Bilges can be a major source of pollution since they tend to collect engine oil, fuel, antifreeze, and transmission fluid. When an automatic bilge pump is activated, these fluids are then pumped overboard and into Lake George — which for many people is their drinking water source! Help keep pollution from the bilge contamination out of Lake George by:
- Placing oil absorbent pads or a bioremediating bilge boom in the bilge to catch oil. These products absorb petroleum products but not water.
- Placing an oil absorbent pad under the engine as well.
- Replacing oil absorbent materials when heavily soiled or saturated, or at least once a year.
- Changing oil filters often. Slip a plastic bag over the filter before removal to catch drips.
- Trailering your boat to an area that provides containment before removing bilge or boat plugs.
Never discharge or pump any bilge water that appears oily into or near the water – it is against the law!
To prevent oily bilge water from being discharged, install a bilge pump switch that leaves an inch or two of water in the bilge.
Alternatively, connect a bilge water filter to your vessel’s bilge pump. Filters will remove oil, fuel, and other petroleum hydrocarbons from the water.
The use of biodegradable bilge cleaners is prohibited in Lake George.