Water Pollution & Contamination Information

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Boating Pollution and Economic Impacts

Does it matter which hull paint you choose? Can preventing pollution save money? This page will answer your questions on the benefits of preventing boating pollution.

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Boat hull paints and threats to water quality

Boats that are kept in the water have always required maintenance effort to remove species such as barnacles, oysters, mussels, shipworms, or algae that become strongly attached to boat hulls. These so-called “fouling” organisms cause drag that can significantly slow the vessel, alter maneuverability, and damage the hull. Copper has been a standard ingredient in hull paints for many decades, but it has only been in the last ten years that water quality sampling has shown that the paint, in some cases, can cause exceedances of water quality standards. Antifouling coatings work by slow release of a toxic chemical (biocide) from the hull coating,

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Washington State regulates the use of copper in hull paints and looking into other biocides used...

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This study was done almost 20 years ago and there is a new push to ban harmful biocides from anti fouling paint

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