Are you keeping your bilge water clean?

bilge waterDid you know that dirty bilge water can have an impact on the marine environment? Lubricant and hydraulic oils can cause damage, diesel and gas can be toxic.

Authorities are quick to respond, when major oil spills happen in the harbor or ocean. But small spills from careless refueling or pumping oily bilge water overboard can also have negative effects on the marine environment.

As a responsible boaters it’s necessary for all of us to be vigilant. Although it’s not always possible to avoid oil being discharged with bilge water. There are a few ways to reduce oil leakages into our harbors and ocean waters.

  • Soak up any floating oil with absorbent material before pumping the bilge.
  • Bilge WaterIf you haven an automatic bilge pump, be sure there’s no floating oil in the bilges.
  • Make sure rain or sea water doesn’t leak into the boat, then there is less need to pump out any water.
  • Keep a drip tray under the engine and have absorbent material (newspaper, rags or paper towels in an emergency) on hand to soak up accidental leaks.
  • Maintain the boat engine so that it does not leak oil or fuel.
  • Always use an enzyme-based bilge cleaner which is less polluting.
  • Don’t mix detergent with oily bilge water, this can be more toxic than oil alone, and is much more difficult to clean up.
  • If you have a larger boat, install a bilge water filter that will help remove most contaminants.
  • Do not pump oily bilge water overboard – use a marine bilge pump out service (where available).

Please dispose of old bilge water properly and report any spills. There’s a better chance of minimizing the damage to our marine environment if it’s reported as soon as it happens.

Newmarks Yacht Centre is a GREEN marina and has established themselves with the Marina Recreation Association to provide a safer and cleaner environment.