The Clean Vessel Act

What is the Clean Vessel Act?

Congress passed the Clean Vessel Act in 1992 (CVA) to help reduce pollution from vessel sewage discharges. The Act established a federal grant program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and authorized money from the Sport Fish Restoration Account of the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund for use by the States. Federal funds are used for public outreach and for installation, renovation, operation, and maintenance of pumpout and dump stations. Marinas can be reimbursed by these funds for up to 75% of the approved project costs.

Purpose: Provide pumpout and dump stations for boaters to dispose of human waste in an environmentally safe manner. Pumpout stations are used to pump waste out of recreational boat holding tanks. Dump stations are used to empty portable toilets. Appropriate State agencies are the only entities eligible to receive grant funds.

Why Use Pump Out Stations?

Raw or poorly treated sewage can spread disease, contaminate shellfish beds and lower oxygen levels in water. Waterborne diseases including hepatitis, typhoid and cholera can be transmitted by shellfish. Organic matter in sewage is decomposed in the water by bacteria. During this process, the bacteria use oxygen. As a result, sewage in the water may deplete the water's oxygen level, causing stress to fish and other aquatic animals.
Areas most likely to be affected are sheltered waters with low flushing rates, waters with significant recreational value, areas set aside for shellfish harvesting, State and Federally designated significant habitats such as those in Coastal Zone programs, as well as waters designated by the Environmental Protection Agency as "No Discharge Areas."
Increased sewage acts as a fertilizer causing excess growth of algae, which blocks out needed sunlight for aquatic vegetation which provides nursery habitat for fry or young fish.
Boats with holding tanks that discharge their sewage illegally and carelessly may be pouring large amounts of harmful chemicals in the water used as deodorizers in the holding tanks, such as formaldehyde, chlorine, and ammonium compounds.
Also, floating sewage tends to ruin your outdoor experience.

Look for this sign to direct you to a pumpout station.

More Information:

NC Clean Marina Program (Division of Coastal Management Website)

NC Clean Boater Program (Division of Coastal Management Website)

Find Out How to Get a Free Pump Watcher:

If your Marina is located on one of the lakes that is owned by Duke Energy, you are eligible to receive a free Pump-Watcher. NCWRC Clean Vessel Act program is now offering to reimburse up to 75% of the cost for Pump-Watcher units. The remaining 25% will be offered through a credit to you by Duke Energy, read Duke Energy Letter.

Pump Watcher ( The Flow Monitor utility for Pumpouts)

Pump Watcher is a reporting system that provide usage data from your pump. Designed to remotely monitor pumpout equipments (pumpout station, pumpout boat, floating restroom...). You are able to track, receive usage, maintenance and performance alert directly to your email or phone and you can schedule proactive service before a failure occurs.