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Old 04-02-2016, 09:45 PM   #1
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gray water

Does anyone know if there are any regulations regarding the discharge of gray water along the ICW? If so where? Gray water being sinks and showers. (No black water.)
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:18 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. w. I am not aware of ANY no discharge zones (grey water) other than Lake Champlain which is along the northern border between New York and Vermont and subsequently inland.
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:26 PM   #3
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No regs that I've ever been aware of.
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:05 PM   #4
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There are only a few placed where gray water holding is required. All are closed intrastate lakes--Lake George NY, Winnepesaukee NH and a couple of reservoirs in California--exceot for a portion of the FL Keys Marine Sanctuary where even bilge pumps aren't allowed to discharge. It's legal for recreational vessels to to discharge gray water overboard everywhere else.

RT, Lake Champlain is a navigable interstate waterway. Like the rest of the Great Lakes, it is an NDZ, but only for toilet waste--at least for recreational vessels and small commercial vessels. However, freighters and other large commercial vessels are subject to different rules and may very well be required to hold gray water too.

I was surprised to learn just recently that the St. Lawrence River is NOT an NDZ...the discharge of treated toilet waste (and gray water too) is legal on all 700+ miles of it. But that may change, at least in the New York portion of it. Here's the article that ran in the March 28 Soundings Trade Only daily newsletter:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined that a no-discharge zone can be established for the New York portion of the river. The state Department of Environmental Conservation petitioned the EPA to take that action to prohibit sewage dumping from boats.
The state and federal agencies determined that the St. Lawrence has enough pumpout facilities to remove waste from all types of vessels, according to the Associated Press.
The EPA is taking public comment until April 25 on its proposed approval of a “no discharge zone.”
New York waters already established as no-discharge zones include lakes Erie, Ontario, Champlain and George, the New York State Canal System and the Hudson River.
The St. Lawrence River is one of the longest rivers in North America and is the outflow for the entire Great Lakes system, according to Save the River, a group formed to prevent pollution in the St. Lawrence. The Great Lakes hold nearly 20 percent of the world’s fresh water.
The river flows 744 miles from Lake Ontario into the world’s largest estuary, the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Only 114 miles of the river are in New York.


I'd love to know how the Save the River folks think that requiring the 5% of boats that discharge treated waste to use a holding tank instead on 114 miles of it can accomplish a d'd thing more than just enforcing the law that's been on the books for 35 years that already requires all boats to hold or treat.
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:33 PM   #5
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Greetings,
Ms. HM. "...Like the rest of the Great Lakes, it is an NDZ, but only for toilet waste..." NOT according to THIS publication: Bottom of Page 6...
IT IS ILLEGAL TO DISCHARGE TOILET WASTE, RAW
SEWAGE, AND GREYWATER INTO LAKE CHAMPLAIN.
http://www.lakechamplaincommittee.or...ing_Manual.pdf

Dispose of greywater properly. "Greywater" is rinse water
from boat sinks and showers. It is illegal in New York and
Vermont to discharge greywater into Lake Champlain. (middle of page 7)



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Old 04-03-2016, 12:38 AM   #6
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If you'll read pages 7-8 carefully, it should become obvious that what they're calling "gray" water (galley, bath and shower water) is actually "black" water (sewage)...'cuz it ONLY discusses toilet waste...only one short sentence at the very end that even mentions actual "gray water," saying "dispose of it properly" and claiming that it's illegal to discharge it. I dunno how they expect people to "properly dispose" of it...collecting shower water in a bucket is hardly practical, and then what do they expect you to do with the bucket? If they expect it to go into the "black water" tank, combining gray and black in the same tank violates USCG regs.

So while they're correct that gray water discharge is illegal in New York and Vermont INTRAstate waters but I don't think they can require it in INTERstate navigable waterway under USCG jurisdiction.

It wouldn't be the first think the folks with an advanced case of "Barney Fife syndrome" on Champlain have triedto do. They also claims that even transient vessels not only have to use tanks, but must also disconnect any plumbing to a thru-hull from a Type I or II or tank overboard discharge pump. They CAN require that of resident vessels, but it's unenforceable under federal law--which supercedes state and local law--that only requires transients to secure the system using one of the methods described in 33 CRF 159.7. However, "loopers" aren't willing to test it, so they disconnect the plumbing anyway.

You've certainly given me something to dig into, RT...and I definitely will! It'll have to keep for a week or two though, 'cuz I'm headed to California for the Strictly Sail Pacific show in Oakland in a couple of days. Meanwhile, I've bookmarked that link...thanks for posting it.
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:36 AM   #7
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"I'd love to know how the Save the River folks think that requiring the 5% of boats that discharge treated waste to use a holding tank instead on 114 miles of it can accomplish a d'd thing more than just enforcing the law that's been on the books for 35 years that already requires all boats to hold or treat."

Because we stopped using science in this country to make enviromental decisions long ago. Now, virtually every decision from highway safety to waterways is based on idealogy.

If it's good for a small enclosed lake, it must be good for a river that has a discharge of 350,000 cu-ft/second.

AND how many small, pleasure boats use this river versus commercial traffic that is thousands of times larger that discharge thousands of tons of things far more dangerous than crap!
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Ms. HM. "...Like the rest of the Great Lakes, it is an NDZ, but only for toilet waste..." NOT according to THIS publication: Bottom of Page 6...
IT IS ILLEGAL TO DISCHARGE TOILET WASTE, RAW
SEWAGE, AND GREYWATER INTO LAKE CHAMPLAIN.
http://www.lakechamplaincommittee.or...ing_Manual.pdf

Dispose of greywater properly. "Greywater" is rinse water
from boat sinks and showers. It is illegal in New York and
Vermont to discharge greywater into Lake Champlain. (middle of page 7)

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadMistress View Post
So while they're correct that gray water discharge is illegal in New York and Vermont INTRAstate waters but I don't think they can require it in INTERstate navigable waterway under USCG jurisdiction.

You've certainly given me something to dig into, RT...and I definitely will!
RTF, Peggy, others

I have twice written to the Lake group that published that brochure asking them to cite the NY and/or Vt law that their statement re; grey water refers to.

They have never replied to either letter. I have talked extensively w/ USPS members that are on Lk Champlain and they have indicated there is no legal prohibition of grey water discharge. I've boated there twice now and never had a problem. Many marinas & residents are sensitive to any excessive use of soap while washing boats but that's about it.
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:55 AM   #9
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I just found through researching Florida Keys stuff that there are some small areas of reef that "seemingly" discuss no discharge of gray water.


Specifically mentions "only engine exhaust water".


I still have to read further, and doubt I would mod my boat for these small habitat restrictions...but...if that legislation has made it through...who knows where else it will pop up.
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:19 AM   #10
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I just found through researching Florida Keys stuff that there are some small areas of reef that "seemingly" discuss no discharge of gray water.

Specifically mentions "only engine exhaust water".
???

How the heck could that work? Turn off the engines as you enter, and then coast through?



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Old 04-03-2016, 08:22 AM   #11
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Greetings,
Mr. ps. How in the heck could one NOT discharge engine exhaust water unless one drifted over the area or the area was closed to motors? Is this area restricted to...gasp...sailors who actually sail?

Mr. 42. Are you reading over my shoulder?

Great minds eh?
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wxx3 View Post
"I'd love to know how the Save the River folks think that requiring the 5% of boats that discharge treated waste to use a holding tank instead on 114 miles of it can accomplish a d'd thing more than just enforcing the law that's been on the books for 35 years that already requires all boats to hold or treat."

Because we stopped using science in this country to make enviromental decisions long ago. Now, virtually every decision from highway safety to waterways is based on idealogy.

If it's good for a small enclosed lake, it must be good for a river that has a discharge of 350,000 cu-ft/second.

AND how many small, pleasure boats use this river versus commercial traffic that is thousands of times larger that discharge thousands of tons of things far more dangerous than crap!
Ahh, the rare, and generally despised, voice of reason!!

The king has no clothes.
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:09 AM   #13
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???

How the heck could that work? Turn off the engines as you enter, and then coast through?
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Greetings,
Mr. ps. How in the heck could one NOT discharge engine exhaust water..
Great minds eh?
I think that means "only engine exhaust water" is allowed! No other discharge!
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:13 AM   #14
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May perhaps allow only engine exhaust water.
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:16 AM   #15
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I believe the "only engine exhaust water" is the only allowed discharge and is the exception.

Needs to be quoited in full context.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:07 AM   #16
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I think that means "only engine exhaust water" is allowed! No other discharge!
You have it right...ONLY engine exhaust water is permitted in these small areas directly on top reefs.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:19 AM   #17
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If it's good for a small enclosed lake, it must be good for a river that has a discharge of 350,000 cu-ft/second.

In the late '90s the legal department at the EPA regional office in Atlanta reached the conclusion that "ingress and egress" as described in 40 CFR 140.3(a) https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/40/140.3 included launch ramps. When I asked, "if there is no way, not even a ramp, to put a boat on a body of water, why would there be any need to apply any marine sanitation laws to it?" they had no answer.
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:29 PM   #18
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May perhaps allow only engine exhaust water.

Perhaps only one engine at a time....
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Old 04-03-2016, 03:30 PM   #19
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No...I am sorry I wasn't more clear...the small areas ONLY allow cooling water or engine exhaust.


The point is there ARE many "special regulations" that are Federal, State, Local, Park only regs that you still have to live with.


It makes our life more complicated but you can see even with all the experience here...there always seems to be a tidbit here and there that gets brought up when it could have been easily overlooked.


Best to do your homework and be in touch with those that live in, have just cruised in or are about to cruise in an areas you are planning.


Publications, even websites have limitations on currency and accuracy....sometimes it's word of mouth till someone does the research and can actually reference the statute affecting you.
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Old 04-03-2016, 04:00 PM   #20
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I have twice written to the Lake group that published that brochure asking them to cite the NY and/or Vt law that their statement re; grey water refers to.

I didn't realize till I read your post that the brochure RT cited wasn't produced by any state or local enforcement agency, it's just propaganda from the "Lake Champlain Committee," a self-appointed group of well-meaning people who've decided how things should be and have just enough of their facts right to be dangerous. They aren't even based on Lake Champlain, but in VT! Here's the link to their website The Lake Champlain Committee - Working for a healthy, accessible Lake Champlain

And it's a prime example of how, if some group claims that something is so, people just assume that it is and spread it as "fact." RT fell victim to it, and till I read your post, Don, so did I...I even saved the bookmark to my Laws and Regulations folder!

As soon as I have time after I get back from the show in CA, I'll search state and federal legislation for any citation that backs up their claim that it's illegal to discharge gray water on Champlain and I'll also take another run asking them to produce any. I prob'ly won't have any more luck than you did, though.
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