Oh poop!

While it’s a rather indelicate topic, properly disposing of human waste while on a boat is no laughing matter.  Okay, you can giggle a little bit.

Back when I was a boy on our sailboat, the marine toilet discharged directly overboard – gross and bad for the Sound!  Today, we are much smarter and better at protecting our marine environment.  All of Puget Sound is now a “no discharge zone,” so marine toilets flush their “black water” into an onboard holding tank.

But when the tank is full, how do you empty it?  Many big urban marinas have “pumpout” facilities on a dock that suck the contents of the blackwater tank and pump it into the local sewer system.  Other large marinas have small pumpout boats that come directly to their customers in their marina to collect the waste.  These small boats often have creative names.  “The Fecal Freak” services a marina in the San Juan Islands with the motto “We’ll take crap from anyone!”

But what about the small marinas and pristine anchorages throughout Pierce County?  Our Planning & Public Works team knew the best way to protect our waters was to go to where the boats are and offer the service for free!  That idea was the start of our mobile “pumpout” program.  With a grant to buy a pumpout boat, we were underway.

When I’m invited to spend time on the water, you only have to ask once – especially when it means helping keep our water clean!  My thanks to Paul Weyn for the opportunity to ride along and learn more about the pumpout program.

Take a look at this video to see how the day went!

Not everyone was aware of the service, but they certainly were grateful as we motored over.  Please help spread the word!  Here’s the link to the program – and boaters can even schedule a pumpout appointment at 253-225-7660!

As you can see, Paul has an unusual but very important job. His customer service is exceptional and keeping Puget Sound healthy and clean is a great reason to come to work each day!

Thanks for reading,