Table of Contents

Download the PDF Version

It's the Law

Discharge of Sewage and Waste


Houseboats must have a waste-water holding system to prevent the discharge of waste into surrounding waters. Missouri law prohibits the discharge of any sewage, treated or untreated, into the state’s freshwaters.

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

Type I and II MSDs must have the Y valve secured so that waste cannot be discharged into the water.

Types of MSDs

A Type III MSD, the simplest and most common, consists of holding tanks or portable toilets. Waste is to be discharged onshore into a pump-out facility.

Types I and II MSDs are usually found on large vessels. Waste is treated with special chemicals to kill bacteria.

Marine Sanitation Device (MSD)