Anne Arundel No Discharge Zones - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 30 Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Anne Arundel No Discharge Zones

After years of talk and speculation, Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis have submitted an application Friday to make all tributaries of the Chesapeake within the county No Discharge Zones. Unclear from the press coverage is whether the application is something that will just be rubber stamped by the EPA and therefore essentially makes the NDZs a done deal or if the application is just the beginning of a political and legal process that may take years to unfold. An application to designate the Chester River an NDZ was submitted almost 4 years ago without yet being approved so I imagine this approval will take at least as long.

In any case - without getting too deep into the politics of it or my personal opinions - I guess the trend is clear and I certainly won't be investing in an ElectraSan/Purasan unit anytime soon.

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Re: Anne Arundel No Discharge Zones

Does this include sinks, showers, etc? Or just outlawing types 1 and 2 marine heads?

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Re: Anne Arundel No Discharge Zones

It does not restrict gray water discharge, only treated or untreated sewage. Since discharge of untreated sewage is already illegal, it seems the main effect of designating NDZs is to make discharges from Type I & II systems illegal. With only a very small percentage of boats having Type I & II systems anyway, I don't really follow the logic of creating NDZs other than as a feel-good measure (or if you have some kind of personal vendetta against Raritan Engineering!). In more than 40 years of Chesapeake Bay boating I've never seen any sort of potty police enforcement, and unless that changes I don't see the creation of NDZs having much of an effect on how boaters chose to comply - or not comply - with sanitation regs.
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Re: Anne Arundel No Discharge Zones

It always seems like a lot of trouble that will have a 0.1% effect by getting rid of the few boats with electrsans to make a NDZ. Would be more effective for getting the water clean by shooting all the ducks and geese crapping in the water.
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Re: Anne Arundel No Discharge Zones

I'm from the area but don't have a dog in the fight.

I think there are some simple questions to answer.

* Is sterilization of waste actually treatment? Put another way, would we be satisfied if all our sewage treatments did was sterilize the waste, without removing any other pollutants, such as BOD, solids, nitrogen, or phosphorous? Society says no. Type 1 MSDs don't actually remove anything.

* Do we consider treatment by adding chlorine to raw sewage to be safe, considering the toxic chlorine residuals generated? These are restricted in drinking water treatments, which has about 1000 times less organic material to react with. I might argue that raw waste is less dangerous, in the long run, than waste that has been reacted with chlorine. In fact, the list of chemicals permitted for portable toilet use has dwindled over the years, eliminating one of the reaction products of chlorine, because it is dangerous.

* Do we think boaters should be exempt from pollutant removal because it is inconvenient? I'm not going to suggest an answer to that one, only pose the question. But let me rephrase it. Do we think you should be exempt from requirements to hook up a summer cottage to sewer or a holding tank because the land won't perc? It's pretty much the same question, and we know the answer; if the land won't perc, you put in a holding tank and pay to have it pumped. Times have changed. Deep in the woods it wouldn't matter, but around a mountain poor drainage has led to problems.

---

Don't bother with the "just a little bit argument." That's just as weak as the "one vote doesn't matter argument." Same with the goose or "other guy" argument. Same logical weakness. We've decided as a society that water matters and set standards for treatment.

Don't bother with the sewer overflow argument. Those are related to combined sewers and they happen during heavy rain. I've never seen anyone pumping out in the rain. You sewage is long gone by the time the rain is heavy enough to cause an overflow.

---

I'm glad there are plentiful pump outs in my NDZ harbor. No problem.
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Re: Anne Arundel No Discharge Zones

Lectrscan's do not add chlorine to the effluent. They macerate the solids and break down sea water into a chlorine compound which returns to its original seawater chemistry soon after the treatment cycle.

Yes I will bring up limited use as useless laws that do nothing, are worthless and only serve the purpose of creating a bureaucracy to enforce, A wasted expense to the afflicted, a justification for a political class to crow about their accomplishments, suck money out of our pockets and make our boats stink. Unless you have a great congregation of boats, untreated sewage from them is not harmful. Any pathogens are rendered useless by contact with seawater, UV and dilution. Typically when you have large concentrations of boats with poor flushing of the waters like in a marina shore side facilities are available. Even if shoreside facilities aren't available, the use of the heads is almost always very limited to an odd weekend and then with very little use unless we are talking limited popular anchorages in season. NDZ's may be justified for these limited areas but not blanket one's that cover large areas. NDZ's in Freshwater is another story but they have already been declared NDZ's.

Land discharge of untreated sewage is another story. The sewage is not diluted nor subjected to degrading effects of sea water and/or probably not exposed to UV radiation. Interesting that the politicians haven't declared our cities NDZ's where we actually have a problem.

For the most part NDZ's are created so the bureaucrats can justify their salaries and politicians can strut around and tell us all they've accomplished.
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Re: Anne Arundel No Discharge Zones

Long Island Sound has been an NDZ for years. I'm surprised the Chessie isn't already.
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Re: Anne Arundel No Discharge Zones

Every time you exhale, you are affecting the environment, just one little bit. The point about not needing zero trace has merit.

We need to do much better, but the environment can handle some impact. The question is how much.

Most of the logic of environmental laws is either guilt or victory based, not science based. Almost never tested by the scientific method, which should attempt to disprove the hypothesis.

Nevertheless, I have no practical problem with an NDZ in a water body that doesn’t exchange frequently.


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Boats that discharge sewage inside the 3 mile limit (and there are probably way more of them than anyone wants to admit or imagine) are largely not doing so because they have Type I or II systems installed (because very few boats do) but instead because their owners have toilets set to directly discharge overboard. This is the result of either ignorance of the regulations, not caring about the regulations, design flaws in boat sewage systems, lack of convenient pump outs, or some combination thereof. It seems going after the boats whose owners are direct discharging illegally under current regulations would be much more effective than creating NDZs.
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Re: Anne Arundel No Discharge Zones

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Lectrscan's do not add chlorine to the effluent. They macerate the solids and break down sea water into a chlorine compound which returns to its original seawater chemistry soon after the treatment cycle....
Research the chemistry. The primary reaction is to create chlorine from seawater by electrolysis. The chlorine converts into hypochlorous acid, which undergoes many reactions. No, it does not all return to salt. That is wishful thinking.

Yes, realistically we are talking about boats in marinas, way up creeks. This isn't about visitors.

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