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Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 24, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Sewage discharge: Provide more boat pumpout stations

I have, and use, a holding tank on my recreational vessel because it’s the right thing to do and also because I like to jump in for a swim too [“ ‘No discharge zones’ for sewage sought for region’s waterways,” Local News, Feb. 20].

But it’s not easy. Amy Jankowiak of the Department of Ecology’s Puget Sound No Discharge Zone project lauds 100 discharge stations in the Puget Sound area — an oversimplification. There are only 11 accessible, convenient locations serving Elliott Bay, Lake Union and Lake Washington.

Take a look at any of those areas on a sunny summer day and do the math — there are hundreds of boats (every one with a Washington state license) and not possibly enough discharge stations to handle demand. Perhaps the state has a responsibility to use some of the boat license fees it collects to support an adequate holding-tank pumpout infrastructure.

Boaters are decent people who want to do the right thing. I’d prefer to see the Department of Ecology, Washington State Department of Health and Puget Sound Partnership focus less on promoting another law prohibiting something already illegal, and work toward a solution instead.

Douglas Pratt, Seattle

Comments | More in Boating | Topics: boating, Douglas Pratt, Elliott Bay

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