The Y-Valve Education Pilot Program is designed to help participating marinas and yacht clubs educate boaters about their Y-Valves, vessel sewage systems, and best practices for managing blackwater.
We provide program participants with complimentary resources such as dye tabs, zip ties, signage, educational materials and more. We are also working in partnership with the Clean Marina and EnviroStars programs. This pilot is one part of our ongoing efforts to develop and implement a comprehensive education and outreach program for the Puget Sound No Discharge Zone.
The Y-Valve and why it matters
Y-valves are a crucial part of a boat’s onboard head or marine sanitation system and directs waste from the holding tank to either the deck waste fitting or overboard. Most Y-valves have arrows that show the direction of the flow. The closed position directs sewage to the deck waste fitting and not overboard. In the No Discharge Zone, Y-valves should be kept in the closed position and secured with a zip-tie, a padlock, or by simply removing the handle. Once closed, sewage will be held onboard in a holding tank until it is pumped out at a proper facility.
The aim of the Y-Valve Education Pilot Program is to show boaters how to find and operate the Y-valve, how to secure it in the closed position, and how to tell if the onboard head system is in good working order. Participating marinas and yacht clubs use dye tabs to check for vessel system leaks and Y-valve closures during routine inspections that occur upon lease initiation, renewal, or other times determined by the marina or yacht club.
All marinas and yacht clubs located within the Puget Sound No Discharge Zone are eligible to take part in this new educational program.
To join the pilot, fill out the participating marina and yacht club form and we will follow up with you.
Pilot data collection and tracking
This is a pilot program so it is essential that we track results to evaluate its effectiveness and challenges. To do this, we need your help! We have tried to make the process simple and painless as possible for you. Fill out this short data collection form to report the number of Y-Valve checks you have completed.
Once the pilot wraps up, Ecology will reach out to participants to collect and analyze the vessel inspection data collected (number of boats inspected, dye tabs used, Y-valves found open, discharges identified, etc.). We will also conduct a follow up survey about your experiences, such as challenges, benefits, and lessons learned. We hope to make this feedback process as easy as possible.
After we’ve received the data and feedback, we will review the information and then determine if and how this pilot program could or should be developed into a full-scale ongoing education program.