By Kipp Roberston, March 13, 2014, Kingston Community News
If your boat’s holding tank fills up this summer, the Port of Kingston can give you some relief.
The port added 17 pumpout stations at its guest dock. The use of pumpouts at the dock received final approval from the county March 5.
“The hope is it gets more people to use onshore pumpouts, instead of dumping out in the Sound,” Port Manager David Malone said.
The pumpouts add to the single station located on the fuel dock. There will be a pumpout for every two guest slips, Malone said.
Waste from boats are pumped out into a waste “cart” owned by the port. The waste is transferred to the public sewage system.
“This makes it real easy,” Malone said. “Bring down the cart and plug in.”
The project cost $65,000. The port received a $60,040.91 grant administered through the state Parks and Recreation Commission. The port paid the balance.
A condition of the grant was the pumpouts would be available to all boaters, Malone said.
The installation of more pumpouts comes just in time. Though Malone couldn’t provide exact information on the average amount of visitors to the port during the summer, he knows it “tends to be pretty busy.”
In addition, the state Department of Ecology, the Department of Health and the Puget Sound Partnership have proposed making Puget Sound a No Discharge Zone, and have submitted a petition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the designation.
If established, no boat — whether a cruise ship, freighter or pleasure craft — could discharge anywhere within the designated zone. All boats and ships would have to store their sewage until they could safely dispose of it at an onshore or mobile pumpout facility, or hold it until it can be discharged in the open ocean beyond three miles from shore.
Malone was hired as port manager near the end of 2013. He’s been warned of the hustle-and-bustle of port life in the summer.
“The staff has told me to be prepared to be pretty busy, and wear safe running shoes,” Malone joked.
Pumpout stations throughout the state see a large amount of use. In 2013, about 5.6 million gallons were pumped out, according to Al Wolslegel, director of the Puget Sound region for the state Parks and Recreation Commission.