The NH Clean Vessel Act Program works to secure a healthy aquatic environment by preventing improper sewage disposal by recreational boats. Many recreational activities are sustained by our water resources and improper sewage disposal could threaten this use. The Federal Clean Vessel Act (CVA) provides funds to states for the construction, renovation, operation and maintenance of pumpout and dump stations which remove waste from recreational boat holding tanks and portable toilets. These federal funds can be used to account for up to 75% of all approved projects with the remaining 25% provided by state and local government, private businesses or associations. The CVA program concentrates on educational outreach to marina owners, boat dealers and their consumers.
The Clean Vessel Act of 1992 was established to offer a viable alternative to overboard disposal of recreational boater sewage. The act authorized a competitive grant program for states to provide funding for the construction, renovation, operation and maintenance of pumpout and dump stations. These federal funds can be used to account for up to 75% of all approved projects with the remaining funds supplemented by state and local government, private businesses or associations. Boaters are able to dispose of sewage from either boat holding tanks or portable toilets into pumpout or dump stations.
Since 2002 New Hampshire’s coastal waters have also had the added support of a pumpout boat. The pumpout boat transports sewage from boats to an onshore treatment plant. To date, more than 88,000 gallons of sewage have been removed from recreational boats just through use of the pumpout boat. The DES pumpout program serviced 697 boats and removed approximately 20,000 gallons of boat sewage during the 2010 season alone. To request service call the boat operator’s cell phone at (603) 670-5130.
Greater accessibility to pumpout and dump stations translates to decreased pollution in New Hampshire coastal and inland waters. Federal law prohibits the discharge of treated or untreated boat sewage in water that is designated a No Discharge Area (NDA). All waters within three miles of the New Hampshire shoreline and the Isles of Shoals are part of the coastal No Discharge Area. Tidal and estuarine waters, including all bays and rivers to the tidal dams, are incorporated in the NDA. New Hampshire is also one of only 14 states that enforce "No Discharge" laws for inland waters. Boats cannot contain devices that will allow for overboard discharge of treated/untreated boat sewage or graywater.
Important goals of the CVA program include educating boaters and non-boaters alike of their environmental responsibilities and encouraging public awareness of sources of pollution.
For more information contact:
Clean Vessel Act Program
NH Department of Environmental Services
29 Hazen Drive
PO Box 95
Concord, NH 03302-0095