Solar Power - Electric Pump-Out Boat: Shoreline Regional Free Pump-Out Boat Service

Poster Presentation

Prepared by , B. Weller, K. Reese

Contact Information:; 203-619-1286


The East Shore District Health Department (ESDHD) leads the Shoreline Regional Pump-Out Boat Program, which serves the waters off of Branford, East Haven, Guilford, New Haven and West Haven. Since 2000, the ESDHD has administered a “Federal Clean Vessel Act” grant that provides operating funds to reduce raw sewage discharge from boats in the Long Island Sound. Currently, two pump-out boats operate Friday through Monday, from May through October. Any recreational vessel based in one of the five towns listed above,as well as transient recreational vessels, may have their vessel's waste holding tank pumped — free of charge. Over the past 17 years, this program has pumped well over 300,000 gallons of sewage, which may have otherwise ended up polluting the water. Keeping raw sewage out of waterways using pump out boats depends on the voluntary cooperation of boat owners. Although boaters may be fined up to $25,000 for discharging untreated sewage into Connecticut waters, fines are rarely, if ever, imposed. Thus, incentive structures and enforcement are important concerns.

The ESDHD plans to replace one of its gas-powered pump-out boats with a fully electric, zero emissions, solar-powered pump-out vessel. The ESDHD is working with a local marina to build this vessel, which will be the first pump-out boat of its kind. CT DEEP/US Fish & Wildlife has funded this project at 75%, with 25% being local funds.