...discharge sewage

Did you know?


  • Untreated sewage discharged from boats can spread gastroenteritis, contaminate shell fish beds and deplete vital oxygen in the water that fish and other aquatic life depend on.


  • Human waste contains phosphorous and nitrogen which are nutrients for plant growth, increasing levels of algae and reducing water.


  • Chemicals such as chlorine, formaldehyde, ammonium and zinc compounds used to disinfect, breakdown and deodorise waste are toxic to marine life.




  • In the open sea, well away from land, waste will be quickly diluted and dispersed by wave actions and currents. Only empty holding tanks more than 3 miles offshore


  • In areas of poor flushing such as estuaries, inlets and marinas, make use of shore side facilities, holding tanks and pump out facilities or a portable toilet


  • Chemical toilets use toxic substances and should only be emptied ashore into the regular sewage system. Plan ahead as they can be difficult to carry and few pump out facilities will accept chemical toilet waste.


  • In marinas, use shore side facilities and brief your crew to do likewise.


  • When visiting new sites, give consideration to the environmental sensitivity of the area before using your sea toilet.


  • Boats manufactured outside the UK may not have the correct ISO fittings for UK pump out stations.


Useful information


The prevention of pollution by sewage from ships is regulated by Annex IV of MARPOL see www.imo.org


The RYA Marina guide and most good pilot guides and almanacs have details on the location of sewage pump out facilities www.rya.org.uk


A map showing locations of Special Areas of Conservation can be found at www.jncc.gov.uk