Originally Posted by HeadMistress
Fortunately, the noted TVA list does not include the main lakes used for commercial, and thus cruising, traffic; TN Tom, Pickwick, Wilson, Wheeler, Guntersville, etc.
That's because a) they aren't TVA lakes and b) they're all navigable interstate waterways...iow, rivers that eventually lead to the sea and under USCG jurisdiction (although state laws do apply as long as they don't supercede federal law).
Pickwick, Wheeler, Guntersville etc aren't bodies of dammed up water in otherwise non-navigable rivers, they're just very wide dammed up places in the navigable rivers. Dale Hollow Lake is the only NDZ in the Tenn-Tom system...which explains why pumpout facilities are VERY few and far between on the Tenn-Tom.
New York is another story...they've made just about everything but Niagara Falls an NDZ and it wouldn't surprise me if they're trying to figure out to do that.
NY York is another story...
Slight correction...The other lakes you mention are TVA reservoirs. But they are navigable rivers as well so don't fit the restrictions.
List of all TVA reservoirs here:
TVA: Reservoir Information
Now, to the mindset of all the NDZ's. There's a certain irony because these same lakes are where the local sewage treatment plant is generally emptying. So what is the difference? I think it's two fold and would love to hear your comments and opinion. First, it's the difficulty of telling whether the boat is dumping treated or untreated sewage. So, it's easier to say no discharge. Second, it seems to me to be a general lack of confidence in the quality of treatment by marine systems. Perhaps a belief one can't trust the operators to properly maintain them or perhaps just can't believe small systems could work so well. No system in place for inspection and testing.
Yet, technology has advanced amazingly over the years. People use watermakers and drink the water from the same lakes they're emptying into. Another irony is that so many of the homes along these lakes and rivers are not connected to any municipal sewage system and are using septic tanks themselves, many of those septic fields coming quite close to the water. Approximately 25% of the US population uses septic tanks today.
On a smaller boat, holding tanks and pumping of them is relatively practical. On a large boat with 2000 gallons of holding tanks and 12 people on board, then far less so. Many of the pump out stations aren't equipped for such volume on top of their other customers.
It's a complicated issue and doesn't seem to me anyone has found the complete answer yet.