Head/Water waste and holding tanks - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 78 Old 07-12-2006 Thread Starter
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Head/Water waste and holding tanks

The area I am looking for a slip in has a No Discharge rule. I plan on using the marina facilities as much as possible...however, for the times that I don 't is where I have a question.

First, if I install a holding tank for the head, is it customary to just take the boat down to the pumping station whenever it gets full? I plan on taking the boat out sailing every weekend or so...could I realistically just monitor the status of the tanks and when I get out of the harbor pump out the tanks through the seacock? Like I said, the usage would be minimal, so I think I could go a few weeks between pumpings...I'm not sure though, hopefully somebody can give me some insight on how they operate on this stuff.
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post #2 of 78 Old 07-12-2006
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post #3 of 78 Old 07-12-2006
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First of all, if your boat is in US waters, I believe the holding tank is legally required. I would plan on pumping out the tank a bit more frequently than what you're suggesting, as from your description, if the tank is only infrequently used, it may be a long while before the tank is "full". Also, waiting for the tank to be "full" is just asking for trouble.

BTW, pumping the tank out through the seacocks is illegal if you're within three miles of land, and even further in some cases with NDZ.

You'll also have to design the system to allow the seacock to be locked in the closed position and the output of the head to be locked in the position of draining to the holding tank, as I believe this is a requirement for USCG inspections in NDZ areas.

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post #4 of 78 Old 07-12-2006
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Sailing Dog is absolutely right, the seacock must be wired in the closed position.
I can't resist this obvious question. What makes you think that dumping your raw sewage in the water within site of land is a good idea? Would you mind if I came over this afternoon and took a dump on your front lawn? I apologize for the lecture but because we utilize the oceans, rivers and tributaries for recreation we have an obligation to do our part to protect the waters. We are stewards in effect.
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post #5 of 78 Old 07-12-2006
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Read the article posted on Sailnet by sonofasonofasailor

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/genera...ur-oceans.html
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post #6 of 78 Old 07-12-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfesq
Sailing Dog is absolutely right, the seacock must be wired in the closed position.
I can't resist this obvious question. What makes you think that dumping your raw sewage in the water within site of land is a good idea? Would you mind if I came over this afternoon and took a dump on your front lawn? I apologize for the lecture but because we utilize the oceans, rivers and tributaries for recreation we have an obligation to do our part to protect the waters. We are stewards in effect.
Crude imagery...but very effective. LOL.

Yes, the discharge laws are there for a reason. How would you like to be swimming at a beach and have a boat dump its holding tank where you were swimming. It is only legal to discharge a holding tank three miles from land or further, provided you are not in a no-discharge-zone.

Granted, the waste from a single holding tank is not all that much, but only if diluted by the open ocean. Bays, estuaries, and harbors often don't have a good flow of water through them, and the waste tends to concentrate in such locations. Not exactly what you really want.

The New England rains have done quite a number on many of the waterways here. The growth of algae and barnacles at my marina is astounding, mainly due to the much richer nutrient flow provided by the massive rains we've experienced.

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post #7 of 78 Old 07-12-2006
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Yes, nobody wants to encounter a floaty while swimming off of Martha's Vineyard. The cold water is bad enough!
The Chesapeake Bay is a mess this summer as well for the same reasons.
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post #8 of 78 Old 07-12-2006
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Floaties and portugese man o'wars are two things you want to avoid... My take is that if you're sailing, you should stay on the boat... There are too many things in bluewater that would like to see if we taste like seals.

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #9 of 78 Old 07-13-2006 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses...as for the dumping, I was just asking what the best course of action is, or is recommended. I am in Hawaii, if that makes any difference...and if anybody watched the news from this Spring, the sewage is pretty much dumped into our canals right now anyway. I just figured that we are surrounded by open ocean with some strong currents, if I happened to be outside of the 3 mile radius while sailing, I think it would be diluted pretty dang fast.

I'll just plan on visiting the pumping station as part of my weekly chores, I suppose.
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post #10 of 78 Old 07-15-2006
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Yah...OK...I'm not gonna dump my holding tank in your swimming hole or anyplace without a good tidal flow...but the 3 mile rule is a bit ridiculous just considering how many marine mammals and birds and other species are crapping in the same water. Boaters are literally a drop in the bucket (no pun intended). This is just another example of over-zealous environmentalism. Instead of fixing the real problem...(runoff, over-flowing sewage systems, fertilizer etc.)...find a small defensless group and make them travel 3 miles offshore to dump their tanks since the d+$%$##n pumpout stations are never working or too far away to be of practical use.
Meanwhile...one good rainstorm in the Chesapeake Bay region puts more pollution in the Bay than if every boat there flushed it's tanks today. The caribbean countires have no pump outs at all, large boating populations and the water is safe for all except in a couple of harbors.
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