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 Marine Sanitation, Plumbing and the like.
 Just what the h*ll is a No Discharge Zone (NDZ)?
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Vic Willman

RO# 3655

Posted - Dec 17 2010 :  14:16:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A lot of confusion exists in the boating world about No Discharge Zones (NDZ’s), pertaining to onboard toilets and holding tanks. I’ll try to clarify things a little.

In March, 1980, the marine sanitation law went into effect. Dumping of untreated toilet waste or waste from a holding tank into the water became illegal ANYWHERE in the United States.

Paraphrasing the law, it states that any boat with an installed toilet must have said toilet connected to an approved treatment system or a holding tank.

Holding tanks may only be emptied via a dockside pumpout facility or via a pumpout boat. The holding tank may not be emptied into the water anywhere inside the 3 mile territorial limit. That includes the entire coastline or any inland areas of the United States.

If you are out in the ocean or Gulf of Mexico, more than 3 miles from land, the toilet may be flushed directly overboard or the holding tank may be emptied into the water.

Now, what constitutes an “installed toilet?” All Manual and electric toilets, including Lavac and VacuFlush toilets are considered to be installed toilets.

Porta-Potties*, recirculating toilets*, composting toilets*, and incinerating toilets* are not classified as installed toilets, as they have no capability to discharge overboard. Also, toilets that have built-in sewage holding tanks, such as the Marine Traveler, do not fall under the “installed toilet” classification. They are classified as Type III marine sanitation systems, which do not discharge overboard.

*Note: Porta-potties and recirculating toilets must be either pumped out via a dockside facility or carried onshore for emptying. They may not be emptied into the water. Composting toilets and incinerating toilets likewise, must have their residue carried onshore and disposed of there.

Flushing toilets that use either seawater or onboard water to rinse the bowl, and have pumps or use vacuum to move the sewage from the toilet bowl to somewhere else, all come under the classification of “installed toilets.” These must be connected to either a holding tank or an approved treatment system.

Approved treatment systems fall under (2) classifications, Type I and type II. Type I systems are the most popular and are used most often onboard pleasure boats. They may be used on boats up to and including 65 feet LOA. Boats over 65 feet LOA may only use a Type II system. Type I systems are relatively small in size, but don’t do quite as good a job as the Type II systems. Type II systems do a better job of treatment but are much larger in size than a Type I. The original rationale in selecting the size of the boat vs. which type of treatment system would be required, was that a Type II system probably wouldn’t easily fit on a boat smaller than 65 feet, whereas a Type I probably would fit. The two best known Type I treatment systems are the Raritan Electro-Scan (formerly the Lectra/San) and the Raritan Purasan. Both are about the size of a good-sized truck battery. Type II systems are a good deal larger in size, about half the size of a coffin.

Now, where can you use treatment systems? This is where the NDZ’s come into the equation. Treatment systems are primarily for use inside the 3 mile territorial limit. They may be used anywhere that IS NOT a NDZ. NDZ’s are declared by the EPA, and a list of them, by state, can be found on the EPA website. Here’s the link:

http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/vwd/vsdnozone.cfm

Definition of a NDZ: These are areas that have been government mandated to forbid the discharge of sewage that originates on a boat, either from a toilet or a sewage holding tank, regardless of whether it’s been treated by an approved treatment system, or not. So even if you have an approved treatment system onboard, you cannot discharge the output from it into the water if you’re in a NDZ.

In spite of a lot of noise being made by various environmental groups, that often is misunderstood by the public and taken to be “gospel,” the Chesapeake Bay, San Francisco Bay, Puget Sound, Long Island Sound, and quite a few other areas, are not NDZ’s. On the Chesapeake, only Herring Bay (Deale, MD) is a NDZ. In the Long Island Sound area, most of the ports on either side of it (CT and NY) are no discharge, but not the Sound itself.

In Florida, the Keys are No Discharge for 12 miles out, rather than 3 miles, due to the fact that the water is so shallow there. In Florida proper, you can use onboard treatment systems everywhere except Destin Harbor, up in the panhandle. Much of New England is a NDZ, as well as most of Southern California.

Also, in private marinas, regardless of what the laws may be, the Dockmaster is king! If he says you can’t use a treatment system in his marina, that’s that, you can’t use it.
-- The Head Master --

Edited by - Vic Willman on Dec 17 2010 14:19:26

Homeport: Millville, NJ

pdecat

RO# 842



Posted - Dec 17 2010 :  14:28:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A NDZ is an area where boaters who have the potential to dump a few gallons are crucified while municipalities regularly dump millions of gallons with no consequences to those in charge.


Bruce



Homeport: Gulf Coast FL Go to Top of Page

Vic Willman

RO# 3655

Posted - Dec 17 2010 :  14:46:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's what I've always argued, Bruce. Is it better to dump a half gallon or so of TREATED waste here, another half gallon a few miles away, and again a half gallon a few more miles away - or is it better to empty a 40 gallon holding tank of UNTREATED waste, all in one place? Which one is more damaging to the environment, I ask?

If there are no readily available pumpout stations, what's a guy to do when his holding tank is full? What he does, is look all around, and if no one's nearby, he turns on his macerator pump and empties his holding tank. What else can he do? At least with a treatment system, it's in much smaller quantities, and it's treated!

I had a disgruntled sailboater call me one time. He said he was able to find a listing for a pumpout station on his waterway guide, 5 miles up a nearby river. On a sailboat, that's an hour's travel! And even then, he didn't know whether or not the bloody pumpout station was actually in service. Could be, he'd be looking at a 2 hour round trip for nothing...



-- The Head Master --

Homeport: Millville, NJ Go to Top of Page

L. Keith

RO# 1615

Posted - Dec 17 2010 :  14:51:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's why I just pee over the side. Always know where the lee rail is.


Homeport: N. Gulf of Mexico Go to Top of Page

rnbenton

RO# 31163



Posted - Dec 17 2010 :  18:02:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by L. Keith

That's why I just pee over the side. Always know where the lee rail is.



Ever tried to launch a turd over the lee rail?

Bob


Key West 196 Bay Reef, 150 Yamaha
USCG 50 Ton MMC, Tow Assist Endorsement
SSI Certified Instructor Level 1


Homeport: Palm Coast, FL Go to Top of Page

rduhon

RO# 29321

Posted - Dec 17 2010 :  19:55:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I work offshore in the Gulf of Mexico in 3850 ft. of water. About 60 miles from land.
We cannot launch turds from a floating platform or rig, even though we are outside of
the 3 mile limit. It is due to the amount of people on board.
If you have less than 10 people, we have to macerate. If 10 or more, we have to treat.
If the treatment system goes out, we have to macerate and go thru a chlorination unit.
We have an electric treatment system we call our turd burner. Made my Omnipure.
On older platforms, they have Red Fox units, which is kinda like home septic systems with
bacteria and chlorine tanks.
We also have to do daily inspections to check for human waste not macerated and report it.
We also have to grind up food that goes overboard smaller than 1 cubic inch. We normally
have between 150 to 180 people on board at all times. That's a lot of poop between 6 am
and 10 am every day.



Homeport: Lake Charles, La Go to Top of Page

L. Keith

RO# 1615

Posted - Dec 17 2010 :  20:48:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's called a Biloxi Dump. Heads were not even installed on shrimp boats up until the mid 70's. Nothing like a sea breeze and a little salt spray to keep you feeling fresh.


Homeport: N. Gulf of Mexico Go to Top of Page

rduhon

RO# 29321

Posted - Dec 17 2010 :  21:16:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
During Contraband Days in Lake Charles, there are about 40 boats with toilets and 150 boats with no toilets.
Guess where the boats with no toilets release second hand beer and BBQ???
I have to pump out, I have no issues with it. I don't want to boat in a small lake where very one dumps.
But every city street drains into a canal, cooley, bayou or river the all dumps into the same place.
And it sucks to have only 1 pumpout in our area. It is not out of the way for me, but it is for 95% of the
other boats from around here. I can imagine where the boats 30 miles away dump their tanks.

We have about 13 USCG boats in our area. 1 of them is for boating safety and poop compliance only. The rest
are for port protection.



Homeport: Lake Charles, La Go to Top of Page

Ghost

RO# 689



Posted - Dec 18 2010 :  00:36:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If the enviro whacko's had any conscience whatsoever, they would stop with this NDZ sillyness and MANDATE treatment systems on boats. This just seem so obvious to me. There is no way that you can be FOR the environment without being against NDZ's. No way.



What part of GALE WARNING did you not understand?

Homeport: Everett Wa Go to Top of Page

pdecat

RO# 842



Posted - Dec 18 2010 :  07:28:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Ever tried to launch a turd over the lee rail?



I wondered what those brown streaks were on the side of your boat?


Bruce



Homeport: Gulf Coast FL Go to Top of Page

Vic Willman

RO# 3655

Posted - Dec 22 2010 :  08:22:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
L. Keith, regarding peeing over the side - if you're alone on the boat, be sure to idle it down and take it out of gear before heading back to the swim platform. You'd be amazed at how many male drowning victims are pulled out of the water with their fly open. If you fall overboard while the boat is in gear and running - you've got a real problem!

As far as the legality of peeing over the side, the way I read the law is that if you are already in the water, swimming with the fishies, it's OK to empty your bladder - or for that matter, your colon, into the water. But if you aren't already in the water, the way I read the law, is that that too, is illegal. But that's only the way I read it - others may disagree. It's like Bill Clinton trying to explain what "is" means...



-- The Head Master --

Homeport: Millville, NJ Go to Top of Page

sabrejocky

RO# 12195

Posted - Dec 22 2010 :  08:28:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now how far do I need to be in the water to be considered "in"? What if I stick a toe in the water while peeing, am I legal now?

"Pretty Penny"
1990 50' High Tech Euro
Wellington, Florida
You ain't much if you ain't Dutch

Homeport: Miami, Florida Go to Top of Page

Billylll

RO# 24494

Posted - Feb 11 2011 :  21:02:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
NDZs are a misplaced joke somewhere between the X Files and the FDC or is it global warming Vic?
Bill


Bill Lentz
Little Egg, N.J.

Homeport: Tuckerton, N.J. Go to Top of Page

mixman

RO# 25362

Posted - Feb 11 2011 :  21:11:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Or somewhere between the FDC and the FCC (or NSA, or CIA, or FBI, or HS, or....how many darn federal agencies to we have?).

As I just posted in another thread, it's better to treat it than to pump it out to a "treatment plant" that doesn't treat it and dumps it right back into the same waterway raw. Gov't sucks.



Homeport: Go to Top of Page

Bob J

RO# 181

Posted - Jan 18 2012 :  18:21:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Vic, only about a year late to the topic. Just how clean is the treated waste that comes out of the LECTRASAN C. Especially #2. Maybe clean is not the best choice of words but nothing else came to mind.

Bob J

Homeport: Waretown, NJ Go to Top of Page

Ghost

RO# 689



Posted - Jan 19 2012 :  11:21:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I remember from Peggy years ago, a statement in one of her articles that it was "cleaner" than if you had sent it to the land based treatment station which very likely returns right to the same waterway. I'm guessing that's bacteria count, but I don't know. In any case, its safe.

What part of GALE WARNING did you not understand?

Homeport: Everett Wa Go to Top of Page

kd3pc

RO# 14468

Posted - Jan 19 2012 :  17:05:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
here is the latest from the EPA...it has some numbers that came about when they tested a couple of MSDs in 2007

www.epa.gov/nrmrl/pubs/600r10008/600r10008.pdf



Homeport: VA Go to Top of Page

mixman

RO# 25362

Posted - Jan 19 2012 :  22:49:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for posting that. I'm going to read it as soon as I can. The first thing that interested me was:

"Any opinions expressed in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency; therefore, no official endorsement should be inferred."



Homeport: Go to Top of Page

Radioactive

RO# 3238



Posted - Jan 19 2012 :  23:57:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
RE: "the way I read the law is that if you are already in the water,..." Vic

I am unwilling to get into an argument ( really. ), But my reading of it was that if any "fixture or container" or the like was involved in the transport of the human waste from the human to the wate, it was illegal. If "no equipment" was used ( ir went directly from the human and straight into the water ) it was legal.

Different takes on the same topic. Honestly, I do not know which of us has read it correctly.

---

I am way too much "old school" on the subject, where common sense and courtesy determined your actions: If you are in a "crowded area" ( ie: in the harbor ) then "hold it"; if you are "far away from crowds" then you are a very small fraction of the issue, so "let er rip". Obviously the law does not track this statement...

With the exception of boats/vessels carrying "many" persons, or in small bodies of water and/or closed bodies of water, there should be no issue with humans joing in with the rest of nature. Only when "diffusion" is not possible does it become a problem.

Imho. Do whatever the nice LEO tells ya.


Bill

"No matter where you go, there you are." -- Buckaroo Bonzai
"There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." - Kenneth Grahame

Homeport: MS Gulf Coast Go to Top of Page

kd3pc

RO# 14468

Posted - Jan 20 2012 :  06:48:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mixman

Thanks for posting that. I'm going to read it as soon as I can. The first thing that interested me was:

"Any opinions expressed in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency; therefore, no official endorsement should be inferred."




No decision from EPA on this, it had sat on someone's desk from 2007 (when it was done) until mid summer last year (2011). Several of us Bay sailors called and Mailed several local senators and when all were blown off, it irritated the VA senator enough that he wrote a letter and asked for status.

Even though it was released, "the EPA has not, and likely will not make any decisions" any time soon. They were fairly clear on that in the letter I received from the local EPA supervisor. The EPA really hates being told they HAVE to do something, anything....actually, especially by a member of Congress.

The sad part, if you read this report is that the technology and standards they test against are from the 1970's in all reality. Some of the Australian testing (not allowed by the EPA to be sited) of these units was quite enticing a few years back, as they did not deliberately over run the units, like the EPA did.



Homeport: VA Go to Top of Page

ronbo1

RO# 21769

Posted - Apr 23 2012 :  08:59:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote









This EPA report was brought to my attention in March 2010 and was discussed on the forum during Maryland's attempt at making the Chesapeake Bay a NDZ. Tom Neale, an attorney, has written about this (and other things) on his BoatUS blog.

Ronbo


Tom Neale, respected maritime writer and author, wrote the following:

ii. The report found some nutrient in the effluent but at an inconsequential level. The Australian government commissioned a test for nutrients from a LectraSan discharge. It found from samples taken from water immediately outside the discharge port, at flushing, to be of no measurable relevant value. (Appendix 1)

iii. The EPA has failed to make public this test, even though it is aware that the legislature of Maryland is now considering legislation concerning this issue. An EPA official stated on March 5, 2010 that the report is “working its way through the final approval phase.” Addendum: as of March 12, 2010 we’ve received information that the EPA has finally posted this report on its site.


The full EPA Report:

http://www.epa.gov/nrmrl/pubs/600r10008/600r10008.pdf


Tom Neale's Article:

http://www.boatus.com/cruising/TomNeale/article_156.asp



Homeport: Go to Top of Page

mixman

RO# 25362

Posted - Apr 23 2012 :  21:42:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's an updated article by Mr. Neale. Before I post that link, let me post this from the article:

Did You Know?

Once the EPA designates a No Discharge Zone, outlawing the use of marine sanitation device treatment systems, it's permanent, regardless of advancements in MSD technology.


http://www.boatus.com/magazine/2012/april/TakingCareOfBusiness.asp

It appears, at least to me, that EPA tried to run Type I MSDs through tests to show how "bad" they were. But instead got slapped in the face with facts they didn't like: Type I MSDs are good. No Discharge Zones are bad.



Homeport: Go to Top of Page

Ghost

RO# 689



Posted - Apr 24 2012 :  09:55:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm mystified on this issue. It seem so simple. What is a no-discharge zone? It's a method of outlawing the use of sewage treatment systems that ensure that our waterways stay clean. It's the only method that addresses the problem of truly incensing boaters to do the right thing with their holding tanks when away from marina facilities as pump outs only work for boats in a marina.

Make no mistake, this is an issue around politics, not science. The science is clearly in favor of treatment systems. But the political potential to appear to be beating up 1%'s is just too tempting.

NDZ's are the poster child of the failure of the boating community to more effectively get "ahead" of the politics of the issue. This is an issue where we should have the green movement BEHIND us, not against us. We should be packaging this up by pushing incentives via federal & State to push the mandatory use of these devices for boats over 50 feet and incentive discounts for boats under 50 feet for owning one. Doing so would prevent shenanigans in the politics by removing the arguments before they are even made. Let the politicians beat up the 1%'s by mandating these systems, not by outlawing them. How the boating movement ever allowed these clowns to very very effectively control the argument such that the lay person thinks that this issue is about yachts dumping their raw sewage on top of them, well that's just a failure of the boating community to ignore the issue.



What part of GALE WARNING did you not understand?

Homeport: Everett Wa Go to Top of Page

stmbtwle

RO# 7934

Posted - Apr 24 2012 :  10:36:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We recently visited the new St Petersburg Fl mooring field. It is designated a no-discharge zone, even for gray water.

So how is one expected to deal with the gray water issue? Most boats aren't so equipped.


Willie: Look Ma no paddle!

Homeport: Tampa Bay, FL Go to Top of Page

ronbo1

RO# 21769

Posted - Apr 24 2012 :  10:56:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

We may be getting allies for the use of treatment sanitation systems in boats in the Chesapeake.

Read the March and April editions of Chesapeake Bay Magazine which has an editorial and article on this issue.
If you remember, when MD was trying to push through a bill to make the Bay a NDZ we couldn't get any support from CBM.
Now, Tim Sayles in his editorial, says there may be a middle ground in the use of MSD type I devices, certainly not in harbors and marinas, but for open waters.

That sounds like progress.

Ronbo



Homeport: Go to Top of Page
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