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PA Boating Handbook
CHAPTER 6 - RESOURCE PROTECTION
Marine Sanitation Devices (MSD)
The Water Quality Act of 1987 requires the installation of an MSD on all vessels with installed toilet systems operating in the navigational waters of the United States. Marine toilets are a source of pollution if not designed correctly.

MSD illustrationThey must be of a sealed construction, so no waste can be discharged from the toilet directly or indirectly into the water. All MSDs must be U.S. Coast Guard approved. Portable toilets are not considered installed toilets. Direct overboard discharge of portable toilet waste is a violation of state water regulations.

Discharge of sewage, treated or untreated, is prohibited in all fresh water impoundments lying entirely within the boundaries of the state. When boating on these waters, if your watercraft is equipped with an installed toilet system, it must be removed, sealed or drained into a holding tank which can be carried or pumped ashore for disposal at an approved sewage treatment system. Pre-plan your trip: find pump-out locations on the PFBC website (www.fishandboat.com) or look for the waterway sign above that indicates their availability.

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