developed an insatiable appetite for shellfish--all kinds of shellfish. And, back then, there were essentially no regulations pertaining to harvest limits. Consequently, we rapidly wiped out every filter-feeder in the confines of Chesapeake Bay. We allowed oyster populations to be decimated, then developed hydraulic dredges that allowed total destruction of soft-shell clam, hard-shell clams, and at the same time, the dredges destroyed the bay's undersea populations of tube-worms and soft corals. Next, Atlantic menhaden became the primary target. These 12-inch fish feed on various forms of plankton and filtered huge quantities of water every day. Rumor had it that the entire water volume of Chesapeake Bay was filtered by menhaden every 7 days. Today, the decimated menhaden population would be hard put to filter the bay's water volume in a decade.

As the water quality began degrading, and dissolved oxygen levels fell, smaller filter feeders, including vegetative, also began dying off. Bay grasses are a tiny fraction of what they were in the early 1960s. In locations where there is lots of aquatic vegetation, the type of grass tends to be invasive species that blanket the water's surface, thus magnifying the problem by not allowing sunlight to reach the bottom and eliminating photosynthesis.

Lastly, what idiotic, imbecile decided that best way to get rid of human and animal waste was to dump it into the water. This, at least to me, makes absolutely no sense at all. And, to continue to fund these agencies perpetuates the idiocy of this centuries old policy. The cost of operating and maintaining the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant is mind boggling. The biggest advancement they've made there, IMO, is the gold domes they placed over the treatment ponds, thereby allowing them to capture the methane gas and sell it for fuel. This eliminated much of the nasty odor emitted from the plant on a daily basis. For the first time in my life I am able to open the car windows while driving over the Eastern Avenue Bridge. WOW!

Now, I'm all for no discharge zones. The "Y" Valve is locked in place, and I just spent a lot of money replacing the existing valve, which was corroded to the point where it would not move. I'm against ridiculously high penalties for those who dump their gray-water into the bay, or any body of water for that matter. What comes out of the galley sink, head sink, or bilge of any sailboat during an entire season is probably equal in contamination as a single rabbit turd washing into a storm drain--big deal! If you're going to penalize the offenders, penalize them by the type and volume of effluent they allow to flow into the water. Penalizing a boater up to $10,000 for having his or her "Y" valve open, and not penalizing a municipality for a 9,999-gallon sewage spill makes no sense at all. And, the municipality that dumps 50-million gallons in the bay each year will be getting a federal subsidy of several million dollars to set up a study to determine why the spill took place at all.

Sorry about the rant. I'm gonna' mix a Margaretta and utilize my newly acquired chemical engineering skills to transform it into urine. Then I'll flush it into my 45-year-old septic system that's still in perfect condition. It's my contribution to the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Program. Czar O'Malley, though, thinks I'm part of the problem--he just managed to shove another tax increase up my rectum by doubling the flush tax.

Just another fun day in Paradise,

Gary
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Old 03-28-2012
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Re: no discharge zones

Gary,

I'm from Florida and have only lived in Md. since 2001. I envy your memories of a clean Chesapeake Bay.
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Re: no discharge zones

Oh-

Can anyone here, point me to a web link for the specific regulations for MARYLAND, regarding holding tanks, valves required, the valve line-up, and the whole zip-tie thing?

I want to make sure I'm in compliance. My boat is 39 years old and may be lacking some of the necessary equipment. I'm not discharging overboard, but I don't need any fines in case I'm boarded.
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Old 03-28-2012
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Re: no discharge zones

This may be of some help. Maryland Department of Natural Resources - Boating

Gary
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Re: no discharge zones

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
It was of some help, yes. All it said was that the Y-valve needs to be secured to prevent accidental discharge. For something that carries such a large fine, you'd think they'd be more clear about it.

I have a 5 gallon holding tank, a Y-valve, and then an overboard discharge sea-****. I can zip-tie the Y-valve to the holding tank position, but the seacock is a round, bronze body and there is no way to zip-tie the handle to the "shut" position.

Hmm.
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  #18  
Old 03-28-2012
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Re: no discharge zones

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
It was of some help, yes. All it said was that the Y-valve needs to be secured to prevent accidental discharge. For something that carries such a large fine, you'd think they'd be more clear about it.

I have a 5 gallon holding tank, a Y-valve, and then an overboard discharge sea-****. I can zip-tie the Y-valve to the holding tank position, but the seacock is a round, bronze body and there is no way to zip-tie the handle to the "shut" position.

Hmm.
* I've been boarded on the Chesapeake a few times. They are fine with zip-ties. You can dig in the Fed regs an find a efference to "non-releasable cable ties" or something very close to that.

* You may need to drill a hole in the handle for the cable tie. Perhaps mount a pad eye to anchor it to, if there is not a pipe handy. Not difficult. They just want to see something you can't tamper without a little effort, or replace in seconds while they are boarding.
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Old 03-28-2012
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Re: no discharge zones

I simply close the valves, then take the handles off and toss them in a drawer. Can't get more secure than that.
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Re: no discharge zones

And ALL this time I thought human 'waste' was bio-de-grade-able, silly me, GOD and Mother Nature, made a mistake?
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