New Free App Helps Boaters Easily Find and Use Pumpout Stations to Manage Sewage, and Avoid Polluting Ocean

LOS ANGELES (May 25, 2017) Boaters have two new tools that make managing boat sewage much more convenient and trackable. The Pumpout Nav, a free iOS and Android app, is designed for use while on-the-go and aboard the vessel. It helps boaters geo-locate sewage pumpout stations closest to their present location. The second tool, the Pumpout Report 2016, is a summary of monitoring data on California’s public sewage pumpout network. These projects were developed by The Bay Foundation (TBF) and San Francisco Estuary Partnership as part of a Clean Vessel Act grant provided by California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways.

It is critical to make tasks like properly getting rid of boat sewage simple, convenient, and the norm, because the discharge of untreated sewage into our waterways can cause localized effects on water quality and public human health. The new Pumpout Nav app automatically finds the boater’s location and suggests the closest pumpout stations on a map or as a list. The app displays each facility’s operational status, cost, hours, and detailed location within the marina for each unit. It also provides instructions on how to use a pumpout station and information about the environmental risks and applicable regulations regarding sewage discharge.

Pumpout Nav is equipped with a unique function that informs future usability and the quality of California’s pumpout network throughout Southern and Northern California. If boaters find a non-operational pumpout, they can report the issue directly through the app, and even submit photos. This will help boaters avoid the simple but frustrating act of docking and tying up the vessel, just to discover that a pumpout station is not working.

“This project enables boaters to efficiently access the suite of pumpouts up and down the the coast of California. Keeping California coastal waters clean is a responsibility we all share,” states Tom Ford, TBF executive director. “Through this project we’re eliminating barriers for boaters to do their part by disposing of their waste in a manner that protects public health and the environment.”

On the marina side, once a boater sends a report, the marina manager and the local Clean Vessel Act Program are notified. An alert will let marinas know their pumpout could be down and should be inspected. The local Clean Vessel Act Program staff can now follow up with marinas in real time and encourage marina managers to apply for funding to address the issue.

Says Caitlin Sweeney, director of San Francisco Estuary Partnership, “This exciting new App revolutionizes the relationship boaters have with pumpout systems that keep sewage out of the water. Pumpout Nav will make it easier and more convenient for everyone to responsibly enjoy boating in California. We look forward to working with other States to bring them on-board with this new technology!”

Since 2007, The Bay Foundation and San Francisco Estuary Partnership have been monitoring public sewage pumpout stations throughout the state. The first ever Pumpout Report 2016 highlights findings on the condition and operational status of pumpout stations from 2014 to 2016.

The Pumpout Report 2016 provides another resource for boaters. It explains the different types of pumps and pumpout systems, offers maintenance recommendations, monitoring details, and more. The Report also gives a usability percentage for each unit so boaters can easily identify the unit’s past performance. Additionally, a ‘showcase’ feature of each harbor’s section of the Report includes unique and effective management practices across the board, ranging from new pumpout and signage solutions to sea lion deterrent features.

The Pumpout Report 2016 is an easily navigable interactive PDF available here.

For more information, contact Victoria Gambale at