What you can do?

To prevent the possible dangers that sewage can cause to humans and the environment, the following measures can be taken by boaters.

  • Portable toilets used aboard boats can contain 2 to 9 gallons of sewage and should be properly emptied at dump stations.
  • Boaters can use onshore or floating restrooms.
  • Install a toilet onboard your boat with the necessary US Coast Guard certified Marine Sanitation Device (MSD). There are three types I, II, and III.
MSD Type Vessel Length Function
Type I Equal to or less than 65 feet in length Macerates and disinfects waste prior to discharge
Type II Greater than 65 feet in length Same as Type I except it reduces suspended solids and discharges waste with a lower bacteria count
Type III Any length Sewage is deposited into a holding tank which can be disposed at a pumpout facility

Types I and II treat waste and discharge it overboard and, therefore cannot be used in a No Discharge Zone without properly securing the device in a manner that prevents any discharge. Some acceptable methods are: padlocking overboard discharge valves or using non releasable wire tie to hold overboard discharge valves in the closed position, closing overboard discharge valves and removing the handle, or locking the door, with padlock or keylock, to the space enclosing the toilets.

Type III uses a holding tank to keep waste for onshore pumpouts. There is a discharge option available called a Y-valve with a Type III MSD, so that if you are boating in the ocean for long periods of time, treated sewage may be discharged passed the US Territorial Waters (3 miles from the shoreline).

  • If you have a recreational boat with installed toilet facilities, it must have an operable marine sanitation device (MSD) onboard. All installed devices must be US Coast Guard certified.