Boaties are being encouraged to help protect Northland’s harbours by disposing of their sewage properly as the busy boating season continues.
Northland Regional Council’s summertime campaign is reminding people of the rules on untreated boat sewage, as even very small amounts can contaminate shellfish and make water unsafe for swimming.
Under the marine pollution regulations, untreated sewage from boats must be discharged well outside of Northland harbours or at a pump-out facility.
A new interactive map developed by the council shows the marine pollution rules and near-by pumpout facilities in relation to your location – check it out at the online marine pollution map.
Under Northland rules, it's illegal to stay overnight in a mooring area – even at anchor – without a proper way of treating or containing your boat's sewage. This means having (and providing proof if requested):
a well-maintained treatment system that complies with the marine pollution regulations; or
a sewage holding tank (a permanently fixed on-board sewage system which is constructed in impermeable materials and plumbed to a toilet, and incorporates a sewage tank with a discharge outlet).
If you see an illegal discharge, report it to the council’s 24/7 environmental hotline on 0800 504 639.
Find out more at www.nrc.govt.nz/marinepollution.