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Discharge of sewage from pleasure boats to be prohibited in Sweden

From 1 April 2015 all pleasure boats, including foreign flagged boats, will be prohibited from discharging sewage into the lakes, internal waters and territorial waters (12 nautical miles) of Sweden.  Recreational craft listed for preservation are not subject to the ban.

Sewage is any discharge of waste water and other waste from any type of toilet, including portable toilets.  Sewage contains phosphorus and nitrogen and the primary aim of the ban is to reduce their discharge into Swedish waters.

Although a bucket, pot or similar does not count as a type of toilet and therefore falls outside the scope of the discharge ban, Sweden does have regulations which mean that anyone who is spending time outdoors should take every possible precaution not to contaminate the environment.

Pleasure boats can fit a holding tank, stop using the toilet and go ashore, or use a portable toilet, earth closet, incineration toilet or similar.  It is not prohibited for a pleasure boat to have a directly discharging toilet as long as nothing is being discharged.  If a boat does not have a toilet, sewage should not be discharged into the water but dealt with on land. 

Marinas are responsible for ensuring that there are adequate facilities for boat owners to dispose of this waste on land.

A map showing the location of pump out stations can be found on the Swedish Transport Agency website.

Anyone caught not complying with the ban may face an on the spot fine.