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At their disposal : Options for disposing untreated blackwater from boats in the Great Bear Sea Davis, Katy; Liu, Amy; Santo, Anna 2020-12

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At their disposal:Options for disposing untreated blackwater fromboats in the Great Bear SeaKaty Davis, Amy Liu, Anna SantoDecember 2020AcknowledgementsWe thank Anna Barford at for providing direction and guidance; interviewees for sharingtheir thoughts, opinions, and ideas; and the faculty and students in The University of BritishColumbia’s Training our Future Ocean Leaders Program for feedback. This project was partiallyfunded by Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s CREATE funds.Cover photo: KECO Pump & Equipment2Table of Contents1. Overview 42. Case studies 52.1.1 Alaska 6State-wide policies 62.1.2 Washington 72.2 British Columbia 93. Pumpout logistics 153.1 Types of pumpouts 153.2 Additional installation, operation, and maintenance considerations and costs 173.2.1 Sewage processing capacity 173.2.2 Electricity availability 173.2.3 Winterization 173.2.4 Utility hookup costs 183.2.5 Wastewater holding options 183.2.6 Space considerations 183.2.7 Payment considerations 183.2.8 Staffing 183.2.9 Installation and maintenance requirements 183.3 Stakeholder perspectives on barriers and motivations for pumpout installation 194. Recommendations 215. References 25Appendix A. Types of Pumpouts 28A1. Mobile pumpouts 28A2. Stationary pumpouts 28A3. Boat pumpouts 29A4. Barge/floating dock pumpouts 2931. OverviewThe Great Bear Sea (GBS) stretches along British Columbia’s (B.C.) coast from Campbell River, VancouverIsland to the Alaska border. This vast region is home to pristine ecosystems and numerous Indigenouscommunities. Boats are the primary mode of transportation for residents, recreational boaters, andcommercial vessels (e.g., fishing, cargo, and cruise ships) which are often in transit to and from Alaska.These marine vessels generate waste that must be managed, including: air emissions, garbage, sewage,ballast water, and scrubber wash water (Pew Charitable Trusts, 2018). Canadian and internationalregulations prevent certain waste discharges directly into the ocean, especially close to shore.This report is part of a joint effort exploring the effects of vessel discharges in the GBS and the feasibilityof establishing a “No Discharge Zone” (NDZ) in the GBS. Most NDZ’s regulate vessel sewage dischargesincluding blackwater (waste from toilets and medical facilities) and grey water (drainages from showers,sinks, laundry. Report #1 details the ecological and socioeconomic risks waste discharges pose for coastalcommunities and ecosystems. Report #2 (this report) focuses on the question: What is the feasibility ofimplementing a NDZ in the GBS?Our approach consisted of three iterative steps. First, we reviewed publicly-available articles and reportsabout managing wastewater from boats (e.g., reports about NDZs, boater surveys, environmental impactassessments, management plans) to gather lessons learned and case studies from neighbouring regionsof Alaska and Puget Sound, Washington. Second, we characterized existing wastewater treatmentsystems on the B.C. coast and identified priority areas for pumpout installation based on density ofvessel traffic in 2019 (Global Ship Tracking Intelligence: AIS Marine Traffic), wastewater discharge permitsand existing treatment facilities (Province of British Columbia Public Document Search), and prevalenceof shellfish aquaculture (BC Centre for Disease Control Shellfish Webmap v2). Finally, we conducted eightsemi-structured interviews with boating and/or wastewater management experts (e.g., regulators,marina/harbour managers, policy makers, education organizations, public utilities managers). The scopeof this project focuses primarily on blackwater and graywater discharge from small vessels (defined byTransport Canada) as there are less regulations and policies centered around them compared to largevessels such as cruise and cargo ships. We conclude the report with recommendations and next stepsbased on our findings.42. Case studiesHere we summarise existing vessel discharge policies and regulation internationally, in two bordering USstates, Washington and Alaska, and in B.C., in order to understand the current regulatory framework inthe northeastern Pacific.The key international regulation of sewage discharges from vessels is Annex IV under the InternationalConvention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), implemented by the InternationalMaritime Organization (IMO) (International Maritime Organization n.d.) and to which Canada is party.Member party governments are required to ensure the provision of adequate facilities at ports andterminals for the reception of sewage (International Maritime Organization n.d.).The US, which is not party to IMO, has the Clean Water Act (CWA) as its principal framework forregulating vessel sewage discharges. CWA is jointly implemented by the US Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA) which regulates equipment that treats or holds sewage (marine sanitation devices (MSDs)(Table 1) and establishes NDZs and US Coast Guard (USCG) which regulates certification, installation andoperation of MSDs. MSDs are required on all vessels with on-board toilets (US Environmental ProtectionAgency 2015).Table 1. Types of Marine Sanitation Device (MSDs)Type I ● Chops or macerates sewage before discharging. May add toxic chemicals.● Only allowed on vessels less than 65 feet.Type II ● Treats sewage by biological means before discharging. Separates out solids.● Cleaner but adds more chemicals than Type IType III ● Does not discharge sewage; includes holding tanks, incinerators, and recirculatingtanks.● Waste is stored until it can be pumped out.In the US, large cruise ships use Advanced Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS), a kind of Type II MSDwith additional levels of treatment, to discharge treated wastewater. Vessels larger than 79 feet arefurther required to participate in the Vessel Discharge Permit Program (Vessel General Permit, VGP)which further regulates effluents (US Environmental Protection Agency 2015). Most recreational boatsare not required to comply and commercial fishing vessels are not subject to the VGP. US stategovernments are allowed to establish standards that are more stringent than federal requirements, butmust comply with federal regulations.52.1.1 AlaskaOverviewMarine travel is an essential part of Alaska’s economy. Threats to marine ecosystems and coastalcommunities from sewage discharge are predominantly from passenger, commercial, and recreationalfishing vessels, and other boats transiting near shore. Like the GBS, much of Alaska’s coastlines areremote, with sensitive, pristine ecosystems and coastal communities have limited capacity to handlevessel sewage. Commercial passenger vessels in Alaska waters are more strictly regulated and monitoredcompared to Canada. Up to thirty large commercial passenger vessels operate in Alaskan waters eachyear, of which roughly half have wastewater discharge permits. The remaining ships discharge outside ofstate waters.State-wide policiesIn AK, large commercial passenger vessels (LCPV) cannot discharge wastewater without a permit fromthe AK Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) (Cruise Ship Program Laws and Regulations,2019). Under the permit, treated wastewater may be discharged within 3 nautical miles (nm) of shore;untreated wastewater passed through a MSD but not processed by an advanced wastewater treatmentsystem (AWTS) may be discharged beyond 3nm of shore. Untreated sludge and biosolids may bedischarged beyond 12nm offshore. Small commercial passenger vessels (SCVP, 50 to 249 berths), mustalso obtain a permit from the ADEC to discharge wastewater (White 2020). SCVPs may seek specialpermissions not to install costly AWTS but instead comply with vessel-specific Best Management Practice(BMP) plans which compel owners/operators to continually improve sewage discharge performance(White 2020). For recreational and commercial fishing vessels, discharge of sewage with less thanprimary treatment is prohibited and vessels must have a certified MSD. MSD discharge valves arerequired to be locked within 3 nm of shore to prevent illegal discharge. Penalties for illegal discharge ofsewage can range from to $2,000 to $25,000 (Sewage Pollution and Prevention Guide for Alaska Boatersn.d.).FundingFederal funding for vessel sewage management projects in AK come from the US Fish and WildlifeService under the Clean Vessel Act (CVA) and Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) (Medieros 2020;USFWS-WSFR Clean Vessel Act Grant Program 2018). Competitive funding is available to harbors toconstruct, renovate, operate, and maintain pumpout stations and waste facilities for recreationalboaters. Grant funds are also available for education and outreach (AK Sewage Mangaement 2017).Cruise ship monitoring by the independently-contracted Ocean Rangers program was funded by a $4 perberth fee (CSSB70 Cruise Ship Environmental Monitoring 2020). Since the program suspension in 2020,cruise ship revenues may now be used to build or improve sewage treatment in port communities, manyof which fail to meet federal treatment standards (CSSB70 Cruise Ship Environmental Monitoring 2020).6Enforcement and compliancePublic concern and EPA studies drove the push for vessel discharge sampling and monitoring in AK. Inaddition to random-spot checks by the USCG, LCVPs were required to be monitored by anindependently-contracted observer through the Ocean Rangers program from 2006 to 2019. In 2020, theOcean Rangers program was cancelled and a bill was proposed to replace the program with a shore-sideinspection program plus voluntary onboard electronic monitoring (Resneck 2020). Discharge monitoringof LCVPs requires laboratory testing but some SCVPs in AK have participated in self-monitoring withindicator tabs or inexpensive multimeters. Compliance of recreational and commercial fishing boatsrelies primarily on boater education and self-enforcement.ChallengesThe Alaskan state waters and coastlines are vast and regulations are difficult to enforce. Furthermore,boater awareness among recreational boaters remains low and many harbors lack pumpouts and/orthey don’t have adequate land-based facilities for sewage treatment.2.1.2 WashingtonOverviewWashington state has taken a region specific approach to regulate vessel sewage discharge bydesignating the Puget Sound a vessel NDZ. The objective was protection of human health, swimmingbeaches and shellfish beds and improved water quality. This region was targeted because of high vesseltraffic, poor seawater flushing rates, and it’s many sensitive and economically important marineecosystems, specifically shellfish resources. The NDZ designation was part of a larger state action planinvesting in terrestrial sewage treatment and management to restore and protect shellfish habitats.State-wide policiesIt is illegal to discharge treated or untreated blackwater into Puget Sound. Vessels with Type I or Type IIMSDs must secure the devices to prohibit the discharge of treated sewage in the NDZ. Vessels with TypeIII MSDs must use pumpouts or follow other discharge requirements outside the NDZ. Vessels withoutinstalled toilets must dispose of any collected sewage ashore in a proper facility (WA Department ofEcology 2018). A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the WA Department ofEcology, the Cruise Lines International Association North West & Canada (CLIA-NWC) and the Port ofSeattle to ban wastewater discharges from large cruise ships into state waters, except those treated withan AWTS. The MOU allows state inspection of wastewater treatment systems on cruise ships andrequires cruise ships to sample and monitor their own wastewater discharges. Outside of the NDZ,7advance notification and documentation must be provided for legal discharge of AWTS sewage and mustnot occur within half a mile of shellfish beds. There is a provision for the MOU to be updated andamended every three years (Cruise ships in Washington waters n.d.).Process for designating the Puget Sound NDZThe WA Department of Ecology successfully petitioned for a NDZ to the US EPA after demonstrating thatthere was i) sufficient need in order to protect water quality and the related ecological, economic, andrecreational benefits provided by Puget Sound and ii) adequate sewage pumpout facilities available forrecreational and commercial vessels in the proposed NDZ. The designation process took 5 years andincluded data collection on Puget Sound vessels, pumpout facilities, water quality and analysis of howpollutants move in Puget Sound, boater surveys, public comment periods, and an evaluation plan forimplementing the NDZ in Puget Sound, including economic and environmental costs and benefits (WADepartment of Ecology 2016; Puget Sound No Discharge Zone Resources & Studies n.d.). A GPS-linkedapp was developed to notify boaters of the boundaries of the NDZ, and where to find the nearestpumpout stations. Ongoing operations and maintenance of more than 140 stationary pumpouts and freemobile pumpout services at 10 coastal marinas were established (Washington State Parks n.d.), which is2 to 6 times more pumpouts per vessel than recommended for a NDZ petition (WA Department ofEcology 2013).Enforcement and complianceEnforcement of the NDZ is carried out by USCG, state, and local authorities, primarily the WADepartment of Ecology. The main approach for recreational boaters is outreach and education facilitatedby the WA State Parks and WA Sea Grant. For cruise ships, annual reports on wastewater practices mustbe sent to WA Dept of Ecology and random onboard equipment and records inspections occur annually.Due to the potentially high costs and efforts to change or install appropriate vessel sewage systems,specific vessel classes were allowed a 5 year period, from the initial NDZ designation, to comply. Along-term plan for evaluating NDZ success by measuring and tracking volumes of sewage pumped out,counting the shellfish beds opened or reopened, and ongoing boater surveys was established.FundingSimilar to AK, federal funding for the NDZ came from the CVA via US Fish and Wildlife Service. No moniesfrom state vessel registration fees, or other state passes or fishing licenses were used to support theNDZ. Pumpout Washington, the public outreach program managed by Washington Sea Grant was formedto provide free pumpout adapters and make additional boating infrastructure grants available (PumpoutWashington 2016).ChallengesChallenges to establishing the NDZ included identifying areas of high boater demand for pumpouts,especially in more remote anchorages; this has been achieved with boater surveys. Similarly to AK, Puget8Sound also struggled to establish pumpouts in communities with limited sewage treatment or holdingcapacity. This issue has helped secure grant funding for coastal communities to improve and expandexisting land-based sewage treatment facilities to accommodate pumpouts. There was also push-backfrom commercial vessel operators regarding the costs of retrofitting vessels with MSDs, due to lost worktime and lost revenue from diminished on-board space, and additional regulatory burdens (Brauer &Michaud 2015). To address this issue, early notification of vessels which require retrofitting for MSDs isideal, so that costly modifications can align with normal vessel maintenance schedules.92.2 British ColumbiaThis section addresses the question: What infrastructures are in place in communities around the GBS forhandling vessel wastewater discharges? The first part covers background for understanding Canadianlaws and regulations around vessel discharge management and existing designated protected areas.Before policies can be recommended, we need to understand the capacity of GBS communities to treatwastewater. The second half presents a list of community wastewater treatment options, and a summaryof existing wastewater treatment facilities in major GBS communities.Canadian wastewater discharge policy overviewIn Canada, regulations for sewage (blackwater) discharge from vessels are under the jurisdiction of thefederal government with Transport Canada and are described in the Vessel Pollution and DangerousChemicals Regulations (SOR/2012-69) under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. Wastewater dischargestandards are maintained under the federal Fisheries Act. Regulations surrounding vessel discharge oftreated and untreated sewage are briefly summarized in Figure 1. In addition, vessels must have holdingtanks for temporary storage of sewage on board. Transport Canada is responsible for enforcement asdetailed in Part 11 - Enforcement in the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. The practicality, however, forenforcing wastewater discharge particularly in smaller vessels without required documentation isunclear. Compared to the United States, Canada is overall lacking in strict policies, regulations, fundingstreams, and enforcement for vessel wastewater discharge in marine environments.There are Designated Sewage Areas established by Transport Canada, which function similarly to a NDZ,where no untreated sewage discharge is allowed unless passed through an approved MSD and musthave a fecal coliform count less than or equal to 14/100 mL (part 2, division 4, SOR/2012-69). Currently17 Designated Sewage Areas are located in the southern half of British Coumbia, with none in the GBS(schedule 2, SOR/2012-69). The Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations only describesthe locations of Designated Sewage Areas, but provides no definition. Sources report differentconsiderations for Designated Sewage Areas, such as a sensitive aquatic environment, extensive pleasurecraft traffic, poor flush rates, the availability of pumpout stations, and consultation with stakeholders(Union of BC Municipalities; Proposed Changes Vessel Pollution Dangerous Chemicals Regulations 2014)10Figure 1. Representation of raw sewage discharge regulations around the Coast of British Columbiaaccording to the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations under the Canada Shipping Act,2001.Source: in coastal B.C. communitiesIn order for protected zones to be established in the GBS, whether they are called NDZs or DesignatedSewage Areas, pumpout facilities are needed for vessels to properly dispose of wastewater. There areonly eight reported pumpout facilities in the GBS, and most are only operational during peak seasons orupon request (Ahoy BC Map; OceanSMART Ecological Boating Guide).Furthermore, sewage from pumpouts requires removal of contaminants in wastewater treatmentfacilities before effluent can be released back into the environment. Without wastewater treatmentfacilities in place, the function of a pumpout to prevent pollution would be obsolete, as the sewagewould simply be dumped back into the water.There are several different processes for wastewater treatment (Municipal wastewater effluent inCanada, 2006) including:● Preliminary treatment: Screening for solids and debris in wastewater to preserve integrity ofinfrastructure of downstream treatment. Most facilities have preliminary treatment.● Primary treatment: Tanks and ponds are used to allow wastewater to settle and for gravity topull solids to the bottom to be removed. Floating particles and oils are skimmed off the surface,and the remaining effluent is discharged. This process removes 30-60% of suspended solids and30-50% of biochemical oxygen demand.● Secondary treatment: Microorganisms are cultivated and used to break down remainingsuspended solids and organic material. This can be done using aerobic or anaerobic processes,with different communities of bacteria and removes 85-95% of suspended solids andbiochemical oxygen demand.● Sewage Lagoons: Commonly used in smaller communities. Differs in types and effluent qualitybut generally uses primary and secondary treatment.● Septic tanks: Simple sewage treatment structures with moderate efficiency used in homes andrural areas without a central sewage system; uses both primary and secondary treatment.The recently updated Canada’s Fisheries Act states in the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations thateffluent standards are updated to a quality that can be achieved with secondary treatment. Wastewatertreatment facilities now must be built with, or upgraded to, secondary treatment standards by up to2040, depending on the level of risk associated with effluent discharge to the environment. Conservationgroups such as the T. Buck Suzuki Foundation recommend secondary treatment systems over primarytreatment systems to reduce harmful compounds entering the ecosystem (Fawcett-Atkinson, n.d.).There are four B.C. regional districts that border the GBS: North Coast (With North Coast - Haida Gwaiibeing treated as a separate area in this report), Kitimat-Stikine, Central Coast, and Mount Waddington.Each of these regional districts consists of a wide variety of communities in terms of population,economic growth, and culture. Wastewater treatment facilities in these communities also differ greatly,with one community having no facilities and an adjacent community having secondary treatment12infrastructure. Of the 16 communities examined, 9 communities had secondary wastewater treatmentfacilities, 4 communities had no wastewater treatment facilities, meaning untreated sewage isdischarged into water systems, and 3 communities had sewage treatment facilities that do not appear tomeet the standards of secondary treatment (Table 2). Of note, there are shellfish aquaculture sites nearcommunities with no treatment facilities such as Prince Rupert, and Queen Charlotte Village in SkidegateInlet.Summary and ChallengesCommunities within the GBS are slowly working towards secondary treatment facilities within the nextdecade with financial aid from provincial (BC Small Communities Fund) and federal (InfrastructureCanada) funding. Some of these communities are also discussing installation of pumpouts, such as theCentral Coast Regional District (EDAC, 2020), which implies knowledge and support are present for theinception of protected areas.Nonetheless, there are many challenges facing GBS communities and infrastructure needed forprotected areas. An infrastructure needs report by the Northwest British Columbia Resource BenefitsAlliance detailed that Northwest B.C., including North Coast and Kitimat-Stikine regional districts, was in“extreme need” of financial support and investment in wastewater infrastructure (Northwest BritishColumbia Resource Benefits Alliance, 2019 ). Moreover, certain communities do not identify vesselwastewater discharge as a primary concern of pollution (pressing concerns are listed as air pollution androad infrastructure) as there are few studies relating vessel discharge to pollution in specific regions.Government assistance is absolutely needed along with local initiatives for the push to provide adequatewastewater treatment facilities to ensure pumpout stations are usable in the near future to createfeasible NDZs down the line. In the following section, logistics for establishing vessel pumpouts, includinginfrastructure, and stakeholder opinions are explored and summarized for communities in the GBS.13Table 2. List of major communities along the Great Bear Sea with high annual total vessel density (2019)and available wastewater treatment facilities based on permits, news reports, and public documents.Regional Area Community Name Wastewatertreatment facilityPump outservicesCommentsNorth Coast City of Prince Rupert None, dischargesuntreated effluentYes - ask forserviceCity is actively working towards a wastewatertreatment facility by 2030 through their Liquid WasteManagement Plan.North Coast District of Port Edward Secondary treatmentfacilityNo Does not accept out of district dischargesNorth Coast -Haida GwaiiVillage of Queen Charlotte None, dischargesuntreated effluentNo Planning on building a facility, deadline of 2022 fromDepartment of Fisheries and Oceans.North Coast -Haida GwaiiCommunity of Sandspit Sewage treatmentfacility at airportYes Sources are unclear on the description of facilityNorth Coast -Haida GwaiiVillage of Massett Secondary treatmentfacilityYesNorth Coast -Haida GwaiiVillage of Skidegate Secondary treatmentfacilityNo Working with B.C. Ferries for boat pump outs.North Coast -Haida GwaiiVillage of Port Clements Aerated lagoon(secondarytreatment)No The Ministry of Environment has determined thefacility is not up to maintenance or dischargestandards in 2017.Kitimat-Stikine Town of Kitimat Aerated lagoon(secondarytreatment)No Planning on upgrading the system.Central Coast Community of Bella Coola Primary facility YesCentral Coast Community of Bella Bella Aerated lagoon(secondarytreatment)NoCentral Coast Community of Shearwater None, dischargesuntreated effluentNo Treatment lagoon one of top priorities along withlooking at installing a pumpout station.Central Coast Community of Ocean Falls None, dischargesuntreated effluentYes (reported) Minimal information available for the sewage systemor reported pumpout station.MountWaddingtonVillage of Alert Bay Secondary treatmentfacilityYesMountWaddingtonVillage of Port Alice Secondary treatmentfacilityNo Planning on upgrading existing treatment facilities.MountWaddingtonDistrict of Port Hardy Secondary treatmentfacilityYes Multiple treatment facilities in district and airport.MountWaddingtonTown of Port McNeill Secondary treatmentfacilityYes143. Pumpout logisticsThe efficacy of establishing a NDZ or other blackwater management strategies hinges on establishingfeasible alternatives for boaters to properly dispose of untreated waste. Here we aim to demystify thelogistics of developing infrastructure to safely dispose of blackwater in the GBS. We present threesections:(1) Primer on pumpouts;(2) Considerations for installation, operation, and maintenance of pumpouts; and(3) Stakeholder perspectives on barriers and motivators for installing pumpouts.3.1 Types of pumpoutsPumpout systems remove blackwater and/or bilge water from holding tanks. Pumpout systems come invarious styles, including: mobile (carts or trailers that can be brought to boats), stationary (fixed unitsthat are installed directly into docks or other locations), boat (mobile units installed directly on a boat),and barge pumpouts (stationary units installed on a barge) (Figure 2). Descriptions of the advantagesand disadvantages and cost estimates for each type are provided in Appendix A. The type of pumpoutthat is appropriate for any given marina, harbor, or port will depend on multiple factors (e.g., volume ofboat traffic and waste, existing infrastructure) (see section 4.2).Pumpouts vacuum waste from boats and may include a holding tank for collected waste. Waste mustultimately be disposed of in a sewer or septic system, but can be: (1) pumped directly from a boat into asewer/septic system, (2) pumped into a mobile unit that can then be emptied in a sewer/septic system,or (3) pumped into a mobile unit that is emptied into a dedicated external tank, which would then betrucked or boated away by a hauling company for disposal (Figure 3).15Figure 2. Types of pumpout equipment  (Photo credit: KECO Pump & Equipment)a) Cart b) Trailerc) Fixed (single or multiple hookup) d) Bargee) Boat16Figure 3. Three likely options for handling vessel sewage in the GBS3.2 Additional installation, operation, and maintenance considerationsand costsBelow we highlight key factors beyond equipment costs to take into account when considering addingpumpout infrastructure in the GBS.3.2.1 Sewage processing capacityPumpouts ultimately channel sewage into processing facilities; however, some communities along thecoast of the GBS have little or no treatment capacity. There are communities that have secondaryprocessing facilities, aerated lagoons, or septic systems that may be able to process waste, but there areat least two issues of concern: (1) the highly concentrated nature of sewage from boats may make itdifficult for wastewater treatment facilities to accept the waste (e.g., Kersch and Gough 2018), (2)facilities may be unfamiliar and/or concerned about accepting boat sewage due to possible chemicalsadded to holding tanks.3.2.2 Electricity availabilityMost pumpouts require electricity. Different models accept most standard voltages (including the 575Vcommon in Canada). Mobile pumpouts may be hand-powered or run on gas/diesel where electricity isunavailable.173.2.3 WinterizationThe cold winters of northern B.C. may require marinas, harbours, and ports to take extra care wheninstalling and maintaining their pumpouts so that pipes and hoses do not freeze. Some facilities installfixed location pumpouts in small, heated enclosures. Heating, insulating, or burying pipes may benecessary to prevent them from freezing. Some marinas may wish to decommission their pumpoutsduring winter months if they are not being used.3.2.4 Utility hookup costsFacilities may need to install electric or sewer hookups at a significant cost (estimated $30,000 to$50,000 US, depending on situation).3.2.5 Wastewater holding optionsWherever pumpouts are not connected to sewer/septic systems, waste must remain in external holdingtanks until it can be hauled away by a waste company. Tanks cost around $1,500 to $2,000 US. Localpermitting rules may restrict the styles of tanks allowed. Tank size should be determined based oncapacity of local haulers.3.2.6 Space considerationsFixed location pumpouts may require dedicated slips that would otherwise generate revenue for afacility. Mobile pumpouts may require storage space to protect the unit.3.2.7 Payment considerationsMany pumpouts have user fees to pay for the cost of operating the pumpout (e.g., waste disposal,maintenance, staffing). Self-service pumpout fees range from around $0 to $20 US in the US and B.C.(Pumpout Washington, n.d.). Users are typically willing to pay full-service boat pumpouts more(estimated by interviewees at around $20 to $50 per pumpout) than self-service pumpouts. Self-servicesystems require built-in payment systems if the service is not free.3.2.8 StaffingStaff may need to monitor, maintain, and manage payment from pumpout stations.3.2.9 Installation and maintenance requirementsMost fixed pumpouts can be installed without technical support (assuming utilities are hooked up) andrequire little maintenance. They do require servicing every five to ten years (estimated cost of $1,000 to18$1,500 US). In high-use areas, some equipment (e.g., connection tip, suction hose) may needreplacement every year or two (estimated $200 US).3.3 Stakeholder perspectives on barriers and motivations for pumpout installationMarinas, harbours and ports have diverse motivations, barriers, and disincentives for installingpumpouts. Deeply understanding these factors can help decision makers successfully build a strategy toreduce vessel sewage discharges. Here we summarize motivations and barriers to installing pumpouts(Table 3) that emerged from our interviews, past marina and boater surveys (e.g., Godard and Browning,2011; Hellin et al., 2004), and literature on pumpout usage and establishing NDZs (e.g., Lyons, 2009;Gregory et al., n.d.; Jankowiak 2018; Barnett and Buchalski-Smith 2020; Hererra 2013a). This list offactors is not exhaustive. The extent of these and other factors could be measured through systematicsurveying or interviewing of marina, harbour, and port managers in the GBS.19Table 3. Select reasons why a marina, harbour, or port may or may not install pumpouts204. RecommendationsBelow we offer recommendations for managing sewage in the GBS to Canada’s federal and provincialgovernments and organizations that would like to help reduce sewage discharges in the GBS.#1: Support prompt installation of wastewater treatment facilities in B.C.’s coastal communitiesShown in Table 2, some B.C. communities do not have proper sewage treatment systems that can acceptwaste from boats. We recommend that Canada’s federal and provincial governments take swift action tofinancially and technically support communities so they can install basic wastewater treatment facilitiesthat protect human and environmental health. Sewage dumping in the ocean is a public andenvironmental health issue that affects all people in Canada; we recommend that funds and technicalsupport be made available to expedite the development of wastewater treatment facilities along the B.C.coast, starting with strategic locations that can also accept boat blackwater.#2: Establish a fund that is specifically dedicated to developing pumpout infrastructure for boats alongthe B.C. coastWe recommend that the provincial or federal government establish a fund similar to the US’s CleanVessel Act Program (USFWS, 2018) that can provide grants and cost-shares to marinas, harbours, andports to construct, renovate, operate, and maintain pumpout stations and waste reception facilities forboaters as well as support outreach initiatives. Ideally, this funding arm would be separate from theregulating body. This program could be designed as a “user pays” model, meaning funding is collectedfrom boaters to pay for the service provided back to boaters (Barnett and Buchalski-Smith 2020). NDZs inthe US are financed this way -- Clean Vessel Act funds are derived from excise taxes on fishingequipment, motorboat and small engine fuels, import duties, and interest on the fund (USFWS, 2018).Similar strategies could be employed in Canada, by adding fees to these same services, boaterregistration fees, local taxes for boaters coming through the region, berth fees on cruise ships, or more.An alternative funding possibility is to earmark some of B.C.'s Water Lot taxes, especially those frommarinas, for a pumpout infrastructure fund. Furthemore, many small craft federal harbours makedonations to their local communities because they do not pay property taxes; we suggest that afundraising campaign be developed to support pumpout infrastructure.#3: Support the installation and operation of blackwater pumpouts in key locationsEstablishing a NDZ is likely a long-term goal; however, in the short term, installing inexpensive pumpoutsin a few key locations would enable those boaters who want to voluntarily pump out the ability to do so.We recommend the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy considers supporting orsubsidizing the installation of pumpout equipment in strategic locations (see below). Site selection isbased on boat traffic volume, availability of wastewater treatment infrastructure, and spacing ofpumpouts so they span a wider geographic area. Secondary treatment facilities are prioritized.21North Coast. Prince Rupert is a frequent stopover site for marine traffic, but it does not yet have awastewater treatment facility. We recommend installing a pumpout barge (or other pumpoutequipment) in Prince Rupert so that boater waste can be funneled into the sewage treatment facilityonce it is completed. For Nearby Port Edward, we recommend installing a fixed pumpout there thatlocal boats can use, and to consider incentivizing a private pumpout boat service to be created in thearea that can pump out boats as they pass through the area and create new jobs.North Coast - Haida Gwaii. Most communities in this area have secondary sewage treatmentsystems using aerated lagoons except Queen Charlotte Village. We recommend installing smallpumpouts throughout this area that can be connected to local wastewater systems.Kitimat-Stikine: The only coastal community in this region that has secondary wastewater treatmentis Kitimat. We recommend installing a pumpout in Kitimat that can connect to their sewer system.We recommend this area be considered for investment in a larger wastewater treatment system thatcan process additional waste from boats.Central coast: The only community in this region with a secondary treatment plant is Bella Bella. Thelocal government is considering installing aerated lagoons on Denny Island to facilitate pumpoutsystems at Shearwater Resort and also to provide wastewater treatment for the area. Werecommend installing a pumpout at Bella Bella now, and on Denny Island following their wastewaterfacility upgrade.Mount Waddington: Four communities in this region (Port Hardy, Port Alice, Port McNeill, Alert Bay)have existing secondary treatment facilities, and three have pumpout stations. Given the prevalenceof existing pumpouts and the possibility to install another in Port McNeil, we recommend that thisarea be first considered for a NDZ or other measures to encourage the use of pumpout facilities.#4: Create a province-sponsored incentive for people to start private pumpout boat businessesPrivate pumpout boats have begun to service boats within NDZs in the US at a profit (e.g., NW MobilePumpout, 2020). This is a win-win situation because: (1) it is quick and convenient for boaters (e.g., theydo not have to dock or handle the pumpout equipment themselves), (2) local jurisdictions do not have toinvest in or manage pumpout equipment or hire operational staff, and (3) it creates new jobs. Someprivate pumpout businesses were initiated with investments from federal, state, and local funding in theUS; we recommend that the B.C. government consider incentivizing and supporting local entrepreneursto start pumpout boat businesses to service key areas of the GBS. These businesses will be mostsuccessful in high-traffic areas where boats typically do not dock. In the GBS, this may be appropriate inthe near-term around Port Edward because there is a secondary wastewater treatment facility and mosttransient boats do not stop there. In the longer term, such private pumpout boats or barges may also be22appropriate in high-traffic areas or passages (e.g., near Bella Bella). Although the focus of this report ison the GBS region, we also want to emphasize that such private companies may be appropriate toservice high-traffic areas in the Strait of Georgia as well (e.g., Desolation Sound).#5: Explore the possibility of small NDZs near Prince Rupert and the north side of Vancouver IslandEstablishing and enforcing a NDZ for the entire GBS region may be untenable at the current time due toinfrastructure limitations (e.g., lack of wastewater treatment facilities), and challenges withenforcement. However, smaller NDZs or targeted wastewater management policies in select sensitiveareas may be a more feasible approach to protecting sensitive areas until infrastructures are in place. Werecommend exploring the possibility of establishing small NDZs in two areas of the GBS: (1) near PrinceRupert, including the areas around the Coast Tsimshian people’s Coastal Shellfish aquaculture facilities.This area hosts the first new seafood plant to open 15 years on the north coast of B.C. (Simmons, 2020).Installing a pumpout in Prince Rupert and designating this area as a NDZ would protect this ecologicallyand economically important area. (2) There is also nearly sufficient infrastructure along the northeasternside of Vancouver Island (Port Hardy, Port Alice, Port McNeill, Alert Bay) to establish a NDZ. Furtherdeveloping pumpout infrastructure here (and making it inexpensive or free) could also capture a largeportion of blackwater waste from transient boats before they launch into the more remote stretch of theGBS. Importantly, we recommend exploring and building support for such proposals (or other ideas forhow to keep sewage out of the sea) from the local level (e.g., communities, boaters) up, rather thanimplementing a top-down policy that does not have widespread buy-in.We also want to bring attention to the possibility of extending the Puget Sound NDZ throughout theStrait of Georgia, although this recommendation is somewhat outside of the scope of this report. Thereare currently at least 23 existing pumpouts distributed throughout this region, the infrastructure exists inmany communities to develop more, and small NDZs in the form of Designated Sewage Areas alreadyexist throughout this region (Transport Canada, 1991). Furthermore, the Strait of Georgia is part of acontiguous Salish Sea ecosystem that includes Puget Sound. If a NDZ is merited in Puget Sound, whywould it not also be merited in the northern extension of this contiguous ecosystem?#6: Conduct marina and boater surveys or interviews to inform strategies pumpout infrastructureWe suggest that a valuable next step in assessing the feasibility of establishing a NDZ or installingadditional pumpouts would be to conduct surveys or interviews that systematically gather informationfrom marinas, harbours, and ports as well as boaters in the GBS (e.g., Hererra 2013b). A marina surveycould address questions such as: motivations and barriers to installing pumpout equipment, availabilityof infrastructure to support pumpouts, volume of vessel traffic, and more. A boater survey could addressquestions such as: boaters current sewage management habits and needs, challenges to comply withnew regulations, opinions about existing pumpout infrastructure, and where they would like additionalpumpouts (e.g., Hererra 2013b). Such surveys were conducted to support the establishment of NDZs inthe US.23#7: Consider wastewater management policies and strategies other than NDZsThe purpose of this report was to explore the possibility of establishing a NDZ in the GBS; however, NDZsare not the only option for reducing sewage pollution. For example, under MARPOL Annex IV, uniquemandatory requirements can be designated for certain "special areas" to prevent pollution from sewage(IMO, n.d.). A designation that regulates only larger boats may be an alternate approach to consider. Forexample, an extension of the WA state MOU with large cruise ships to the coastal waters of BC or asimilar type of MOU specifically for the GBS could be formed.Furthermore, education and outreach can be effective for those who may already be motivated to pumpout their boats but do not know where or how in B.C.. Some limited educational materials aboutpumpouts have been created for B.C. boaters (e.g., Georgia Strait Alliance, 2019), but a wealth ofeducational tools and approaches exist in the US (e.g., CA State Parks, n.d.).245. ReferencesSection 1BC Center for Disease Control (n.d.). Shellfish Webmap v2. Retrieved December 17, 2020, from Ship Tracking Intelligence: AIS Marine Traffic. (n.d.). Retrieved December 17, 2020, from Charitable Trusts. (2018, October 10). Vessel Waste a Growing Challenge in the Northern Bering Seaand Bering Strait. Retrieved December 17, 2020, from of British Columbia (n.d.). Public Document Search. Retrieved December 17, 2020, from 2.1AK Sewage Management. (2017)., N., & Michaud, J. (2015). Technical Memorandum: Puget Sound NDZ Commercial VesselEconomic Evaluation. Herrera Environmental Consultants, Inc. Cruise Ship Environmental Monitoring. (2020). ships in Washington waters. (n.d.). Ship Program Laws and Regulations. (2019). Environmental Protection Agency. (2015). Vessel sewage discharges: Statutes, regulations, andrelated laws and treaties., U. S., & Wildlife Service. (n.d.). USFWS CVA and BIG funding. Retrieved December 16, 2020, from Maritime Organization. (n.d.) Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships., A. (2020). Interior Grant Programs Provide $39,000 to Benefit Recreational Boaters, LocalWaterways and Communities in Alaska. Sound No Discharge Zone Resources & Studies (n.d.). Washington. (2016)., J. (2020). Alaska DEC seeks to replace Ocean Rangers, use some funds for shoresidewastewater plants., J. (2020). AK Cruise ship reports. Pollution and Prevention Guide for Alaska Boaters (n.d.) Clean Vessel Act Grant Program. (2018). Department of Ecology. (2013). Puget Sound No Discharge Zone For Vessel Sewage. Department of Ecology. (2016). No Discharge Zone Implementation Strategy: A Framework forAction. Water Quality Program. Department of Ecology. (2018). Focus on: Puget Sound No Discharge Zone Commercial Vessels. State Parks. (n.d.). Boating Pumpout. ttps://, E. (2020). Small Cruise Ship and Ferry Wastewater Discharge Options. 2.2AhoyBC. (n.d.) Interactive BC Coast map.AK Sewage Management. (2017, March 24). Shipping Act, 2001, c. 26.Fawcett-Atkinson, Marc. T. Buck Suzuki Foundation. (n.d). Hidden Killer: Sewage from Greater Vancouverand Greater Victoria is Georgia Strait's Number One Pollution Threat.Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) of the Central Coast Regional District. (2020). EDACBoard meeting minutes. Act R.S., c. F-14.Municipal Wastewater Effluent in Canada. (2006). Canadian Council of Ministers of the EnvironmentMunicipal Wastewater Effluent Development Committee. British Columbia Resource Benefits Alliance. (2019). Infrastructure needs analysis report forNorthwestern BC local governments. (n.d.) Ecological Green Boating Guide. Environmental Law Centre Society (2008). Traffic Congestion and Human Waste Dumping in theSaanich Inlet. Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations SOR/2012-69, Canada Shipping Act, 2001.27Section 3Barnett, A., & Buchalski-Smith, C. (2020). Pump-outs and Boater Sewage. KPTZ Radio Port Townsend.Godard, D., & Browning, R. (2011). California Boater Survey (Issue July)., A., Isakson, L., Barnett, A., DeForges, C., Ferris, M., Gibbs, H., Gonzales, F., Graul, C., Mashall, B.,McKendry, T., Pleus, A., Reichert, J., Rowan, T., Schrappen, P., Wesson, R., & Wolslegel, A. (n.d.).Pollution Prevention for Washington State Marinas Pollution Prevention Washington State Marinasfor Pollution Prevention for Washington State Marinas., D., Lefebvre, C., Portman, M., & Woods, S. (2004). South Shore Vessel Pumpout Evaluation &Outreach Plan. Environmental Consultants, I. (2013). A Review of Implementation Strategies in Other States.Jankowiak, A. (2018). Puget Sound no discharge zone for vessel sewage Puget Sound Vessel Sewage NoDischarge Zone Water Quality Program Amy Jankowiak.Kersh, J., & Gough, H. (2018). Evaluation of Boat Wastewater Influence on Wastewater Treatment PlantOperations.Lyons, R. (2009). An implementation evaluation of the no discharge area program in Casco Bay, Maine(Issue February). Tufts University.Pumpout Washington. (n.d.). Where to Pumpout? Retrieved December 16, 2020, from 4Barnett, A., & Buchalski-Smith, C. (2020). Pump-outs and Boater Sewage. KPTZ Radio Port Townsend.CA State Parks. (n.d.). When Nature Calls: California’s Vessel Sewage Guide. Strait Alliance. (n.d.). Clean Marine. Environmental Consultants, I. (2013). Puget Sound Recreational Boater Survey Results. (n.d.). Special Areas under MARPOL.28NW Mobile Pump Out. (n.d.). NW Mobile Pump Out and Marine Environmental Services. 2020.Pleasure Craft Sewage Pollution Prevention Regulations, (1991). (2018). Clean Vessel Act Grant Program - Overview. A. Types of PumpoutsA1. Mobile pumpoutsMobile pumpouts (Figure 2a and 2b). are typically small, moveable pumpouts that are attachedto either a cart or trailer that can be moved from boat to boat within a marina, harbour, or port.These small units can be hand-powered or run on electricity or gas/diesel. They typically collectwaste in a small holding tank that can then be transferred to sewer or septic, or to a largerexternal holding tank. A typical mobile pumpout can cost between $2,000 to $15,000 US,depending on the style and size.Advantages:● they require the lowest initial investment in equipment costs,● they do not require a dedicated slip or other permanent space for installation in themarina/harbor, and● they are the most flexible option (e.g., can be used in areas where electrical hookup is notavailable; can move them around a marina, harbor, or port).Disadvantages:● they typically require operators to handle the waste twice (pump it out of the boat into thepumpout holding tank, then pump it out of the pumpout holding tank into a sewer/septic orexternal holding tank),● they have a shorter life expectancy than stationary pumpouts,● they may require more maintenance/repairs, and● they may be more vulnerable to accidents (e.g., running off the dock, being left outsideduring harsh weather).A2. Stationary pumpoutsStationary pumpouts (Figure 2c and 2d) are facilities that are installed in a fixed location in amarina, harbour, or port (e.g., on a fuel dock, on a bulkhead wall, in a dedicated slip). Theyrequire electrical hookup (any standard voltage) and can deposit the waste directly into a seweror septic system, or into an external holding tank. There are two distinct types of stationarypumpouts: (1) a single location system (Figure 2c), which consists of a single unit that isinstalled in a fixed location, or (2) a multiple location system, which can have multiple auxiliaryhookup points throughout a marina, harbour, or port (Figure 2d). In either case, boats float up tostationary pumpout systems, hook up via a hose, and vacuum out their blackwater tanks. Atypical fixed, single location stationary pumpout costs around $5,000 to $15,000 US, dependingon the style.Advantages:30● a long life expectancy (at least 20-25 years),● minimal maintenance requirements,● high convenience for boaters, and● they can process a large amount of waste efficiently.Disadvantages:● higher upfront equipment cost, and● they require electrical hookup.A3. Boat pumpoutsBoat pumpouts (Figure 2e) are a type of mobile pumpout that uses standard mobile pumpoutequipment mounted on boats. They allow for recovery of waste directly from boats, withoutthose boats needing to dock. Boat pumpouts may vary widely in price depending on the boatused and size of the holding tank. The pumpout equipment mounted on a typical boat pumpoutmay cost around $4,500-$5,000 US. Boats that have been used as pumpout boats have costanywhere from $10,000-$15,000 up to $150,000 US, and can typically hold between 200 to1,000 gallons of waste before they must be emptied. Boat pumpouts are typically operated asprofitable, private businesses in existing NDZs, or are operated by municipalities.Advantages:● high convenience for boaters,● effective for covering large territories,● they can respond to accidental spills,● they do not require a dedicated slip,● they can create local jobs and new private, local businesses,● they can be used in areas with major tide fluctuations, or where access for boats to pull upto shore are poor, and● boaters are typically willing to pay higher fees for pumpout from a mobile boat than they arefor stationary pumpouts.Disadvantages:● high upfront costs to acquire boat, and● significant ongoing costs (insurance, operator, fuels).A4. Barge/floating dock pumpoutsBarge pumpouts use stationary pumpout equipment that is mounted on a barge or floating dock.Boats may pull up to these floating barges and access a typically unstaffed stationary pumpout.The barge may either be directly connected to sewer or a septic system, or have a holding tankon it (typically 200 to 1,000 gallons). A marina, port, or harbour receives an alert when the31holding tank is nearing full so that it can be moved to a sewer hookup (if it is not directly hookedup). Barges may be serviced by solar panels. A typical barge pumpout may cost between$40,000 and $100,000 US.Advantages:● they do not require an engine or operator, which makes them less expensive to operatecompared to boat pumpouts,● they can be used in areas with major tide fluctuations, or where access for boats to pull upto shore are poor,● they can be placed in location that is convenient for boaters,● they can have large onboard tank, and● restrooms can also be installed so boaters who are passing through may use restroomswithout docking.Disadvantages:● high upfront cost to acquire the barge and other equipment.32


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