Once again The Green Blue has teamed up with the Environment Agency to tackle diffuse pollution, this time encouraging boaters to think about how and where they discharge their black water.
In concentrated amounts and in poor flushing areas, black water from boats can cause a number of problems, including gastroenteritis from contaminated shellfish and toxicity for marine life from the nitrogen and phosphorus in human waste and chemicals in toilet disinfectants and deodorants. During the busy summer months, water testing in the Solent has, in the past, shown a spike in faecal contamination, and whilst a number of contributing factors are possible, The Green Blue is encouraging the recreational boating sector to take a responsible approach.
It is known that the majority of boats do not have holding tanks, even though since 2006, the Recreational Craft Directive requires all newly built vessels to have space to fit one but there are still ways to discharge black water responsibly.
Through key messages on boat stickers and posters, boaters are being asked to think about water quality and spare a thought for their fellow dinghy sailors, windsurfers, water lovers and beachgoers with a few key actions including: using onshore facilities where possible, using a holding tank if they have one or only emptying sea toilets when more than three miles offshore or in fast flowing areas. The Green Blue is also signposting boaters through a QR code to its website and a UK wide Pump Out Directory so boaters can find their nearest facility.
Jane Swan, Project Manager said, “The response so far has been even more positive than anticipated, and we are particularly grateful to MDL, Premier Marinas, Emsworth Yacht Harbour, Royal Clarence, Birdham Pool, Sheperds Wharf, Cowes Yacht Haven, Yarmouth Harbour and the Hamble Harbour Master for their help in promoting the initiative to their berth holders and visitors over the busy summer months.”
Photo: Shepards Wharf Marina in Cowes has a pump out facility.