Vessel Pump-Out Services

MOBILE PUMP-OUT SERVICES TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED STARTING JULY 1, 2020. 

There are more than 30 land-based pump-out facilities located throughout the Keys.

Proof of Pump Out Required

The Florida Legislature requires all vessels within Monroe County waters to show proof of pump out since Monroe County waters are in a no-discharge zone, in compliance with the 2017 Monroe County Ordinance.

The Florida Keys is entirely within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). Waters of the Florida Keys have been designated as a federal No Discharge Zone by the Environmental Protection Agency and FKNMS in order to help preserve the water quality of our nearshore environment and coral reef system.

The overboard discharges of vessel sewage containing both nutrients and pathogens, which can cause human health issues and degrade water quality.

For scheduling a pump-out through June 30

Boaters utilizing the service will be provided with a sticker to be displayed on the vessel indicating participation in the pump-out program and an orange flag to be flown when in need of a pump-out.

If a boat owner utilizes another approved vessel pump-out provider, the boat owner is required to maintain documentation with proof that it was done within the last 30 days. 

Program Background

Historical Pumpout Funding and Performance Measures

In 2013, Monroe County partnered with the State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection Clean Vessel Act Program to create a free Keyswide Mobile Vessel Pump-Out Program to provide pump-out service to anchored-out vessels. 

The program has been a great success by preventing sewage from entering the sensitive marine environment. In 2017, 1 million gallons were pumped using the program.

The program has an annual operating expense of $850,000 and is funded in part by state and federal funding assistance as well as through recreational vessel registration fees.

The nearshore waters of Monroe County are popular for transient and local boaters, many of which liveaboard. However, many of those boaters anchor out for extended periods of time and do not boat into shore to have their marine sanitation devices properly emptied. Monroe County has managed a mobile vessel pump-out program to ensure that boaters in our many anchorages have the means to properly and legally pump out. The service was first established in Key Largo, and in 2012 was expanded and contracted out to a private vendor to provide the service Keys-wide. 

The program has grown into a highly successful service currently performing more than 1,800 and up to 2,200 pump-outs per month in a 120-mile long county. This translates into the annual disposal of more than 280,000 gallons of sewage.

Pump-Out Locations

Number of anchored vessels serviced and areas from June 2020.

Number of Anchored Vessels June 2020

Anchoring locations and proximity to shoreside pump-out locationsKey West Vessel Pump Out Stations

Stock Island Pump Out Stations

Tavernier and Key Largo Pump Out Stations

Islamorada Pump Out Stations