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Education 3

Standardise rules around boat washdowns

Why - Boaties should be aware of what type of pollutants, including oil and fuel, detergents, sewage and toxic chemicals, could end up in the water and try to prevent or reduce the impact of those pollutants. Some of the most common products used on boats contain chemicals that are dangerous to our waterways.

Reducing the amount of detergent, soap or bleach entering waterways also helps keep your waters free of unnecessary nutrients such as phosphate and nitrates. Phosphates found in many boat soaps can also be found in sewage and urban and agricultural runoff. Phosphates promote plant and algae growth that can be harmful, as they deplete oxygen in the water needed by other organisms.

How – Request water-only washdowns at the end of racing and training.

For washdowns with products, consider designating a cleaning area on a permeable surface (such as grass) that will absorb any runoff before it enters drains and water.

Insist on eco-friendly products being used or consider stocking the area with pre-mixed cleaning solutions you know are safe for the environment using low impact / environmentally friendly soaps, detergents and non-bleach cleaners. For example, Eco-Store distribute nationwide as well as being readily available in supermarkets. They recycle their sugar plastic containers, have refill stations and offer bulk purchasing with discounts.

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