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boating responsibility

Our Local Waterways are a Source of Drinking Water

Using pumpouts and restrooms is important! Human waste contains microorganisms like bacteria and viruses that can make you sick and also harm fish and aquatic life. Bilge oil from boats and personal watercraft can also harm valuable aquatic life. Our lakes and rivers are a source of drinking water for millions of Californians. By using the restroom and pumpout facilities and properly recycling used oil and dirty bilge water while enjoying our lakes and rivers you'll be doing your part to protect our most precious natural resource…water!

What is a Pumpout?

A sanitary pumpout is a facility at many local marinas that is used to remove wastewater from your boat's holding tank. Always use a pumpout to empty your holding tank, even if you have a Type I or II Marine Sanitation Device (MSD).

Preventing Pollution

90% of the oil in marine waterways is due to boat bilges, outboard motors, poor fueling procedures, urban runoff and improper disposal of used oil products. Here are some ways you can help prevent this pollution:

  • Use drip pans and absorbent pads when draining oil from bilges
  • Keep engines well tuned and regularly check for leaks. Change oil filters often
  • Place oil absorbent in the bilge area. Recycle or properly dispose of the used absorbent at a certified oil disposal facility
  • Keep bilges clean and maintained. Do not use detergents while cleaning
  • Don't mix used oil with other substances
  • Before pumping the bilge use oil/water separators or absorbents to remove the oil from the bilge water
  • Remove oily bilge water at a bilge water pumpout station