The Florida State Legislature approved a $750,000 appropriation for Monroe County’s vessel pump out program on Saturday in the State’s final budget. The pump out program, funded by the State and the County, has been free to Florida Keys boaters since the inception of the program in 2013. To date, the program has kept about 1.8 million gallons of sewage out of Florida Keys waters.
“The $750,000 represents a significant portion of the total annual program cost,” said Rich Jones, Monroe County’s Marine Resource Administrator. “The pump out program is hugely successful. By providing the service for free, we incentivize boaters to use the program and comply with regulations of the federal no-discharge zone.”
The Keyswide service helps prevent the illegal overboard discharge of sewage that could create health hazards, water quality issues, and harms the environment. The County established a contract with PumpOut USA to provide service to local and transient boaters. PumpOut USA off-loads the sewage at marina facilities throughout the County, which is then properly treated.
Funding efforts for the program are coordinated with the Department of Environmental Protection, which manages the legislative grant.
Monroe County requires all occupied vessels within County waters provide proof of pump out. Boaters can call 305-900-0263 to schedule a pump out, or they can register online for routine pump out service at www.po-keys.com. To learn more about the County’s pump out program, or to see the list of other pump out facilities in Monroe County, visit www.monroecounty-fl.gov/pumpout.