Friday, October 22, 2010

The Greener way to a Cleaner Boat

With colder waters moving in many are preparing their boats for hibernation during the winter months. It is suggested that each year boaters power wash and repaint their boats to reduce the amount of algae, barnacles, and other marine life that settle on the bottom of the vessel causing a reduction in fuel efficiency. Although this yearly duty is necessary, it is extremely harmful to the environment. Power-washing a boat not only removes the barnacles and algae, it also removes the old anti-fouling paint, which contains heavy metals including copper that are highly toxic to marine life. The water that drains from the boat during the power-washing process often drains into waterways and other properties. To help reduce the toxic drainage caused from this necessary process, one Wilmington based company has created a system to treat the wastewater and remove the heavy metals.

Clean Marine Solutions developed the Vanish 300 Marina Power Wash Wastewater Treatment and Recycle System, which helps reduce the amount of toxic materials being drained into our waterways and other bodies of water. The company began producing this machine after they received an $84,600 North Carolina Green Business Fund grant. The machine can be purchased by marinas and businesses in the area where boaters bring their vessels to be cleaned.

Currently, Specialty Boat Works in Wilmington is one of the only companies to own the Vanish 300. The business collects the wastewater on a pad and then pumps it into the Vanish 300. The chemicals in the machine break away the heavy metals, which sink to the bottom of the tank and are removed and sent to the landfill. Water that is polluted with copper from power washing is 69,000 times higher than what the federal Clean Water Act allows, with the Vanish 300 this number is reduced down to normally levels. So next time you go to clean your boat, make the green choice!

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