Boaters Update starts out the news section this month talking about being green and using products for all the different kinds of washing that you might do on the boat.
Well, we received an email from a concerned boater. The main worry was that most other boaters they came across were using common-or-garden varieties of washing up liquids, detergents and so on – a proportion of which ended up in the canal. I’m sure that you’re all perfectly au fait with the T&C’s of your boat licence but, as a reminder, and to quote section 4(d) of the navigation rules: ‘We request that only phosphate-free detergents are used on board the Boat, particularly in washing machines and dish washers.’ So there you go. I thought it’d be useful if I ask our experts for some advice. Those clever people in the environment team were very helpful and gave me lots of information about ‘grey water’ - . wash waters from sinks, dishwashers and washing machines etc. – to pass on to you:
He is right most boats have a sink though some smaller craft still use a bowl. The advice offered is also for washing clothes in washing machines. I acknowledge that a much smaller number of boats have a washing machine. Even so, we do tend to wash our small bits in the sink. The advice is then extended to include that popular item for boaters - dishwashers. (That's the job that I usually do in the sink) Then it went on to offer a further priceless bit of advice. Consider connecting all wash water drains to holding tanks so that they may be pumped out regularly and treated.
So the water from the sink, the shower, the bath, the washing machine, the dishwasher should all be pumped into the new 'tardis' style holding tank. The article forgot to mention that we could also include the contents of the bilge as well as the raw water cooler output. The tank is then pumped out somewhere else to be treated. Though the article fails to say where we could go to find a facility to pump out the tardis tank. It also forgets to describe the process of treating the water in the tardis tank prior to pumping out the content.
But I also had a moment of lucid thought, we could go a bit further. Now that we have the tardis tanks. We could have a couple of extra tanks fitted to catch rainwater off the roof to put through the onboard water processing plant. This would do away with the need for a fresh water holding tank.
Now call me old and cynical. I have been around long enough to be able to select a 'green' version of various washing products - in fact we already do.
Damien Kemp, you deserve a bonus.
PS. Don't call us, we'll call you!