Boaters with Toilets on Board, Md. DNR Needs Your Help

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is asking everyone with a toilet on their boat to fill out a short survey, to find out where pumpout stations are needed most.

Most boaters know that it’s illegal to discharge raw sewage from a boat within U.S. territorial waters, including the entire Chesapeake Bay, coastal bays and their tributaries. In Maryland, a law allows Natural Resources Police to enforce sewage laws with fines up to $2,000.

Sewage may be discharged into most of the Bay if it has been treated with a Coast Guard-approved marine sanitation device (MSD). But in certain, sensitive areas, not even MSDs are allowed. These “No Discharge Zones” currently include Herring Bay and the Northern Coastal Bays, where there is a high concentration of boats and a lot of water-contact activities happening.

As the Department of Natural Resources considers where it may need to more pumpout stations, and how many boats might be affected by No Discharge Zones, the agency asks boat owners to answer the survey by clicking here.

To learn more about Maryland’s vessel waste laws, click here.