Through funding from the Pierce County Planning and Public Works Department, NW Mobile Pump Out and Marine Environmental Services will provide boat-side pump outs free of charge starting in late spring of 2021.
At first, the free service will be offered just on weekends in sensitive shellfish growing areas of the South Sound, says Paul Weyn, operator of NW Mobile Pump Out and Marine Environmental Services. It’s a great opportunity for boaters, as well as being instrumental in helping restore a state grant for full-time free pump outs, he says.
Those sensitive areas will include but not be limited to Lakebay, Filucy Bay, Oro Bay, Cutts Island and Wollochet Bay.
“We hope to have several days in these select areas for free pump outs to collect data for constructing the new grant,” Weyn explained, adding that free weekend pump outs will be conducted from June through September of 2021.
The Gig Harbor resident’s goal is to replace a previous grant through the Washington State Parks Clean Vessel Act program that came to an end at the end of February. Under that grant, Terry Durfee of Terry & Sons Mobile Marine Pumpout Services offered free pump outs in Gig Harbor, Lake Washington and other areas.
“My goal is to bring the grant back and I’m in communication with the state and other groups about it,” Weyn said in an earlier blog here when he started his service in March.
“There are a lot of big boats in the harbor and other areas and pulling up to a pump out station is not very easy.” – Paul Weyn
Weyn, an avid boater who has a passion for clean water, plans to tool around these selected areas in the South Sound and approach boaters for a free boat-side pump out.
“Pierce County will also assist with marketing this great resource to boaters to improve the success of the program,” said Weyn, who has worked closely with Pierce County staff on this project.
Pierce County Councilmember Derek Young’s office along with Jeff Barney, with Pierce County Planning and Public Works, were instrumental in obtaining the funds and putting the language in place so Weyn can extend the areas he serves.
NW Mobile Pump Out comes to you, at the dock or at anchor, for boat-side pump outs. Here Paul Weyn connects to Suite Dreams at Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard.
NW Mobile Pump Out, which operates out of Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard, also has a pump out boat in Poulsbo. Since mid-April Weyn has operated full time serving Gig Harbor, Fox Island, Commencement Bay, Liberty Bay, Foss Waterway and Poulsbo.
Weyn reports that since March he has served about 500 customers and has safely transferred approximately 50,000 gallons from holding tanks of Puget Sound boaters.
“People have been very receptive and supportive and want this to be a success,” Weyn said. “My target audience is those who can’t move their boat or for whom it is too challenging or inconvenient to move their boat for a pump out. There are a lot of big boats in the harbor and other areas and pulling up to a pump out station is not very easy.”
While he needs to charge boaters for his pump out services for now, Weyn hopes his operation will become a free service under a new grant. Data on number of boaters served and degree of demand during the free pump out times will help tremendously toward putting together a new grant, he says.
“The purpose of doing this is too important and that’s why I’m doing it.” – Paul Weyn
The state grant program supporting holding tank pump outs developed from the Clean Vessel Act, which the U.S. Congress passed in 1992 to help reduce pollution from vessel sewage discharges. The act established a federal pump out grant program administered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Sport Fish Restoration Act, which authorizes funds for use by states.
The program is administered at the state level by the Washington State Department of Parks and Recreation, which funds 75 percent of operating costs for private pump out companies, with local communities or marinas responsible for the remaining 25 percent.
“My goal is to bring back the grant,” said Weyn. “For this gap period, I just need the support. I want to make a change to do something that helps people. The purpose is keeping the water clean, protect both public health and acres of shellfish beds that support hundreds of jobs – I think everyone appreciates that.”
Check out the NW Mobile Pump Out website to learn more about the various services offered in the areas around Gig Harbor, Tacoma, Liberty Bay and Poulsbo. Weyn and crew provide pump outs, flush outs, sewage treatment and odor eliminator service, live-aboard discounted pricing and winter “boat nanny” services.
“We come to you!” informs the website. “Our services are performed in an economical and ecologically-friendly way.”