Every boater should be concerned about protecting the marine environment. Stormwater runoff is an important factor affecting the overall health of Puget Sound and other regional bodies of water into which our streets, storm sewers, sidewalks, and farmlands drain. Recently, commercial boatyards have been scrutinized as potential sources for copper, zinc, and other metal-based pollutants. Seaview Boatyard, (with four locations in Seattle and Bellingham), is among a group of regional facilities working proactively to clean up the stormwater that runs off the working surfaces of the yard.
The presence of copper in boatyard runoff can originate from a number of causes. Boatyards are now farm more cautious about the application, cleaning, and disposal of copper-based bottom paints. Seaview Boatyard, for example, recently promulgated a policy that requires a Seaview employee to perform any work that involves the bottom paint.
When we stopped allowing the do-it-yourselfers and the outside contractors to prepare boat bottoms or apply bottom paint, our stormwater runoff tests were notably cleaner – but not clean enough.”
Copper and other metals will be found in virtually all stormwater runoffs. Copper wears away from automotive brake pads, and then washes down storm drains from city streets.