Office of Communications

Pumpout Station Information

Pumping a boat's holding tank:
Since different machines vary slightly, read and follow posted directions.

In general, here's how it works:
Remove cap from deck.
Remove cap from boat's deck waste fitting.
Insert pumpout hose nozzle being into deck fitting.
Insert pumpout hose nozzle into deck fitting. (You may need an adapter to make it fit. Marinas generally have them available. They are also for sale in boat stores.)
Turn hose on, using the lever on the hose.
Turn pump on. If there is a hose valve, open it to start suction.

When finished, close hose valve and remove nozzle from deck 
fitting.
When waste is no longer seen in sight glass, close hose valve and remove nozzle from deck fitting.
Put nozzle (with open valve) in bucket of water for 15 seconds 
to rinse hose.
Put nozzle (with open valve) in bucket of water for 15 seconds to rinse hose. If desired, rinse boat's tank with water and pump dry.
Close valve. Put away hose.
Close valve. Put away hose. Turn off pump if requested. (Some are on timers.) Replace deck fitting cap.


First Timers:
When you want to pump out your boat for the first time, ASK FOR HELP. It is no more difficult than pumping gasoline, but facilities and machinery do vary. Generally the machines have instructions--if not, ask the manager to post them. In some marinas, dock staff will pump out the tank for you.

Portable Toilets:
Portable toilets are generally made of three compartments: the bowl, the fresh water tank, and the waste container. Emptying the waste container isn't hard.

Some marinas have a separate dumping station just for portable toilets. Others use their standard pumpout machinery with a different hose attachment for portables.

If you cannot find an onshore dumping station, you can take the waste container home and dispose of the waste down your toilet. Just remember to dilute it, particularly if your home is connected to a septic system. You can also ask the marina if you can use their onshore restrooms, but do not do so without permission.

Chesapeake Bay Hotline

Call 1-877-224-7229

to report any of the following

  • Boating accident or reckless activity
  • Fish kill or algal bloom
  • Floating debris that poses a hazard to navigation
  • Illegal fishing activity
  • Public sewer leak or overflow
  • Oil or hazardous material spill
  • Critical area or wetlands violation
  • Suspicious or unusual activity