Marinas conducting vessel maintenance activities such as mechanical repairs, refurbishing, painting, fueling and cleaning operations are required to have a Basic Industrial Stormwater General Permit (General Permit). The permit was designed to protect the coastal environment from pollution by eliminating the potential for stormwater to come into contact with pollutants. Marinas sanctioned by the General Permit are required to prepare a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SPPP). By May 31, 2009 marinas must eliminate the discharge of vessel wash water into surface and ground water. Marinas have the option of ceasing the practice of washing vessels or can capture the water and recycle the wash water, haul the wash water for proper disposal or request permission to connect to the sanitary sewer where applicable.
Wastewater generated from washing vessel bottoms can contain various levels of both solid and dissolved metals (copper, zinc, lead, iron and other metals), organic materials (barnacles, tube worms and algae) and salts. The amount of lead in the wastewater can be greatly reduced by removing the sacrificial anodes prior to pressure washing. Studies have indicated that the metals commonly found in vessel wash wastewater bind preferentially to fine particles. It should be noted that these fine particles and bound metals can be difficult to remove from the wastewater through filtration. In addition, when the wastewater is recycled and particles remain marina operators have reported that it can lead to the early breakdown of the pressure washer. Marina operators have alleviated this problem by passing the water through a 50 micron filter.
The I BOAT NJ is currently funding several wash wastewater studies at the following marinas in New Jersey: All Seasons Marina, Dillon’s Creek Marina, Viking Marina. Information on the type of systems they are testing is available below and data on the wash wastewater will be posted as it becomes available.
Several states have conducted an analysis of the wash wastewater and there information is available by clicking on the links below.
Information on the Basic Industrial Stormwater General Permit and guidance for marinas can be found at:
The permit by rule for the construction and/or installation of boat wash wastewater systems and associated infrastructure provides regulatory assistance for marinas implementing measures to cease the discharge of vessel wash wastewater. The complete Coastal Permit Rules can be found at www.nj.gov/dep/rules/notices/080408b.html
These guides are designed to help boatyard operators select wastewater discharge options and wastewater treatment systems that will provide compliance with the general NPDES permit and other permits that may be issued by local municipalities for discharges to sanitary sewers.
The following case studies of marinas in New Jersey with vessel wash water systems were prepared to provide guidance and technical advice.