After all, there’s something special about being able to spend time outside with family and friends. And one of the best outdoor activities is to enjoy a day on the water in a boat. Boating provides the chance to escape the stress of everyday life, soak up the sun, get plenty of fresh air, and cool off in your favorite body of water.
But if you’re concerned about protecting the environment, you’ll need to understand some ways to reduce water pollution while boating. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place for advice.
This article takes a look at how to reduce the effects of water pollution caused by boats. Keep reading to get the inside scoop.
1. Proper Boat Maintenance
The first step in preventing polluted lake water is to make sure that your boat is properly maintained. This includes giving your boat a full tune-up before hitting the water. This can be a DIY job or you can have it professionally serviced.
Regular boat maintenance will help reduce the chances of oil or gasoline leaks, which are obviously toxic for marine life.
Give the motor a thorough examination. Look for leaks and check all fluid levels. If you haven’t taken it out on the water in a few months or even years, you’d be wise to lower the motor into a tank of water at home and let it run for a few minutes. This will help blow out old toxins that have formed from being dormant.
It’s also a good idea to change your oil and fluids regularly and make sure the motor has fresh gas before heading out on the lake.
And don’t neglect the boat’s exterior. Make sure the paint is in good shape. Otherwise, chipping paint can contaminate the waterways in your area. Adding a fresh coat of paint will make your boat more environmentally friendly and keep in looking great.
Another vital part of boat maintenance is to clean off the bottom of your boat before putting it in the water. This will remove grime, chemicals, and other toxins that are harmful to the fragile marine habitat.
2. Upgrade the Motor
It’s important to understand that older two-stroke boat motors often spew more than 30% of their gas/oil mixture into the water. This is obviously unpleasant and dangerous.
Thus you should strongly consider upgrading to a more efficient four-stroke model. Modern Four-stroke motors reduce pollutants up to 97 percent. This drastically reduces air and water pollution, helping to protect the environment and make the marine life habitat as clean and healthy as possible.
This is especially important with older boats outfitted with motors that have fallen into disrepair and are more prone to breakdown and leakage.
3. Travel Slowly in No-Wake Zones
This a common mistake many people make when cruising near the shoreline. You should never travel more than 5 miles per hour in the shallow water or in areas marked as no-wake zones.
Motoring as slowly as possible will help reduce the amount of sediment that gets churned up. This is important so that nutrients such as phosphorus won’t become stirred up and suspended in the water causing algae to flourish and endanger the local fish populations.
Keeping the speed of your boat to a minimum is all about respect. Respect for the environment, respect for the marine life, and respect for fellow boaters in the area.
You should also invest in a zero emissions boat.
4. Never Dispose of Your Bio-Solids In the Water
It’s incredibly important to never dispose of bio-solids from your boat in the water. This practice is rude, disgusting, and toxic for the environment. That’s because human waste contains organisms such as bacteria and parasites which can cause illness when exposed to other people.
There is a process for disposing of sewage materials. First, make sure that your boat is fitted with an adequate holding tank specifically designed for sewage and wastewater. The waste in this tank should be disposed of at a facility designated for this purpose or at your home.
If you absolutely must discharge your liquid waste while on the water, please do it offshore as far from swimmers and water sports as possible. Also, remember to use the minimum amount of toilet chemicals in order to protect marine life and the environment.
5. If You Pack it In, Pack it Out
This is a simple rule that’s easy to remember yet often ignored. Simply put, if whatever you take out on the water should be taken home at the end of the day.
This includes any form of trash, partially eaten food, and human waste contained in holding tanks. After all, the best way to preserve the environment is to keep it free of waste.
Never dump bags of garage over the side of your boat, and resist the impulse to pour drinks into the water. Keep in mind that marine life won’t benefit from exposure to your sugary drink or alcoholic beverages.
6. Bring a Rag for Liquid Spills
It’s inevitable that you’re going to spill liquids in your boat. This could include anything from drinks to oil to gasoline. Thus it’s important to bring a rag for cleaning up liquid spills. Tidying up with a rag will help keep the liquid spills out of the waterway.
7. Don’t Overfill When Refueling
When topping off your gas tank, remember to leave just a bit of room at the top so that it won’t overflow. This helps reduce leakage while out on the water.
8. Keep Portable Tanks Secure
It’s always wise to bring along a portable gas tank so that you won’t risk running out during the day. Just be sure to secure all fuel and oil tanks so that they won’t tip over and spill into the water during your boating trip.
A Guide to Reducing Water Pollution While Boating
Everyone needs to do their part to protect the environment. Fortunately, these tips for reducing water pollution will help.
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