April 6, 2023
Visit the redesigned website at pumpoutwashington.org
By Emma Duckworth, WSG Undergraduate Science Communications Fellow
As the weather continues to warm, Puget Sound boaters are gearing up for another beautiful season. Whether it be their first time on the water or their tenth season in the Sound, all kinds of boaters are preparing their vessels for spring, and Washington Sea Grant (WSG) is preparing new ways to educate local recreational boaters on water safety. One new addition to our plethora of resources has been a redesign of the Pumpout Washington website.
Pumpout Washington is a go-to program for boaters to learn about how to comply with the No Discharge Zone (NDZ), a policy that bans any sewage from being discharged from boats in Puget Sound waters. The new Pumpout Washington website is easy to navigate, with educational resources on the importance of no discharge zones, a live map of where mobile pumpout stations are located, and resources for marina managers to provide their customers with pumpout adapters and other resources.
The new site provides resources on the history of the Puget Sound no discharge zone (NDZ), explaining how it prevents contamination of our waters and protects both humans and aquaculture from the hazardous effects of discharged sewage. The website even outlines the boundaries of the NDZ and maps out local pumpout stations, showing boaters exactly where they can safely discharge their waste. Before a big weekend on the water, boaters can pre-plan their pit stops to pumpout and maximize their fun. In addition to a map of permanent pumpout stations, this new website also includes a new live map of where mobile pumpout stations are located. Mobile pumpouts are vessels that move between different marinas in Puget Sound. This map shows their most recent location in real-time, giving boaters more freedom to pump out when the station is nearby.
While the new pumpout website is easy to use for recreational boaters, it’s just as convenient for marina managers to take advantage of the resources available through the Pumpout Washington program. Under the Clean Vessel Act Grant Program, federal funds are allocated to disperse pump out resources to recreational boaters, like pumpout adapters and the construction of pumpout stations. The redesigned Pumpout Washington website makes accessing these materials convenient for marina managers, linking grant applications and providing educational videos on pump out station maintenance. The site caters to both managers and customers, encouraging safe discharging and making pump out stations accessible to all.
Aaron Barnett, WSG’s boating program specialist, manages Pumpout Washington. He works with boaters and marina managers to promote the pump out program and ensure that Puget Sound waters remain safe and clean.
“[The Pumpout Washington website] is the go-to place for all things pumpout related such as where, why and how to pumpout, including information for marina managers of pump out equipment grants”
The launch of this new website increases transparency about the goals and regulations of the Pumpout Washington program, allowing managers and boaters alike to do their part in keeping the Puget Sound waters safe and clean. Easier to navigate and complete with new resources like educational videos and maps, the site makes pumping out convenient and efficient, allowing boaters to spend more time on the water. Help keep our waters clean and check out the Pumpout Washington website today!
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.