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Course Outline

Pump-out sign

Signs like this one are posted at pump-out stations.

It is illegal for a vessel to discharge sewage into the waters of Vermont.

  • All vessels equipped with a marine toilet must have a wastewater holding system, such as a marine sanitation device (MSD), to prevent the discharge of waste products into surrounding waters.
  • Any holding tank or marine toilet that is designed to allow discharge into the water (such as those with a Y valve) must have the openings sealed shut. Also, any discharge lines, pipes, or hoses must be disconnected and stored while the vessel is on Vermont waters.

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.
  • 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.

MSD at pump-out station
Typical MSD
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