Call to action: pump out wastewater tanks from yachts

The World Wide Fund for Nature the Netherlands (WWF-NL), STINAPA, Water en Energiebedrijf Bonaire (WEB) and the Public Entity Bonaire (OLB) urge yacht owners to have their wastewater tanks pumped out by Harbor Village Marina (HVM). In order to stimulate the use of the pump-out installations as much as possible, the use of the pump-out installations at HVM is temporarily free of charge. The pumping out of wastewater tanks contributes to solving ground and underwater problems that affect the reefs and our health.

Recently in September, HVM announced that beginning in the month October, yacht owners are required to pay a $10 fee each time for pumping out their wastewater tanks. However, the aforementioned partners want the use of the pump-out installations to be free of charge for the time being. WWF-NL will temporarily pay the total amount of fees for this service to STINAPA, who has a working agreement with HVM. The yacht owners can make use of the pump-out installations for free in the months of November and December. Yacht owners who already have paid for this service will be compensated by STINAPA. STINAPA has already contacted yacht owners to offer this compensation. A request for compensation can also be made to STINAPA via policy@stinapa.org.

Monitoring at WEB © WWF-NL / Casper Douma

In collaboration with WWF-NL, STINAPA and OLB, WEB started a pilot project in December 2021 to find the most suitable solution for treating the salty wastewater of yachts. Using a buffer tank, the collected salty wastewater can be processed in doses through the vacuum sewer system to the central sewage treatment plant. WEB will continuously monitor the wastewater collection process to ensure the biological purification process at the sewage treatment plant. The processing of wastewater from yachts seems to be a challenge. Toilets are flushed with seawater on yachts. The wastewater is therefore very salty and can affect the quality of the purification process.

HVM invested last year in two pump-out installations and a 20m3 buffer tank, which can be used to collect wastewater from yachts. Soon WEB will install a third pump installation with a dosing mechanism. STINAPA, HVM and WWF-NL are also looking into purchasing a mobile pump-out boat that will make it possible to collect wastewater from the yachts at the moorings. Various parties have been asked to submit a quotation for this boat.