NDZs, otherwise known as No Discharge Zones.

“No Discharge Zones” is a term all boaters should be familiar with, as a responsible boater, you should know what they are and where they are located. Many are right here in California.

What are they…

Designated bodies of water where discharge of treated and untreated sewage from vessels is federally prohibited.

Where are they located…

Here is a list of the NDZs in Southern California.


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  • Huntington Harbor (Orange County)
  • Newport Bay (Orange County)
  • Sunset Bay (Orange County)
  • Avalon Bay (Los Angeles County)


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  • Oceanside Harbor (San Diego County)
  • Mission Bay (San Diego County)
  • San Diego Bay (San Diego County)


Dump at the Pump

Universal symbol, directs boaters to public pumpout stations.

“When navigating in these water bodies your marine sanitation device (MSD) must be connected to a holding tank or secured with a zip tie or another device to prevent all sewage discharges. When your trip is over, or when the holding tank is full, “head” to the nearest sewage pumpout station. For more information about public sewage pumpout stations, go to DATP – Dump at the Pump. If you don’t want to pump out your holding tank yourself, consider using a mobile pumpout service that will come to you. You don’t even have to be at your boat for the service. For a list of these convenient mobile pumpout services.” For more information…The Changing Tide (page 8)

Did you know that a NDZ applies only to vessel sewage, except for graywater from commercial vessels on the Great Lakes? In other words, a NDZ does not restrict the discharge of graywater from recreational vessels. However, graywater discharges from recreational vessels may be regulated or prohibited by local code or ordinances. The discharge of graywater is prohibited in some California harbors and marinas. Check with marina personnel for local restrictions.

Source: The Changing Tide (Summer 2014 Edition)