Boaters, Take Survey to Inform Additional Sewage Disposal Needs in Florida

This article is also available in Spanish here.

Boaters, we want to hear from you! Take a survey to help determine what and where additional sewage disposal resources are needed in the state.

Whether your boat has a head or not, your input is important. By participating in Florida Sea Grant’s boater survey, you’re helping to shape and direct sewage disposal resources. Whether it’s less wait times at pumpouts, more port-a-potty dump stations, or the need for information, we’re listening.

Continue reading below for our responses to Frequently Asked Questions about the survey.

Your input is important!

Take the Florida Recreational Boater Survey to help guide what and where additional sewage disposal resources are needed in the state.

How long is the survey? It’s estimated to take about 10 minutes or less.

Do I have to share personal information? No, this survey is anonymous, we don’t ask for your name, address, phone number, or email. We do ask for your home zip code for analysis purposes.

What information does the survey ask for? There are questions about your boat, sewage discharge laws, your opinion about pumpout and dump station equipment, where you dispose of sewage waste, where you find boating information, standard demographic questions, and a few others.

This survey has an “if- then” logic model so you’re not asked questions that are irrelevant to you. For example, if your boat has an installed toilet with a holding tank, you won’t be asked about port-a-potty dump stations.

Who will have access to my response? Your response is confidential and only accessible by project researchers at the University of Florida. Your response will only be shared once compiled with other respondents.

How will this information be used? The information you provide will be used as part of a needs assessment. It will help determine what educational programing and resources are developed and implemented. It will also be used with other data to determine what additional sewage disposal resources are needed and where.

What other research is Florida Sea Grant doing about boat sewage? As part of a comprehensive needs assessment, Florida Sea Grant is also looking at boating infrastructure in the state. More specifically, we’re looking to determine how many recreational boats have direct access to the water in each county. We are then comparing that to how many sewage disposal resources (pumpouts and port-a-potty dump stations) are available.

US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Clean Vessel Act Technical Guidelines recommends “As a general guide, at least one pumpout station and dump station should be provided for every 300 to 600 boats over 16 feet length overall.” We’ll be using this study to determine:
  1. if this general guideline is still appropriate. If not, we’ll develop a new guideline to target.
  2. what counties in Florida do and do not meet the guideline.

Based on the results of the needs assessment, we’ll focus efforts to promote installation of sewage disposal resources where they are most needed.

When and where will the results be available? Data collection for this study will be completed by June 2024 or earlier, depending on participation rates. Once all the data is collected, it will be reviewed for quality control and analysis. When that is completed, the results will be written up in a report. It is expected, but not guaranteed, that the report will be available by September 2024. The report will be published on Florida Sea Grant’s Clean Boating webpage.

How can I get notified when the results are available? If you’d like to be notified when the report is available, please email Florida Sea Grant’s Clean Vessel Act Education Coordinator, Vicki Gambale, at and let her know.

I have additional questions about this survey, who can I ask? Please contact Florida Sea Grant’s Clean Vessel Act Education Coordinator, Vicki Gambale, at or call her at (352) 562-1134.

Do you have resources that I can use to promote participation in this survey? Yes, our boater survey promotional materials include a poster, postcard, and social media graphics and text.