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Old 09-30-2017, 09:51 AM   #1
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Is it legal to throw my old rusted out holding tank overboard offshore? If so how fa

Just before Irma hit, a major leak developed in my old stainless holding tank. Just had major liver surgery and living on SS ONLY.. Need to replace holding tank asap. Cheaply as possible
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Old 09-30-2017, 09:56 AM   #2
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It might not be illegal to throw your old tank overboard, but are you accustomed to disposing of trash overboard? Wouldn't it be easier to just take it to a recycling yard? Or the town dump?

Most holding tanks these days are made of plastic and if properly installed will probably outlast the boat. A few hundred dollars will get you what you need. Check the Internet for sources and prices.
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Old 09-30-2017, 09:58 AM   #3
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Why offshore is the first question? Drain the tank and dispose of it onshore. The metal may be worth something depending on size of tank. Being a metal tank and assuming no plastic fittings the law would require at least 12 miles off of the US coast. You would have to make sure the tank sank by puncturing or otherwise. Floating materials are banned at 12 miles.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:04 AM   #4
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3 miles offshore at night 3 miles beyond the range of the Coasties binoculars during the day.

The rest of it is an easy but shitty job.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:06 AM   #5
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I'm on a mooring ball with no access to a dock or $ to for access or disposal. And NO I'm not accustomed to disposing of trash overboard. I personally think dumping this tank, which will rust away to nothing, will be less harmfull to the environment then paying somebody to bury it in a landfill... and much easier. Obviously you disagree...
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:13 AM   #6
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Bigfish,
You said it was stainless.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:18 AM   #7
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It is stainless but the seams are rusting out.. Lousy stainless...
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:22 AM   #8
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When I have surplus metals I take them to a metal salvage yard. They give me money and I take my young bride out to tea.

If you are too far away from a metal recycle place, most boatyards have a dumpster for metal recycling. Since they get paid for what is in it, they probably wouldn't object to a cleaned tank being placed it it.

BTW, if you have no access to a dock, how do you get food?
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:31 AM   #9
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Welding stainless, I imagine particularly with the wrong rods, moves the alloys around in the melting. The resultant alloy is more susceptible to corrosion. That's why you more often see rust at the welds than along the rest of the piece.

I thought stainless was not recommended for holding tanks. Sewage is pretty corrosive stuff as well as its other undesirable properties.

Given that this tank has been successfully in service for decades, perhaps having it rewelded would make sense. You might be lucky; perhaps the offending seam is accessible. I had my 33 year old stainless water tank rewelded this past summer; the original weld had cracked, happily where it was quite easy to reach.

Stainless is recyclable. It'll go off to Red China with the rest of our scrap and come back as a cheap toaster.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:52 AM   #10
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I am currently in a hotel paid for by FEMA. I had 30% of my liver removed on the 18th because of cancer. Before Irma smashed through here I was kayaking back and forth to the dinghy dock. I'm currently taking a cab to and from the store for food. My Lady will need lots of work externally but the inside is dry and livable. Lost my refrigeration but woul like to get my holding tank issue taken care of before I move back onboard. I dont have my stitches out yet and can't get in and out of the kayak yet. Manpower is at a premium here in Marathon at the momemt so I'm considering asking friends to help me dump the tank and scrub the bilge on a day excursion offshore. I have plenty of fuel in my tanks that I should use anyway. That seems like the cheapest way to get this done but I'm open to suggestions.. I will most likely have to move back onboard after the 7th.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:58 AM   #11
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I'd rather pay for a new plastic tank but I have to get the battery bank up and the old tank out to get measurements for the replacement. And I can't physically do squat at the moment. I'd prefer to do this at a dock or in a slip but slips are not an option if you have no insurance. Dock space in Marathon at the moment?? No idea.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:40 AM   #12
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Damn Bigfish. I feel for ya.

I'm in Texas so can't be there physically, but could donate if needed.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfish View Post
I'm on a mooring ball with no access to a dock or $ to for access or disposal. And NO I'm not accustomed to disposing of trash overboard. I personally think dumping this tank, which will rust away to nothing, will be less harmfull to the environment then paying somebody to bury it in a landfill... and much easier. Obviously you disagree...
Yes, I disagree.

I don't think disposing of trash in the ocean is a good idea, especially when there are simple options. As others have posted, it has value as scrap metal. Not a lot of value, perhaps but some monetary value.

I'm no "tree hugger" but I would rather see your stainless steel be recycled into a toaster than see it cluttering the ocean floor.

You have posted a bunch of excuses why you can't dispose of the tank properly but I'm not buying them. Bringing it to shore is certainly simpler than taking it twelve mines out to sea (and back).

Owning a boat brings with it some responsibility to others and the environment. I suggest you act responsibly in this case.

Or, wait until dark and just push it overboard. Your choice. Your conscience.
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Old 09-30-2017, 12:20 PM   #14
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Thanks cardude! I'm just thrilled to be alive at this point..
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Old 09-30-2017, 12:29 PM   #15
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Where are you? Where would you be dumping it?

Lets see if there is a reasonable solution despite some opinions.
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Old 09-30-2017, 12:32 PM   #16
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I am clearly with WesK on this. Our oceans are not and should not be a place to receive our trash. This is not because you won't see it anymore that it won't be there. What if everybody would dispose the cans and all sort of metallic stuff overboard thinking it will vanish... we would have a mountain of trash in place of the sea.
I feel your pain and I am sorry for you, but at the same time I am sorry to say that it is not an excuse.

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Old 09-30-2017, 12:38 PM   #17
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Our coastal waters off the Eastern US are full of everything from Army tanks to subway cars to ships in fish havens.

If this tank is cleaned up reasonably and dumped near one should be no big deal.

Now, there's a right and wrong way to do it... but it certainly isn't different than what happens every day on a much larger scale.

As to mountains of trash, heck they are all over the place in plain sight anyway....2/3 of the world is ocean, so the dumping of some things done properly might be considered a better alternative by some people....and actually be a productive thing to boot.
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Old 09-30-2017, 12:57 PM   #18
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Let's face it, the reality is no matter what you do with a metal tank it will be better for the world in the long run than purchasing a plastic tank.

If a guy recovering from cancer surgery and living on a mooring in an already-remote part of the country that was just mauled by a hurricane can't get any sympathy on here, holy crap.
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Old 09-30-2017, 01:27 PM   #19
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Hey Lou.. You ever pee in the ocean? Discharge your holding tank way off shore? If everybody in the world did that it wouldn't add up to a hill of beans. Mine is a unique desperate situation in case you cant read. If I xould afford it I'd pay soneibe like you to come down and dispose of it "properly!" How much do you charge? Not an option at the moment... Get it??
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Old 09-30-2017, 01:29 PM   #20
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Thank You PSneeld! Common sense is not completely dead yet...
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