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BOATsmart! USA Knowledge Base

Module 04 - Safe Responsible Boat Operation

Human Waste Disposal

Some recreational boats will have an installed toilet on board for its convenience during long boating trips. However, understand that it’s illegal to allow raw sewage to escape into territorial U.S. waterways (when you’re boating within 3 miles from shore).

The Clean Water Act requires all boats with installed toilets to be equipped with a Coast Guard-approved Marine Sanitation Device (MSD). An MSD is a system that’s designed to retain, treat and/or release sewage from recreational boats.

MSD Types:

Note: Swimmers can catch serious bacterial infections if they are exposed to raw sewage.

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