Helping prevent water pollution, specifically by keeping sewage out of waterways, is the goal of Oregon Sea Grant's boating outreach program.
Free boat holding-tank pumpouts, porta-potty dump stations, and floating restrooms are available in many of Oregon’s popular boating and fishing areas as part of the national Clean Vessel Act (CVA) grant program.
Through a partnership with the Oregon State Marine Board, USFWS Sport Fish Restoration Fund, and boating facilities across the state, this equipment was installed to provide boaters and sport fishermen with a way to properly dispose of waste.
At boat shows, we provide boaters with free pump-out adaptor kits and waste location cards when you stop by and visit us.
Pumpout stations, which pull sewage from a boater’s waste holding tank, are installed in marinas and other boating facilities. To pump out a boat, the boater connects a hose to the tank opening on the boat deck. When the pump is turned on, it creates a vacuum that draws the waste out of the holding tank, through the pump, and into sewer lines under the dock. These lines are then connected to municipal sewer or septic systems for treatment.
Porta-potty dump stations are installed in marinas and other boating facilities. They may be connected to a pumpout station or as a standalone unit. If a portable toilet, bucket, or other container is used to contain waste while boating or fishing, these stations can accept that waste. Trash, including personal wipes, should be kept out of the dump station and disposed of in a garbage can.
Approximately 24 floating restrooms are located around the state on coastal bays, inland lakes and reservoirs, and some rivers. They each have two toilets onboard and are popular with boaters and fishermen who don’t have a bathroom on their boat. Each floating restroom holds up to 1,000 gallons of sewage. Marinas and boating facilities that maintain these restrooms tow them to shore to be pumped out between one and three times a year, depending on use.
Many of the facilities in Oregon are free. In some locations, dump stations may charge a small fee to use them.
The Clean Vessel Act is a competitive national grant program that provides funds for the “construction, renovation, operation and maintenance of pumpout and waste reception facilities for recreational boaters” (USFWS Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program).
Funding is also used to educate recreational boaters on proper waste disposal. The Oregon State Marine Board is responsible for administering and managing grant funds in Oregon. More information on the history and accomplishments of this national program can be found here.
The Oregon State Marine Board applies for funding through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund for the installation, maintenance, and operation of pumpouts, porta-potty dump stations, and floating restrooms. These funds come from excise taxes on fishing equipment, motorboat, and small engine fuels, import duties, and interest. Marinas and boating facilities apply for funding through the Oregon State Marine Board to help with the costs of the installation and maintenance of the equipment in Oregon. More information can be found here.