Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Scoop on Poop in Fort Lauderdale

Pump outs are an issue in the Yachting Capital of the world - Fort Lauderdale.


It's a crappy subject but boat owners have to deal with it. It's not something that can be left to rot, it will.

Locally there are not that many Pumpout Stations and there are fewer still that work. For us, the most convenient is at Smoker's Park on the New River just downstream of 3rd Avenue Bridge. We have used that facility many times. There are a bunch of boats that are tied up along the river there, notably, Musette II and a few others, they all have a need for Pump outs. If they don't pump out at that locale, they have three choices:- #1 Call a mobile Pump Out service, it will come to them either at the dockside or alongside their boats.  #2 Go to another pump out station, good luck with that one! or #3 Head out to the Ocean and 'pump and dump'

In our case, Eximius holds a maximum of 25 gallons. In fact, if we had 25 gallons of poop on board, it would probably be making a mess in our bathroom as it would flow back - Yuck! So we pump out frequently. We have the same choice as those boats tied up at the New River:- Use the shore based pump out service (DIY), hail a mobile pumpout, head up to Los Olas Marina (apparently not working and unlikely to be fixed until the rebuild of the Los Olas Marina (Sentex managed now) or we can go out on the Ocean.

Ok, so what is the process if we want to pump and dump out on the Ocean?

It's pretty simple. We head out to the 3 mile limit off shore, normally we go quite a bit further, and open the valve that is normally wired shut, turn on the Macerator Pump and whatever is in the Holding tank is pumped overboard. It might not be obvious to everyone, but on our boat, nothing goes into the head that we didn't eat or drink. No TP, no napkins and very very little fresh water. The salt water flush in our boat has been disconnected. Salt tends to cause cakes (now there's a thought you'll not easily forget) to form in the hoses and the tank.  This means that we create a lot less sewage on the boat than we do at home. A typical flush on our boat is perhaps a pint or two of fresh water. 

So our poop gets macerated before it's discharged overboard. Surprisingly, although the trail of effluent is visible over the stern of the boat, it's no longer visible within a few minutes. A boat trailing us would probably not notice that we dumped if they were sailing more than 3 or 4 minutes astern of us.

Ok, so that's the scoop on poop. It's a sad reality that there are so few public pump out facilities in Fort Lauderdale - Yachting Capital of the World.  Of course, Cruise Ships probably have sewage connections at their docks. I cannot imagine how large their holding tanks must be. HUGE!

Anyway, we have been unable to get out to Sea for a while, issues with the boat etc. But we did get to take the boat out for the New Year's Eve Cruise - Thursday, Friday, Saturday and returning Sunday.
The Smoker's park pump out facility is not working, it's not been working for months. One would think that with all of the Sewage that has leaked into the New River in the past couple of years, literally Millions of Gallons of Poop, that the City of Fort Lauderdale would be making extra effort to provide adequate pump out stations. You would think, Right?

Today we hailed a mobile Pump out company to empty our small (25gallon) holding tank. Chris from Mobile Pump Out Service came to our boat today and took care of business, that's #2. As his card says, they are #1 in the #2 Business.

Chris brought his truck and parked it in the road, ran a hose to the boat and quickly pumped out Eximius. Our tank was only half full and I wanted to rinse off the side of the tank (inside) adjacent to where the Level Sensors are located in order to improve their reliability. Chris was ok with me running a hose and spraying that inside of the tank, he suggested that I also spray the area of the tank that is further from the pump out point near the bottom aft corner of the tank.

Chris' rates are very reasonable, he's a cheerful and sensible business owner. He took care to make sure the work area was clean. I had setup the pump out adapter into the deck fitting. Chris said it wasn't necessary but he was happy to connect his hose directly  to the adapter. Boat owners do not need to install an adapter, Chris has a push in adapter that he normally uses.

So we're MT, no longer full of S#!t even if we did have to pay for the pleasure.  Once the current series of Northerly's pass though, perhaps a week, maybe two, we'll be back out on the water. Of course there's a few little projects to do while we wait.

If you need to get Chris to take care of your #2s, then you can reach him at 954-406-6680 or www.marinewastepumping.net


See you on the water.


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