Boat Waste Problems Plague Coastal Town of Winthrop

Inspectors have yet to fine anyone yet this winter

Officials in the town of Winthrop, Massachusetts, are cracking down on boat owners who are allegedly dumping human waste and sewage into Boston Harbor.

The board of health is investigating reports of people living on their boats and dumping waste from on board showers and toilets.

Winthrop Town Manager James McKenna says the issue is not a laughing manner.

Last summer, inspectors cited boat owners doing the same thing, causing bacteria levels to rise, especially near Donovan Beach.

Since then, the town has created a new ordinance that requires people living on their boats to get a permit showing they can properly get rid of waste.

Most of the boats docked have a valve for waste. All the owners have to do is call the harbor master to empty them out for free.

"You just have to take time and do it the right way," said McKenna.

The service however, isn't available during the winter season and it will coast boat owners money. Wakman said that is not a good excuse to not have the waste removed properly.

Boat owner Rick Wakeman told NBC Boston that he's concerned about the mess the waste is causing.

"It’s also so unfair to everybody else that wants to keep everything pristine and nice," Wakeman said.

While inspectors have yet to fine anyone this winter, warning letters are being sent out to all the marinas and yacht clubs in the area to be on the look out for illegal dumping.

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