It's the Law

Discharge of Sewage and Waste


If you have a recreational vessel with installed toilet facilities, it must have an operable, USCG–certified marine sanitation device (MSD) on board.

  • All vessels 26 feet or more in length that have an enclosed cabin with sleeping facilities, must be equipped with a toilet if on Florida state waters.
  • On a vessel other than a houseboat, the toilet may be portable or a permanently installed toilet properly attached to an MSD.
  • Every houseboat must be equipped with at least one permanently installed toilet properly attached to a Type III MSD.

Types of MSDs

Type I MSD*

For vessels over 26 feet and under 65 feet long and use a combination of maceration and chemical treatment to kill bacteria just prior to discharge.

Type II MSD*

Required for vessels 65 feet and longer and use a combination of maceration, septic treatment, and chemical treatment to kill bacteria just prior to discharge.

Type III MSD

Consists of holding tanks or portable toilets. Type III MSDs have the least effect on the environment since the waste is to be discharged on shore into a local sewage treatment facility.

*There may be a Y valve that directs untreated waste material for discharge or directs waste material for treatment prior to discharge. The Y valve must be secured to direct waste to the MSD at all times within Florida waters (three miles or the edge of the Gulf Stream, whichever is greater, off the Atlantic coast or nine miles off the Gulf of Mexico coast).