Pumpout Boat

Pump out boat

Jeff Horstman from MRC, Donna Morrow from DNR, and Kristin Greenaway from CBMM

Pumpout service runs from May through October

In its first season (2016), the boat pumped over 8,500 gallons of waste from almost 350 boats.


Need to schedule a pumpout? Please contact James Freeman, our pumpout boat operators, on VHF Channel 9 or by mobile phone at (410) 829-4352.

You may also set up recurring pumpouts or individually scheduled appointments.  For more information, you contact Ann Frock at MRC’s office at (410) 385-0511 or ann@midshoreriverkeeper.org.

MRC has received funding from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in conjunction with the Clean Vessel Act to purchase a 19’ Pump Kleen® pumpout boat for the Miles and Wye Rivers and to hire a captain to run the vessel. The grant will pay up to 75% of the purchase, operating and maintenance costs of the boat. Built by Bay Sails Marine in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, our pumpout boat is 22’ long with a center console. Its cargo tank sits below the waterline, a design specific to pumpout boats.

MRC’s new pumpout boat will be based at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels.


This mobile pumpout facility will provide an opportunity for the many boats that use these rivers to easily and properly dispose of waste rather than discharging it into our waterways. We continue to have high bacteria levels on busy boating weekends to the point where it is unsafe to swim in certain areas. The pumpout boat will operate on weekends during the warm months of the year. It will be docked at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels.

This is a valuable service for the hundreds of boaters who frequent our ports, scenic anchorages, and piers. CBMM is graciously donating free dockage, storage and use of their land-based pump out station to off load the waste from the pumpout boat. This sewage waste removed from boats will go directly to the recently updated St. Michaels Wastewater Treatment Plant that provides high quality treatment.

Presently there are limited pumpout facilities on the Miles River and no pumpout stations at all on the Wye River. The harbor in St. Michaels and other popular anchorages on both the Miles and Wye Rivers are often crowded on weekends with hundreds of cruise boats. The harbor in St. Michaels is so crowded on weekends that it discourages boaters and frequently prevents boats from reaching a land-based pump out facility. Many people are surprised to discover that it is legal to discharge marine sewage overboard with very limited treatment. Legal marine sanitation devices basically just macerate the waste and attempt to reduce the bacteria. They do nothing to remove polluting nutrients—nitrogen and phosphorus—from the waste. By providing pump out services to boaters on the Miles and Wye Rivers, we can significantly reduce nutrient pollution and harmful bacteria introduced by recreational boaters. Our pumpout boat will be the first of its kind on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

The pumpout boat will operate from late spring to early fall. The 2016 season will start on May 13 and end on October 16. Service hours will typically be from 12 pm to 5 pm on Fridays, and from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.

All residents of the Miles and Wye River are eligible to sign up for regular pump outs from their piers during the summer season. Cruisers will be able to hail the pumpout boat via a VHF radio or cell phone. There will be no charge for this service, as we do not want to discourage any boater from pumping out. If you would like to SIGN UP for regular pump outs at your slip, mooring or dock, please contact Ann Frock with your name, address, email, and phone number at 443-385-0511 or ann@midshoreriverkeeper.org.

Based on the studies, surveys and analysis of other pumpout boats, we estimate we will pump out between 15 and 25 thousand gallons of concentrated marine waste with your help. Click here to visit CBMM’s “Clean Bay Poop Meter” to see how we’re doing so far. Please call or SIGN UP for regular pump outs this boating season and pass the word:  Please Pump, Don’t Dump !

For more information, please contact Miles-Wye Riverkeeper Jeff Horstman at 443.385.0511 or jeff@midshoreriverkeeper.org.

Click here to read a NEWS RELEASE release about the pumpout boat.

Click here to view WBOC TV Channel 16 television program about the pumpout boat.

HELP WANTED: Pumpout Boat Operator

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy are partnering to offer a pump out service for pleasure boats on the Miles and Wye Rivers. Employed by Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, we are seeking an applicant to run the pump out boat or serve as backup operator. There is the opportunity to spread the work schedule among more than one applicant.

Hours: Fridays 12-5pm; Saturdays/Sundays 10am-5pm; Public Holidays (3) 10am-5pm

Compensation: $15/hr.

Skills: good boat handling skills; extremely personable; if born on or after July 1 1972, you will require a valid boating safety certificate; you will have to be 18 or older to run the boat solo.

If interested please submit cover letter and resume to:

Jeffrey H. Horstman

Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy

Executive Director & Miles-Wye RIVERKEEPER

24 North Harrison Street

Easton, MD 21601