Recreational vessel sewerage requirements

Recreational vessels with untreated sewage

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983 requirements for vessels that hold untreated sewage are:
  • All fixed toilets on vessels need to be fitted with a macerator to reduce the sewage into a fine slurry so as to be sparsely visible and speed up the breakdown of the waste in the receiving environment. Most electric toilets contain macerators or they can be purchased separately.
  • If you carry 16 or more people on your boat you will need to store your sewage and may discharge it at least 1 nautical mile or 1.852 km seawards from the nearest reef, island, mainland or an aquaculture facility.
  • If you carry 15 or less people on your boat, you may discharge untreated sewage in the Marine Park if you are outside of a boat harbour or marina or more than 1 nautical mile or 1.852 km from an aquaculture facility.
Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) has introduced new nil discharge requirements for untreated sewage in Queensland waters. For more information on these and Queensland vessel-based sewage regulations for coastal waters please visit the Maritime Safety Queensland website.

Recreational vessels with treated sewage

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983 requirements for treated sewage are summarised in the table below:

Grade A sewerage
Grade B sewerage
Grade C sewerage

All vessels:No discharge inside a harbour, canal or marina

No discharge within 0.7 km of:

  • nearest reef
  • person in water
  • aquaculture operation

 

All vessels: No discharge inside a harbor, canal or marina.

No discharge within half a nautical mile or 0.926 km of:
  • nearest reef
  • person in water
  • aquaculture operation
All vessels: No discharge inside a harbour, canal or marina
A quick guide for the various grades of treated sewerage as listed below:
  • Grade C is the lowest level of treatment
  • Grade B is a higher level of treatment
  • Grade A is the highest form of sewage treatment and these systems allow the greatest flexibility for vessel operators to comply with the various sewage discharge requirements.

For a definition of Grade A, B and C treated sewage, refer to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983 as described in Regulation 93B and sub-regulation 135(3).

Maritime Safety Queensland has introduced new nil discharge requirements for treated sewage in Queensland's "prohibited discharge waters". For more information on these and Queensland vessel-based sewage regulations for coastal waters please visit the Maritime Safety Queensland website.