N.H. To Receive Federal Funding to Protect Water Quality

Jul 10, 2017

The Wallkill River in upstate New York, its waters turned green by an algae bloom in late summer 2016.
Credit Daniel Case, Wikimedia

New Hampshire is receiving more than $160,000 to keep waste water from boats out of the state’s lakes and shores.

The funding announcement was made Friday by the U.S. Department of the Interior, which is distributing $32 million nationwide through the Clean Vessel Act.

Under state law, boats aren’t allowed to discharge their holding tanks in any inland bodies of water, or within three miles of the New Hampshire seacoast.

“Sewage has viruses, and all kinds of nutrients,” explains Melanie Cofrin, Clean Vessel Act Coordinator at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. “If you think of putting manure on your garden, the same nutrients that are found in sewage can cause algal blooms and other things that aren’t very pretty to look at, and can actually be dangerous.”

With these additional grant funds, DES plans to finance additional pump out stations that boats can connect to on shore, as well as continued operation of mobile pump out boats, including the affectionately nicknamed ‘The Royal Flush,’ which serve ships off of the Seacoast.

DES is also planning an educational outreach program on the state’s clean vessel regulations, and the risk illegal dumping of sewage poses the state’s water bodies.