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Course Outline

A marine sanitation device treats waste with special chemicals to kill bacteria before the waste is discharged.

  • To be approved, an MSD must meet the requirements as given in the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations.
  • MSDs are installed between the toilet and the “Y” valve.
  • The “Y” valve must be secured to prevent accidental illegal discharge. 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.
  • Only treated sewage from an approved MSD may be discharged directly overboard. The treated sewage must meet the standards as given in the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations.
    • The standard you must meet depends on whether you are operating in a “designated sewage area” or in an area that is not a “designated sewage area.”
    • The sewage must be effluent (liquid) and not contain any visible solids.
Marine Sanitation Device diagram

Black Water Regulations

Black water is defined as sewage that contains fecal matter and urine. It is illegal to discharge black water from a pleasure craft into Canadian waters.

Local Restrictions

Local waterways in Canada may have specific discharge restrictions in addition to those covered here.

  • Be sure to check for local restrictions before you go boating.
  • When operating on Ontario waters:
    • Portable toilets are illegal.
    • Pleasure craft are not allowed to discharge any type of sewage or sewage sludge overboard into the water.
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