Headed out on your boat? Pump out your sewage, don't let it float!

Planning some time on your boat as summer kicks off? Here’s the last of our water-related reminders: don’t empty your boat’s holding tank into Puget Sound or inland waters.

Map showing the No Discharge zone border that stretches east from the New Dungeness lighthouse and includes lakes Washington and Union.

The Puget Sound No Discharge Zone

Puget Sound is a No Discharge Zone, meaning that vessels in the Sound can’t release sewage, either raw or treated. This doesn’t just apply to commercial vessels, it applies to recreational boats, too. If your boat’s sanitation system has a Y-valve, which directs waste either into a holding tank or overboard, you must keep it closed while you’re in Puget Sound.

Pumping out your blackwater, instead of dumping it, helps keep beaches open and waters clean and healthy. Sewage contains bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that can make people sick or make shellfish unsafe to eat.

many boats docked in a marina
Pumpout stations are widely available. Over 100 marinas offer pumpout services. You can even find free mobile pumpout services throughout the No Discharge Zone, from Olympia all the way up to Point Roberts. Use the handy Pumpout Nav app (available for both iOS and Android devices) to help you find the closest pumping facilities, dump stations, and restrooms, courtesy of our friends at Pumpout Washington.


Washington's beautiful waters depend on you to keep them clean. Please do your part this weekend, and every time you're out on the water.

Pump out, don't dump out sign