Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



This report presents the findings of a site and equipment feasibility study, as well as, a permit overview for the installation of a vessel sewage pumpout system for servicing commercial and recreational vessels in the City of Boston. As part of the analysis, we reviewed a number of sites located within the City of Boston’s jurisdiction in Boston Harbor. We contacted facilities that have made recent investments in commercial grade pumpouts to learn more about the available technology. In analyzing the permit process, we reviewed local zoning requirements and had conversations with relevant City and state officials.

The project, as currently conceived, is to install a vessel sewage pumpout in Boston’s Inner Harbor. As some commercial vessels have onboard sewage pumps while others do not, it is envisaged that the pumpout would need to be able to cater to both types of vessels. To this end, it would require a direct sewer line hook-up for those vessels equipped with onboard pumps, as well as a shoreside pumpout for the other vessels. Such a system would also be able to service recreational vessels. The pumpout must be conveniently located for commercial vessel traffic and it must have the power, capacity and adaptability to serve a varied fleet of boats. The pumpout would be connected directly to the municipal sewer system and ideally the necessary sewer infrastructure would already be in place.


Funded by the Coastal Pollution Remediation “Plus” Program – FY ‘03. Prepared by the Urban Harbors Institute, University of Massachusetts Boston. Submitted by the City of Boston Environment Department, Boston City Hall.



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