Sewage Prevention for DCVs

In accordance with Section 120 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act, 1997, vessels operating on NSW waterways must not pollute in any way. This means discharging grey and/or black water overboard is not permitted. Owners and operators need to ensure their vessel(s) systems are maintained in good condition and no modifications are made to the system prior to approval from NSW Maritime.


All vessels in NSW with a toilet or sink on board are to be fitted with a black and/or grey holding tank. Commercial vessels of classes 1 and 4 with a toilet on board are to be fitted with a sewage system in accordance with the Marine Pollution Regulations 2014. Holding tanks of a suitable volume are to be provided on board or a Plan of Management for waste is to be approved for the vessel and its operation.

Owner responsibilities

In addition to the requirements for an approved system to be installed on board, the owner has the following responsibilities:

  • Ensure that any toilet, holding tank and associated fitting on the vessel is maintained in good condition
  • Ensure that when all removable gas-tight covers are secured in position, the holding tank and its fittings (except for the vent pipe) are thoroughly gas-tight under normal operating conditions
  • Ensure that any greywater tank on the vessel is maintained in a good and serviceable condition
  • Must not cause or permit any holding tank on the vessel to be modified or removed unless consent is obtained from Maritime
  • If a vessel is installed with an on-board certified sewage treatment system the owner must ensure that it is maintained in good condition and does not exceed its maximum treatment capacity as specified by the manufacturer

Further information

For further information contact or visit some of the sites listed below:

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