It’s time for spring cleaning. For most of us, that includes washing off the dirt and bird poop accumulated during the off season months. However, there are some very specific laws that apply to our spring cleaning and maintenance. It’s not legal to scrub the bottom of your boat while it is in the water if you have ablative (soft) bottom paint and it’s not legal to pollute the water with detergents or other products while washing your boat. The definition of “pollution” is very broad (it could even be interpreted to mean pouring fresh water into a salt water environment, but that of course would be silly!!) However, because the definition of pollution is so broad and because the Dep’t of Ecology regulations are so extensive, it is important that all boat owners know the rules.
For rules about cleaning topsides, visit http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/nonpoint/CleanBoating/hull.html.
To read the relevant laws visit http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/nonpoint/CleanBoating/laws.html.