Ferries to be upgraded for new sewage regulations

Barb
Barb Sweet
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Ferry Beaumont Hamel approaching Bell Island dock. — Telegram file photo

The Beaumont Hamel and other ferries serving provincial routes won’t meet new marine sewage regulations for ships coming into effect this summer.

Transportation and Works has issued a tender for a Transport Canada-approved marine sanitation device to be installed on the Beaumont Hamel, which is out of service for another matter, but normally runs between Portugal Cove and Bell Island.

A department spokesman said it was decided to put a new treatment system on the Beaumont Hamel rather than have trucks meet it at the ferry dock and pump out waste to meet the new rules.

The common practice now for vessels across the country has been to pump sewage overboard, but the new regulations will require a system that treats waste before it is pumped from a vessel.

Ferries with sewage systems that are already compliant with the new regulations are the two brand new vessels, the MV Hazel MacIssac and the MV Grace Sparkes, as well as the MV Northern Ranger and the MV Sir Robert Bond.

The spokesman said other vessels in the ferry service are not compliant and will have new systems installed, except for the MV Sound of Islay. That swing vessel— substituting on routes when other ferries are out for refit or other reasons — is smaller and is the next ferry up for replacement. Sewage will be pumped off the Islay by truck.

A spokesman for Transport Canada said as of May 3, vessels must be equipped with appropriate marine sanitation equipment in order to comply with the sewage regulations. 

Under the regulations, ships cannot discharge raw sewage inside the three-mile territorial limit. Vessels must be equipped with approved marine sanitation devices such as retention toilets and holding tanks, and may also have approved sewage treatment systems.

Marine Atlantic said all its vessels have received certification under the new national and international regulations.

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Organizations: Transport Canada, Bell Island.A department, MV Northern Ranger MV Sound of Islay Marine Atlantic

Geographic location: Portugal Cove

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Recent comments

  • Aubrey Burton
    March 12, 2012 - 17:57

    The comment by Barbara is 100% accurate. It reminds me of the time a 70 year old lady had to go to the washroom on Pilley's Island side. Apparently there is no facility so she had to walk to the top of the hill and do her job on the side of the road like an animal. She said on her return, "I firked it over with snow like a dog would do." The government should be ashamed and treat all of our citizens with RESPECT. The ferry has been running across the tickle long enough to have some kind of facility installed.

  • LARRY RIDEOUT
    March 12, 2012 - 15:24

    I SEE THEY ARE FORCED TO PUT SEWAGE TREATMENT ON THE FERRIES BUT WHEN IT COMES TO PEOPLE WAITING FOR THOSE FERRIES AT THE DOCK,THEY ARE FORCED TO GO TO THE WOODS,OR CARRY A PORTABLE TIOLET IN THEIR VECHILE.WHEN YOU THINK OFF THE POOR COUNTRIES AND THE SEWAGE PROBLEMS THEY HAVE,THE GOVERNMENT DEALING WITH THE FERRY DOCKS ARE NO BETTER.IM SURE THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT PICTURE.I FEEL BAD FOR THE OLDER FOLKS.

  • Barbara Colbourne
    March 12, 2012 - 09:20

    Looks like chances for a ferry to give some kind of reliable service to Long Island just went down the toilet. We have been getting a sporadic service from the LBI ferry Hazel McIsaac since last September. Trouble is, after dishing out close to $40 Million, The Hazel just a pretty boat to look at and looks wonderful tied up at the dock across the bay from us at Shoal Arm. When it comes time for her to come across the Bay to Long Island she can't run in wind, she can't run when it's snowing and she can't land when there's any tide. Government sure missed the 'boat' on this one, that is if it had any hopes of providing a ferry service to Long Island.