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Clean Marinas and Clean Boating

picture of boats and boaters at marinaThe Tennessee River system, with its many reservoirs, offers area residents unsurpassed boating opportunities. All types of watercraft, from canoes to cruisers, can be seen on the water throughout the boating season.

Clean Marina Initiative

To help marina owners and operators protect water quality, TVA set up the Tennessee Valley Clean Marina Initiative, which addresses such activities as sewage management, oil and gas control, marina siting and erosion prevention. The program certifies marinas that are in compliance with pollution-control standards and allows them to use the Clean Marina logo and flag. For marina owners, it makes good business sense to protect the resource on which their livelihood depends. View a listing of Certified Clean Marinas on the Tennessee River system.

TVA has developed a guidebook for marina owners and operators that outlines practices designed to minimize pollution and erosion, methods of educating the public, federal regulations and more. Download a copy of the Tennessee Valley Clean Marina Guidebook (PDF, 457KB, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader). To make it easier for marinas to track their progress, TVA has created a checklist (PDF, 156KB) that follows the Guidebook.

Clean Boating Campaign

Each summer TVA’s Watershed Teams help organize Clean Boating events at Tennessee Valley marinas and boat ramps in the TVA region. Boaters learn about proper fueling techniques and about products like bilge socks that can help keep pollutants out of the water. Here are some tips on how boaters can help keep waterways clean.

TVA conducted a preliminary screening of marina and campground pump-out waste to determine if the wastewater presented water quality concerns when treated in on-site septic-drainfield systems. (See Tennessee Valley Marina and Campground Wastewater Study, PDF, 4.3MB) The study found high concentrations of most categories of pollutants measured in sample of effluent from septic tanks, which could mean that standard drainfields receiving pump-out wastewater are overloaded. TVA is currently conducting a follow-up study to determine whether the soil absorption fields provide adequate treatment for this high-strength wastewater.

To learn more about Clean Marina and Clean Boating activities at a lake near you, contact a member of the TVA Watershed Team for that lake.




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