Clean Vessel Act Program

In 1992, Congress passed the Clean Vessel Act to help reduce pollution from vessel sewage discharges into U.S. waters. The Grant Program established by the Act is for the funding of the construction, renovation, operation, and maintenance of pumpout stations, dump stations, and pumpout vessels to service pleasure craft. As part of its commitment to provide clean, safe, and enjoyable recreational boating in Tennessee, TWRA serves as the State Grant coordinator. The Department will also provide boater education programs to promote public awareness about boat sewage and its proper disposal.


Who Is Eligible

The Clean Vessel Act grant funds are available to both the public and private sector. This includes all local governmental entities and private businesses that own and operate boating facilities that are open to the general public.


What The Grant Covers

The Grant will reimburse recipients for up to 75% of the installed cost of pumpout and dump stations. This includes the cost of new equipment, or the renovation of existing equipment, as well as necessary pumps, piping, lift stations, on-site holding tanks, pier or dock modifications, signs, permits and other miscellaneous equipment needed for a complete and efficient station. The Grant will not pay for the construction or renovation of onshore restroom facilities, or sewage treatment plants, including septic tanks, leach fields, private and municipal treatment plants.


What The Cost Will Be For You

As a grant recipient, you are responsible for at least 25% of the installed costs of the pumpout and dump station facilities provided for under the grant program. This 25% match can be cash, the fair market value of any labor or materials provided, or a combination thereof.


Can You Be Reimbursed For A Pumpout You've Already Installed?

No. Costs incurred prior to the effective date of a grant agreement are not allowable.


Your Responsibilities Under The Grant Program

1. All recreational vessels must have access to the pumpout and dump stations funded under this grant program. The grant recipient shall guarantee that the facilities will be operated, maintained, and be accessible to all recreation vessels for the full period of their useful life.

2. A sign depicting the national pumpout symbol shall be installed so as to be clearly visible to boaters.

3. An informational sign shall be installed at pumpout and dump stations. The sign information should specify fees, restrictions, hours of operation, operating instructions, and a contact name and telephone number to call if the facility is inoperable. The sign shall also acknowledge that the facility was constructed or improved with funds from the Sport Fish Restoration Program, through the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.


Can You Charge For Use Of The Pumpout Or Dump Station?

Yes. While the State encourages the free use of facilities constructed under this program, a maximum user fee of $5 can be charged. However, during the grant application evaluation process, a higher priority will be given to applicants who propose free use or a lower than maximum user fee.


Pumpout Symbol

Look for this symbol at marinas that have a pumpout or dump station.
Clean Vessel Act Pumpout Icon


Contact Information

For questions regarding the Tennessee Clean Vessel Act Program or Marine Sanitation Laws within Tennessee, please call (866) 416-4488 or e-mail