Impacts from land side boating facilities
Procedures for oil or chemical spills to land
Cleaning of craft in water
Following construction, the operational impacts
of the facility will depend upon how it is subsequently used
and managed. Facilities management can have a potentially significant
role to play in minimising environmental impacts arising from
the use of the facility. The provision of adequate facilities
for the reception of various wastes, the adoption of run-off
minimisation strategies and effective general site management
can all improve the environmental performance of a facility.
It is evident that there is a large variability
in the effectiveness of management practices at different facilities.
On the whole, the largest and most modern marinas have the most
impressive facilities and often the most effective management
practices. However, smaller size and high quality management
are not mutually exclusive and many smaller boating facilities
have exemplary management practices.
A key feature of marinas, boatyards and yacht
clubs is the extent to which owners of craft carry out their
own maintenance activities either in the water or on the land.
This can make it difficult for facilitiesí managers to ensure
that all activities within the facility are undertaken in a
responsible manner, particularly in the case of waste management
and materials handling. It only takes one irresponsible action
by a boat owner to create an environmental problem. The relationship
between such activities and overall facilities management is
a key consideration where such issues relate to mSAC sites
The nature of owner-maintenance activities
and other commercial operations means that there is the potential
for various substances used in boating facilities, including
paints, resins and other chemicals to leach into water via surface
run-off and storm water drains. This may have an impact on local
marine features and the fauna and flora communities which they
support. However, site managers should be aware that there are
many untraceable point discharges just as likely to cause impact.
Where craft are launched from established slipways
and launch points, it is unlikely that significant additional
impacts will occur from the launching itself. Most of these
launch areas have been chosen to be accessible at high and low
tides and therefore this minimises disturbance to sediment.
The construction of new launch areas may cause impacts on marine
features similar to those discussed above, but the magnitude
of such impacts will depend upon the scale of the facility and
the environmental characteristics of the site.
However, should craft be launched from unofficial
access points, it is possible that some damage may accrue through
trampling, erosion, turbidity and disturbance to wildlife, depending
upon the characteristics of the launch site. It should be noted
that such impacts are not inherent features of the craft themselves
but are caused by irresponsible use and behaviour.
Lift Out Areas
Many marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs have
lift out facilities which enable a boat to be lifted onto the
shoreside. These range from hydraulic cranes to chain winch
slipways. The majority of lift out areas have high pressure
hose wash down facilities available.
The high pressure washing down of a boat after
lift out can result in significant quantities of antifouling
paint being removed. The resulting water and paint mixture invariably
drain directly or via the storm drain into the water. As a result,
there may be a potential build up of biocide concentrations
in the vicinity of the facility.
Maintenance areas are a further potential source
of water contaminants. Most marinas and all boatyards have commercial
maintenance areas, usually under cover, and also areas where
boat owners can carry out their own maintenance on their craft.
The latter may be in dry berthing areas, against walls or on
In these areas, pressure washing, shotblasting,
scraping and painting operations may take place. Where containment
is limited, the waste residues from such activities invariably
drain via surface and storm drains to foul sewers and/or into
the water. In some commercial facilities, the maintenance work
is carried out while the boats remain on winch trolleys over
the water, leading to direct run-off into the basin.
Activities involving other potential pollutants,
including oil, fuel and paints are also undertaken in these
areas but these are generally easier to handle and disposal
is fairly straightforward. Most larger facilities have designated
areas for the safe disposal of such materials.
Procedures for Oil or Chemical Spills to Land
Toxic substances may enter the water in the
event of an accident. It is the responsibility of the facilities
management to minimise the likelihood of such an accident. In
particular, oil and chemical storage facilities should be isolated
by bunds to prevent drainage to surface water and emergency
response procedures should be in place.
Mechanical appliances, such as lift out systems,
can also be potential sources of oil and other harmful substances
entering the water.
Those facilities which have fuel facilities
require authorisation from local authorities. The facilities
must comply with certain safety standards for a licence to be
granted and this should reduce the potential for environmental
impact. However it does not prevent accidental spills of fuel
during operation. In addition, the authorities do not refer
to methods of containment or emergency response procedures.
Cleaning of Craft in Water
High pressure hoses are available at some boating
facilities for cleaning of boats whilst in the water. However,
in general, boat owners use buckets and mops for cleaning decks
and upper hull areas. Most boat cleaning materials consist of
conventional detergents. In sufficiently concentrated quantities,
these may pose a risk to water contamination, particularly where
the products consist of chlorine and/or phosphate-based ingredients.