Discharge of Sewage and Waste
The discharge of any sewage from marine toilets is prohibited on Oregon’s freshwater lakes, impoundments, and reservoirs that are not accessible by boat from the ocean.
The use of approved types of marine sanitation devices (MSDs) is required on the Columbia, Willamette, and Snake Rivers and on the navigable portions of all coastal rivers. Discharge of untreated sewage is permitted only beyond the three-mile ocean limit.
There are three types of approved marine sanitation devices (MSDs).
- Types I and II MSDs treat waste with special chemicals to kill bacteria before the waste is discharged at sea. 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, the simplest and most common, consist of holding tanks or portable toilets. They require only a small storage space and are simple to operate. Type III MSDs have the least effect on the environment since the waste is to be taken ashore and discharged into a local sewage treatment facility.
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.
Report illegal sewage discharge to the U.S. Coast Guard or the Water Quality Division of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality .