Saturday, August 22, 2009

Park Service Logic

We moor our boat at a lake that is controlled by the National Parks Service. On their books is a regulation some bright person behind a desk in Washington . . . and who never ever owned a water craft - - - authored which prohibits the presence or use of porta-potties or toilets in boats with holding tanks and their use on private craft on the lake.

The thinking is that those boating on the lake are to use floating Parks Service porta-potties on the lake. Yup, there's about three portable toilets on rafts anchored in various locations. No using what's on board your boat or you'll be ticketed just for having that available.

There's more than a couple of things wrong with that kind of thinking.

Take for example sailors. When I feel the need I'm expected to drop the sails (no small task), motor over to a floating toilet and do my thing. How many sailors are actually going to do that? And what if you get a case of the trots? Then what? There's not going to be time to haul the sails down and motor to the nearest toilet. When ya gotta go, ya gotta go!

I could start wearing Depends while sailing. Shirt off. Shorts off. Just me skippering the boat in my Depends. Now there's a commercial in the making for ya. I'd be the talk of the lake.

There's probably a Forest Service ticket in that for adults wearing diapers: Impersonating a diapered child or impersonating an incontinent old fart. Take your pick. That's probably a 250 buck ticket.

Then there's the floating patio or pontoon boats on the lake which have a porta-potty or a toilet with a holding tank. The latter often have a feature that allows discharge of the holding tank into the lake. There are no facilities on the lake for pumping holding tanks. Guess what happens when the tank on one of these boats is filled.

Logically speaking, allowing the use of on board toilets/porta-potties would make for a healthier lake. Installing a pump out facility on the lake for onboard toilets would also make for a healthier lake.

I spoke with the superintendent of the Park and its lake this last week. The rules are the rules. He doesn't make them. Even though the rules have never been enforced they're going to begin enforcing them soon. Enforcement is not the issue. The issue is doing what every other lake does and provide facilities for dumping or pumping water craft sewage.

So here's what's on board Sparkle Plenty. Sinks and a porta-potty which are seen here. Sinks drain overboard through a network of piping.

Guess what? The waste from whatever comes from the sinks is allowed to flow overboard and is not regulated. However small that amount is could also be a poor choice to put in the lake. Soap that's not biodegradable for one.

I could pee in the sink and that would be okay or at least I'd get away with it. But heaven forbid that I have a porta-potty on board.

When enforcement begins I can hardly wait for the fracas. There's a lot of high powered people with boats on the lake. Lots of lawyers, too. A couple of judges.

Why is it that governmental thinking is often so illogical? What would Obama say about this whole deal. If he were sailing with me there would be beer, chicken wings and prune salad. No doubt our President would feel the need. . . and I'd say, I'm not supposed to use the porta-potty that's on board.

Guess what Obama would say in return?

Obama: YES WE CAN!

Me: Oh no you can't! Slap on one of these Depends, Obama and grin and bear it!

I'm off to buy a case of Depends. Land ho!

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1 comment:

Joker_SATX said...

Now that really sucks...

Makes you really wonder who follows the rules if they are not being enforced....

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States