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Pumpout Station sign
Signs like these are posted at pump-out stations in Kentucky.

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

Pump-out station
Typical Marine Sanitation Device

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.

The "Y" valve on a Type I or II MSD must be sealed or locked while the vessel is on "no discharge" waters.

Treated sewage may be discharged from a marine toilet only into legal discharge waters. Legal "discharge" waters are Barkley Lake, Kentucky Lake, Lake Cumberland, Dale Hollow Lake, and any of the major river systems.

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 U.S. Coast Guard–certified.