Vessel Pump-Out Services
In 2014, Monroe County partnered with the State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection Clean Vessel Act (DEP CVA) to create a KeysWide mobile Pump Out Program to provide free pump out service.
The program has been a great success. In 2017, the 1 Millionth Gallon was Pumped in the program.
Monroe County contracted with Pumpout USA, which now provides pump-outs to recreational vessels anchored throughout the waters of the Florida Keys.
How can I schedule a pump-out with Pumpout USA?
- Call 305-900-0263
- Register online for routine pump-outs at www.po-keys.com
Boaters utilizing the routine service will be provided with a sticker to be displayed on the vessel indicating participation in the pump-out program and an orange flag to be flown when in need of a pump-out.
In 2013, the Keys had only a couple of sewage pump-out boats, which operated sporadically in certain areas (Key West, Marathon and Key Largo). Some of these operations charged upwards of $25 per pump-out of a vessel.
The County’s goal is to provide a holistic approach to pump-outs Keys-wide to protect the environment and water quality of the world's third-largest barrier coral reef, and avoid potential illegal discharge of vessel sewage.
The program's start-up required seed funding for a new vendor: Pumpout USA. The County provided up front funding of $98,267 for the first quarter of service.
After the program operated for two 2 years, annual operations totaled $766,000 with funding of $329,000 by the County and $437,000 by the State CVA program.
The County-wide program has grown into a highly successful program currently performing more than 1,500 pump-outs per month in a 120-mile long county with numerous areas where boaters anchor and live.
These pump-out numbers translate into the annual disposal of more than 280,000 gallons of sewage, which might otherwise be discharged directly into the water. This would create a health hazard and contribute to nutrient loading, which directly impacts our reef system.
The provision and use of the vessel pump-out service furthers the objectives of, and compliance with the No Discharge Zone, which surrounds the Florida Keys and encompasses the entire Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
The mobile pump-out service is also critical to the effectiveness of ‘managed anchoring zones’ in the Key West area (including Boca Chica basin, Cow Key Channel and Key West harbor), which require vessels to have proof of pump-out. pens a New Window.
Other Pump-out Services:
In addition there are more than 30 other pump-out facilities, including both mobile and land based operations, located throughout the Keys.