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Old 10-24-2020, 07:06 PM   #1
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Discharging dirty dishwater

Hi all:

Looking for some advise from those more experienced than this new guy (me)....
I finished washing/scrubbing/scraping, the Magma kettle grill using a large cooler as my "sink/wash bucket. Now the grill is clean , but I have a cooler of dirty, soapy water and not sure what to do with it. Can it be dumped in the marina or do I have to treat as oil and take to a haz mat waste site?

Appreciate any insights.

Thanks,
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Old 10-24-2020, 07:29 PM   #2
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Hi Jolly Mon,
I am not sure of California's rules. Here in BC, as far as normal "grey" water (shower, dishwashing, handwashing, etc.) is concerned, it just goes overboard. I do try to use the most environmentally friendly soaps we can find. I clean my BBQ at home, and all of the waste water just goes down the drain and out to the sewage plant. I would think (guess) that sending it down the drain to the "plant" is a better solution than dumping it into the marina.
Just what I do, in a different Country.
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Old 10-24-2020, 07:31 PM   #3
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Can you take it up to a rain drain in the marina?
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Old 10-24-2020, 07:43 PM   #4
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Can you take it up to a rain drain in the marina?
If by "rain drain" you mean the curb gutters for rain runoff, in most places that is just the same as dumping it into the nearest body of water yourself, only you have to walk farther.

Most places rain runoff is fed into the closest natural water feature untreated. The prevents the sewage treatment plant from getting overwhelmed after rain events.
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Old 10-24-2020, 08:00 PM   #5
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Then into the marina toilet.
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Old 10-24-2020, 08:09 PM   #6
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In the past, I’ve just power washed the BBQ on the dock after douching with liquid soap. Problem is, now I have to clean the rest of the dock and of course then wash the side of the boat. So maybe the ice chest as a sink ain’t such a bad idea.

Cheers
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Old 10-24-2020, 08:41 PM   #7
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Hate to disagree but in many cities, especially older cities, the storm drains go to the sewer plant. That is why in heavy rain storms sewer plants become overwhelmed and pump raw sewage into streams and rivers. Baltimore and Chicago are famous for it. Plenty of other locations as well. Baltimore dumps millions of gallons in a big storm probably more sewage than if every boat on the upper Chesapeake pumped their black water tanks overboard all year long. A couple of years back the City of Burlington Vermont dumped 4 millions gallons of raw sewage into Lake Champlain because a valve was mistakenly opened.So, in many places dumping into the storm sewer gets it to the sewer plant. Unfortunately, it is impossible to know if that is the case in every place one might dump.
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If by "rain drain" you mean the curb gutters for rain runoff, in most places that is just the same as dumping it into the nearest body of water yourself, only you have to walk farther.

Most places rain runoff is fed into the closest natural water feature untreated. The prevents the sewage treatment plant from getting overwhelmed after rain events.
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Old 10-25-2020, 07:40 AM   #8
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Lots of places I have been, if the water doesn't go to the sewer plant, they are labeled.

Some have turtle looking shapes and warnings on them.... cute.
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Old 10-25-2020, 08:21 AM   #9
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Overboard. Same happens with galley sink or water run off when you was the boat down.
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:17 AM   #10
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Parts of the world no longer allow ANY grey water to go overboard. Not even shower or sink water. New boats are built with a grey water tank which is pumped out.
Current teaching is to NOT put dish washer liquid on diesel spills when you fuel up. The dish water detergent is every bit as toxic as the diesel and dispersing the diesel makes it more toxic as well. Beyond being careful and having paper towels at hand we’ve taken to cutting an appropriate sized hole in a auto supply absorbent pads placed around fill to make sure not a drop goes on deck or in the water.
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Old 10-25-2020, 11:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusty Chief View Post
In the past, Iíve just power washed the BBQ on the dock after douching with liquid soap. Problem is, now I have to clean the rest of the dock and of course then wash the side of the boat. So maybe the ice chest as a sink ainít such a bad idea.

Cheers
Same here, except I use oven cleaner. Then wash it all overboard with a dock hose.

If you feel badly about it, wait until it is dark, the clean your grill.
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Old 10-25-2020, 12:38 PM   #12
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Hi Jolly Mon,

This is obviously a very regional issue. What's appropriate in British Columbia is a far cry from what's appropriate in California.

Given it's been many years since I (and my boat) were residents in California, my suggestion would be two-fold:

The most conservative suggestion would be to ask your marina manager. Remembering some of the very stringent (and, again, in my opinion overly zealous) environmental restrictions enveloping SoCal marinas, I would expect your marina manager to give you a VERY conservative disposal plan for your waste (grey) water in your cooler. I won't even hazard a guess as to what this might be.

A less-conservative, but (again, in my opinion) very environmentally "safe" suggestion would be to lug the cooler to your marina's shore-side restroom (assuming there is one!), and dump the contents of your cooler into the head. If a receptacle is good enough to receive black water, it's good enough to receive grey water.

Lastly, grey water is grey water, and is explicitly defined as such in most regions of the US. How to legally and ethically dispose of grey water is very likely explained in your marina's "best practices" handout (again, assuming your marina has one!). Treat grey water as such, and you're fine.

Regards,

Pete
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Old 10-25-2020, 02:27 PM   #13
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In the past, Iíve just power washed the BBQ on the dock after douching with liquid soap.
Was it a pleasant summer's eve?
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Old 10-25-2020, 04:05 PM   #14
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Lots of places I have been, if the water doesn't go to the sewer plant, they are labeled.

Some have turtle looking shapes and warnings on them.... cute.
That is pretty neat. Havenít seen anything like that around here.
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Old 10-25-2020, 05:33 PM   #15
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Can't help myself, but a personal comment about some of the so-called "green" regulations. Some places have implemented or are considering regulations like no grey water discharge (I am talking the ocean here not lakes and rivers), or boaters must contain the runoff water from the boat after a rain, or no boat washing or rinse water going overboard, etc.

While I mostly applaud efforts to "keep our environment safe", efforts like the above are, in my opinion, just aimed at appearing to be doing something, while in fact dealing with the 0.001% of the actual problem while ignoring the much larger issues like runoff and waste from the land, sewage escapes, minimal sewage treatment, etc. . Solve the biggest contributors first, then maybe look for the very small parts of the overall problem. As "rich" boaters, we are an easy target.
End of rant and JMHO.
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Old 10-25-2020, 05:44 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by firehoser75 View Post
Can't help myself, but a personal comment about some of the so-called "green" regulations. Some places have implemented or are considering regulations like no grey water discharge (I am talking the ocean here not lakes and rivers), or boaters must contain the runoff water from the boat after a rain, or no boat washing or rinse water going overboard, etc.

While I mostly applaud efforts to "keep our environment safe", efforts like the above are, in my opinion, just aimed at appearing to be doing something, while in fact dealing with the 0.001% of the actual problem while ignoring the much larger issues like runoff and waste from the land, sewage escapes, minimal sewage treatment, etc. . Solve the biggest contributors first, then maybe look for the very small parts of the overall problem. As "rich" boaters, we are an easy target.
End of rant and JMHO.
A strange example is NY Lake George. Landlocked so under state jurisdiction. Gray water discharge prohibited and boats req'd to modify to capture all gray water. The strange part is no reqmt to discharge any place special. Recommendation is to take it ashore to be dumped anywhere. Even a postage stamp sized island is OK. I guess if runoff is from rain its "natural" and not perceived as a problem?
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Old 10-25-2020, 07:57 PM   #17
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All of the inland waters of western Washington are strict no discharge zones, and more and more areas in British Columbia are following suit. Listen, folks, regardless of where you are, there's an awful lot of common sense and courtesy that seem to be missing in both regulations and in the behavior of many boaters. In other words, think about where you are and what you're putting down the sink. It's not cool to put a lot of shampoo or dishwashing suds into the water of a small cove or marina, regardless of the regulations. It's just thoughtless behavior, like throwing cigarette butts overboard.

You can get no-suds liquid camping soaps that are perfectly fine for washing yourself or your dishes. We find that if we're aware of where we are and what we're putting down the drain, there just doesn't seem to be a problem.
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Old 10-25-2020, 08:02 PM   #18
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Boaters should be some of the most conscious of what goes into the water since we love boats and the water we boat in. Even if we can get away with putting questionable stuff into the water we shouldnít. And saying that others do it or even do it worse isnít an acceptable excuse in my mind. Just donít dump crap into the water. I would like for my grandsons to be able to enjoy being on the water like I do.
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:05 PM   #19
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All of the inland waters of western Washington are strict no discharge zones, and more and more areas in British Columbia are following suit. Listen, folks, regardless of where you are, there's an awful lot of common sense and courtesy that seem to be missing in both regulations and in the behavior of many boaters. In other words, think about where you are and what you're putting down the sink. It's not cool to put a lot of shampoo or dishwashing suds into the water of a small cove or marina, regardless of the regulations. It's just thoughtless behavior, like throwing cigarette butts overboard.

You can get no-suds liquid camping soaps that are perfectly fine for washing yourself or your dishes. We find that if we're aware of where we are and what we're putting down the drain, there just doesn't seem to be a problem.

So do you not wash your boat?
How about your car? where does that run off go?
Pretty much everything that hits the ground West of the Cascades ends up in Puget Sound.. a little shampoo is infinitesimal.
If you want to be low impact sell the powerboat and get a kayak, but dont drive it to the beach in a polluting old volvo like lots of the "greenies" here in Washington do.
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:38 PM   #20
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FH tend to agree with you. A truly bad unintended consequence of this is it increases hostility to accept and act on the significant factors. Yes, we need to protect our environment. It’s our home. Yes there are settings where grey water is truly an environmental threat. But all to often it’s ridiculous and the supporting science isn’t there. One of my son in-laws is a water engineer. Spends his days engineering large public and private projects. Sees his projects engineered to no or favorable impact but then next door to his work there are ecological disasters.
Think if the local ecology was monitored and understood and the regs were site specific with their rationale in the public domain better regs would exist and better compliance would result.
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