May 5, 2023
With the opening day of boating season upon us, it’s time for boaters to brush up on keeping our waters clean. Mobile pumpout vessels make it easier to dispose of onboard sewage — in order to use pumpout services, however, boaters need to know when and where they are available.
A new map now being tested shows the location of mobile pumpouts in real time. Through a partnership with Pierce County, GPS trackers have been placed on three vessels operated by NW Mobile Pumpout and Marine Environmental Services that serve Commencement Bay, Liberty Bay, Gig Harbor and other locations in South Puget Sound. Working with the Port of Lopez and Port of Friday Harbor, two additional trackers have been placed on mobile pumpout vessels in the San Juan Islands
Volunteers are needed to use, test and provide feedback on the usability and overall feasibility of using the map to locate mobile pumpouts
“This is the first project of its kind nationally,” says Aaron Barnett, Washington Sea Grant boating specialist. “Hopefully, it will make it much easier for boaters to locate and use the existing pumpout services.” Eventually, Barnett hopes the tracking map will be incorporated into the widely-used Pumpout Nav app.
Pumpout Washington is an education and outreach project of Washington Sea Grant in partnership with the Washington State Parks Clean Vessel Act Grant Program. This public outreach program has engaged tens of thousands of boaters about the importance of properly disposing of their sewage. It has distributed more than 10,000 pumpout adapter kits to boaters, making it easier for them to empty their boat’s head
Boaters can provide their feedback on the new map through three easy steps:
- Open the map here.
- Find the current positions of the mobile pumpout vessels.
- Contact Aaron Barnett with your suggestions and feedback on the map’s usability and functionality at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 616-8929
Thank you for your feedback!
Washington Sea Grant, based at the University of Washington, helps people and marine life thrive through research, technical expertise and education supporting the responsible use and conservation of coastal ecosystems. The National Sea Grant College Program is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.