BALTIMORE PUMP OUT FOR CLEAN WATER
FREE PUMP OUTS FOR BOATS IN BALTIMORE HARBOR
There are 19 marinas in the Baltimore Harbor representing 2400 boat slips.
There are over 300 official full-time annual “live-aboard” boats in Baltimore Harbor.
There are a total of 10 pump out stations available in these marinas.
All pump out stations are closed between November 15 and April 15 due to winterization.
Baltimore Harbor Waters consistently falls below Federal EPA Water Quality Standards for Bacteria 60% associated with human waste, earning a failing Grade of “F” by HealthyHarborBaltimore.org (2013)
Common pathogens that can infect humans and are associated with fecal wastes are: E. E. coli, Salmonella, Giardia, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, adenovirus, rotavirus & norovirus.
Millions of these bacteria and viruses can be contained in only 20 drops of contaminated water, of which only a few hundred drops need to be ingested to cause infection.
Campylobacteriosis (infection due to the Camplybacter bacteria found in both human and animal waste) is one of the common causes of diarrheal illness in the United States (CDC, 2013)
Other bacteria/ viruses can lead to severe diarrhea illnesses as well although required ingestion amounts vary.
In addition to human illness, release of raw wastewater can degrade water quality by increasing nutrient loading in water bodies. High nutrient loads can decrease the amount of oxygen available to aquatic organisms causing fish kills and reducing overall water quality. Raw wastewater also contains trace amounts of hormones, such as estrogen from birth control, caffeine, and antibiotics, however the environmental effects and associated risks of these pollutants in water are still being studied (Scientific American, 2013; Wise et al., 2010).
Campylobater. 2015. National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/campylobacter/. Last accessed January 21, 2015.
HealthyHarbor. State of the Harbor. Available at http://healthyharborbaltimore.org/state-of-the-harbor. Last accessed January 21, 2015.
Scientific American. 2013. Only half of drugs removed by sewage treatment. Available at http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/only-half-of-drugs-removed-by-sewage-treatment/. Last accessed January 21, 2015.
Wise, A., K. O’Brien, and T. Woodruff. 2010. Are oral contraceptives a significant contributor to the estrogenicity of drinking water? Environ. Sci. Technol.