Posted by Claiborne | Posted on 09-17-2012
As part of the discussion of new Florida Keys Anchorage regulations (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=96458), I made the comment:
“. . . for many years now, all of the Florida Keys (Monroe County) waters have been a NO DISCHARGE ZONE. That means, among other things, that ALL vessels must regularly pump out their waste tanks, and Lectra San type devices are NOT acceptable. And, along with these long-time regulations, comes the possibility of legal boardings by any law enforcement agency to make sure that overboard discharge vales are PADLOCKED SHUT and all other MSD regulations are being observed!”
In response to these remarks, Captain John Cover chimed in with this well considered observation and question:
In your comments you state law enforcement officials will be able to board vessels to insure overboard discharge valves are “padlocked shut”. I am not aware of a change in the Florida MSD regs that require “padlocking” as the only means of securing the valve. At last reading my impression is that the valve must be “secured”. I spoke to Lt. Dave Dupree (FWC Monroe County) a few years ago and he advised locking, wire ties, removal of the handle or similar solutions to prevent accidental discharge. Has there been a regulation change I am unaware of or is there one in the actual new proposed regulations?
John N. Cover,
No, as far as I know there has not been a change in the “secured” requirements of overboard discharge valves. I used the term “padlocking” because my research has consistently shown that just chaining the overboard valves is NOT sufficient, and can result in ticketing. I suspect your research is also correct, in that wire ties and removal of the handle would also be considered “secured.” However, with that being said, what we have always done while cruising in the keys is chain and padlock our overboard discharge valves. This plan has passed multiple inspections over the years.
The US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) lists several specifically acceptable means (not an exhaustive list if you read the language carefully) of securing an overboard discharge in a No Discharge Zone (NDZ) such as the Florida Keys. The applicable CFR can be found under:
Title 33: Navigation and Navigable Waters
PART 159—MARINE SANITATION DEVICES
§ 159.7 Requirements for vessel operators.
You can find the complete CFR language online at: http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov
“Secured” also can be realized for those vessels with “key operated flushing to holding tanks” if the key is removed from the system and stored safely away from the head.
Capt. Ken Wright