Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



During the course of this study, 413 boaters, seven pumpout facility operators and a number of state and municipal officials either were interviewed or completed questionnaires focused on the boat sewage pumpout facilities along the South Shore of Massachusetts.

The aims of the boater survey were to:

  • collect data on how boaters disposed of their sewage waste;
  • learn how well informed boaters were regarding the location of sewage pumpouts;
  • determine if boaters were able to find operational pumpout facilities when they needed them;
  • learn what common problems had been experienced when using pumpouts;
  • determine if there were adequate facilities to service the South Shore boating community.

The operator survey aimed to:

  • collect data on how frequently pumpouts were used;
  • determine how each marina’s pumpout services worked;
  • to learn what common problems operators experienced with the equipment;
  • to learn how marina operators promoted their services.

In addition to providing much needed statistical data on the number and size of boats, where they were used, the frequency at which they were used, etc., this study provided insight into what boaters and marina operators knew about the environmental impacts of vessel sewage in the coastal environment. These data, along with a web search for other outreach efforts and a literature search on environmental education and outreach, were reviewed to assess what future outreach may be needed and the shape it should take.


This product is funded through the Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Grant Program made possible by NOAA and administered by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management.



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