New County Pumpout Boat to be Based in Brick

More than 1 million gallons of waste removed since program started

A current Ocean County pumpout boat.
A current Ocean County pumpout boat.
A sixth pumpout boat will patrol Barnegat Bay in time for the 2014 boating season, county officials announced this week.

The Ocean County freeholders are expected to $90,899 award a contract at their Jan. 22 meeting Marine Boat Builders of Warwick, Rhode Island for a new pumpout boat that will be based in Brick Township and patrol the northern portion of the bay.

The 23-foot boat will come with a 420 gallon holding tank to store waste from marine toilets. All of Ocean County’s pumpout boats are specially equipped vessels capable of emptying the on-board toilets and tanks of other boats, thus keeping waste from entering the bay.

The pumpout services are offered to boaters for free each boating season. The program is largely funded by grants.

“While we are providing the funds to purchase the new boat, Ocean County will be fully reimbursed for the purchase by the state Department of Environmental Protection through the Clean Vessel Act program,” Freeholder Joseph Vicari said in a statement. “This has been a great partnership for the county.”

The addition of the latest boat will round out the county's fleet with two boats covering the southern bay, two covering the central bay and, now, two covering the northern bay.

The costs to operate all the boats are split between Ocean County and the Ocean County Utilities Authority in order to allow the pumpout service to be provided free of charge to boaters. The boats operate Memorial Day weekend through October each year and have steadily expanded their operations. Last year almost 129,000 gallons of wastewater was removed from recreational boats.

Vicari said since the program's inception in 1998, over 1 million gallons of waste have been removed from boats.

"Without this program, that wastewater could have been discharged improperly sending pollutants into the bay," he said.

The freeholder board has also tapped the pumpout boat captains as extra sets of eyes and ears on the bay. The captains, in 2012, helped cleanup crews spot debris still left over from Superstorm Sandy.


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