Martin County’s recent purchase of two new pumpout boats through the Florida Clean Vessel Act Grant Program will help keep sewage waste out of local waterways. For years, Martin County has provided the free, on-call service that pumps sewage out of anchored or docked recreational boats in the St. Lucie River or Indian River Lagoon then unloads the waste into a sanitary sewer system. The job just got easier with the acquisition of two 23-foot pumpout vessels, each equipped with a 420-gallon waste storage tank, built specifically for the job by Marine Boatbuilders Co. in Warwick, R.I.
The pumpout vessels make it convenient for recreational boaters to safely dispose of sewage. The Clean Vessel Act of 1992 banned the discharge of raw sewage into fresh water or within coastal salt-water limits and also established a grant program for states. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Sustainable Initiatives administers the Clean Vessel Act grants for pumpout facilities, pumpout vessels and for boater education. A $150,000 grant from the Department helped Martin County purchase the vessels for $200,000. The Department helped the City of Punta Gorda acquire a similar pumpout vessel earlier in 2013.
For more information about the Clean Vessel Act and efforts in Florida to reduce sewage entering waterways, click here.