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Pumpout Station sign

Signs like these are posted at pump-out stations.

According to state law, it is unlawful to place, leave, or discharge waste or waste containers into the waters.

Every vessel 65 feet in length and under with an installed toilet must have an operable U.S. Coast Guard–certified marine sanitation device (MSD) on board.

Pump-out station

MSD diagram

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.