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Marine Sanitation Devices (MSD) in Florida

For those who own a recreational watercraft, you must exercise diligence when it comes to protecting the waters of Florida. If you have installed a marine sanitation system, such as a toilet, it must be connected to a holding tank with USCG certification or you must make it secure so that there will be no discharge of sewage into the water. Vessels operating in Florida waters must comply with the U.S. Coast Guard requirements. It is unlawful to discharge waste into state waters.

Vessels 26 feet or more in length and that have an enclosed cabin with berthing facilities or a houseboat shall be equipped with a toilet and an appropriate USCG-approved marine sanitation device.

It is unlawful to disconnect, bypass or use a marine sanitation system that could allow the sewage to be dumped into federal waters at any distance and anywhere 3 miles from shore. 

Discharging Other Substances and Materials

It is illegal to discharge untreated waste, oil and trash into waters.

Private artificial reefs are prohibited in Florida. Do not drop concrete, steel, or anything else in the water which may constitute reefs. Dumping is considered a 1st degree Misdemeanor.

Boaters are also responsible for their vessels. 

Abandoned and derelict vessels are prohibited on state waters. Owners are responsible for removing these vessels from the water. Intentionally dumping your vessel is a 3rd degree felony. If you see a derelict vessel on the water please contact your FWC regional office.

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