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Course Outline

Pump-out sign

Signs like this one are posted at pump-out stations.

The Marine Sanitation Act 2002-59 or Clean Boating Bill was signed into law in Alabama on January 31, 2002, and became effective on October 1, 2003. This law makes the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency responsible for enforcing the Act related to regulating vessel sewage discharges. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency inspects marine sanitation devices on both recreational and residence vessels and issues yearly marine sanitation device (MSD) inspection decals.

If you have a recreational vessel with installed toilet facilities, it must have an operable MSD on board.

There are three types of MSDs.

  • Types I and II MSDs are usually found on large vessels. Waste is treated with special chemicals to kill bacteria before the waste is discharged. Types I and II MSDs with Y valves that would direct the waste overboard must be secured so that the valve cannot be opened. This can be done by placing a lock or non-reusable seal on the Y valve or by taking the handle off the Y valve.
  • Type III MSDs provide no treatment and are either holding tanks or portable toilets. Collected waste should be taken ashore and disposed of in a pump-out station or onshore toilet.

Vessels 65 feet or less in length may use a Type I, II, or III MSD. Vessels more than 65 feet in length must install a Type II or III MSD.

All installed devices must be USCG certified.

MSD at pump-out station
Typical Marine Sanitation Device - Y valve must be closed - Drainage to pump-out station
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