Vessel Pump-Out Services
Keys-wide Mobile Pump-Out Services
Beginning December 1, 2021, On The Hook Marine Services, LLC will be providing free mobile pumpout service to vessels anchored throughout the Florida Keys in specific service areas from Key West to Key Largo. This service is funded and managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection through at least June 2022. Participation in the service assists anchored boaters in complying with the no-discharge regulation and the Monroe County Proof of Pump-out requirement as outlined below.
Boaters interested in receiving free pumpout service can register at www.onthehookmarine.com or by calling 305-833-1978.
Upon the first service, vessels will be provided an orange pump-out flag to be flown when service is requested. This flag shall be flown from a visible location aboard the vessel. Service will be provided only when the pump-out flag is properly displayed, and the flag will be lowered after each service to confirm the pump. A monthly endorsement sticker will also be placed on the vessel upon the first service. For each new month of service thereafter, a new endorsement sticker will be placed on the vessel. This sticker shall serve as documentation for compliance with the Monroe County Proof of Pumpout Ordinance.
Additional Pump-out Options
There are more than 30 shoreside pump-out facilities located throughout the Florida Keys.
Florida Keys No-Discharge Zone
The Florida Keys is entirely within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). Waters of the Florida Keys have been designated as a federal No Discharge Zone (NDZ) by the Environmental Protection Agency and FKNMS in order to help preserve the water quality of our nearshore environment and coral reef system.
Proof of Pump-Out Regulations
Vessels anchored or moored for more than ten consecutive days, and which are required to have a marine sanitation device in accordance with F.S. § 327.53, must provide proof of pump-out.
Vessel owners may utilize a pump-out service provided by any authorized vessel pump-out facility or vendor. This can include the mobile pump-out service or locations such as public or private marinas, mobile pump-out trucks, and/or RV park dump stations.
Vessel owners are required to maintain documentation (ie. receipt or monthly sticker) and pump out logs to demonstrate the use of pump-out.
Pumping out beyond the boundaries of the No-Discharge Zone may also be considered proof of pump-out if substantiated with sufficient GPS data and pump out logs.
Proof of pump-out, regardless of the type of proof, must indicate that the vessel was pumped out within the last thirty (30) days.
Penalties for non-compliance are outlined in Section 26-104 of the ordinance.
The nearshore waters of Monroe County are popular for transient and local boaters, many of whom live aboard. However, many of these boaters anchor out for extended periods of time and do not boat in to shore to have their marine sanitation devices properly emptied.
In 2009, Monroe County established an internally-operated mobile vessel pump-out program in Key Largo to assist boaters.
In 2013, Monroe County partnered with the State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection Clean Vessel Act Program to expand and contract the services to a private vendor in order to provide services throughout the Florida Keys. The service was provided for free to anchored-out vessels to ensure boaters in our local anchorages had the means to properly and legally pump out.
Between 2013 and 2020, the service registered over 3,500 customers and regularly serviced over 700 vessels throughout Monroe County waters. This resulted in the collection of over 2 million gallons of sewage that may have otherwise entered our the sensitive marine environment.
The program was funded in part by state and federal funding assistance as well as through recreational vessel registration fees.
From June 2020 to November 2021, Keys-wide services were suspended and replaced with regional temporary services in the Key West and Upper Keys service areas.
Beginning December 2021, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection assumed management of the service and contracted with On The Hook Marine Services, LLC for a new Keys-wide Mobile Pumpout service. ens a New Window.