Vessel sewage, treated or not, does not belong in Puget Sound. Vessel waste poses significant risks for human health and wildlife and the state Department of Health prohibits shellfish harvest near moorage facilities. Pumping waste to shoreside facilities is a far better way to go and the good news is 90% of boaters are already doing it. Today our state took a significant step to move forward with a federally-designated No Discharge Zone (NDZ) for Puget Sound. There actually are 86 NDZs in 26 states around the country, but none currently in Washington State. Once finalized, an NDZ rule would phase-out all discharge of sewage from boats, from pocket cruisers to tug boats to cruise ships, mandating the use of pumpouts instead of antiquated on-board treatment systems that do not protect water quality.
Department of Ecology press release
Puget Soundkeeper Alliance serves on the Advisory Committee for this action, and actively promotes clean boating and increased use of pumpouts through its Clean Marina and Clean Boating outreach programs. Information on the availability of pumpouts including a map and searchable list can be found here: www.pumpoutwashington.org
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