#LoveYourHarbour
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knowing what to do with your toilet waste on a boat can be confusing

Discharging untreated sewage from a boat in a harbour is extremely damaging and antisocial. It can create all kinds of problems and costs, from water quality to cleaning issues. It’s never okay, and there really isn’t any excuse. If you love your harbour, don’t treat it like a bog.

We are working together with harbour associations and Natural England to raise awareness of the issues associated with discharging toilet waste amongst the boating community.

what’s the problem

Toilet discharge leads to bacterial contamination (E. coli) which affects our bathing waters, and aquaculture such as shellfish production.


Elevated nutrients can lead to eutrophication effects such as very dense green weed, affecting coastal birds by reducing the availability of shellfish and worms they feed on.


Smelly rotting seaweed can also affect our enjoyment of the harbour too!

Use your head every time you go

  • Use on-shore toilets when you’re berthed.
  • Fit a holding tank or chemical toilet if you can.
  • Use a pumping station or sewerage facility to empty your toilet.
  • And if you can’t do any of those, flush at least 3 miles offshore.

By working together, we can all keep the blue nice and clean.

Useful links

The Green Blue is the joint environmental awareness programme created by the Royal Yachting Association and British Marine, established in 2005.