David Ludlow is not happy that the Nelson Marina pump out station has not been working for some time. Photo: Charles Anderson.

Stink over ‘broken’ marina pump


David Ludlow is calling “bulls***.”

The American boatie, who has been visiting Nelson for the past three years, has been in a long-running battle with the Nelson Marina to acknowledge that its pump out station has been broken.

A pump out station allows boatowners with onboard waste holding tanks to pump their sewage into the city’s system – rather than dumping it 500m off shore, as required by law.

“But it hasn’t been working. I’ve tried telling them but they refused to acknowledge there’s a problem.”

David says the implication is that many boaties won’t be bothered dumping waste all the way out to sea and will do it much closer to shore.

“It encourages people to dispose of waste in the wrong places.”

David says for months the marina refused to acknowledge there was any issue. However, last week, Nelson City Council, which manages the facility, finally says it is getting the pump out station serviced.

“The pump out station is working but council acknowledges that it could be performing better and is having it serviced to achieve better results for users,” says council’s manager of parks and facilities, Rosie Bartlett.

“It is worth noting that the pump is most effective at high tides when it can be connected at a flatter level from boat to pump.”

She also says that boaties need the correct adaptor to ensure it fits onto their boats.
But David is not happy.

“That’s bulls***,” he says. “How dare they? I’ve used it at high tide – whether it’s high tide or low tide it’s not sucking anything.”

David says he also showed marina staff how it did not work at high tide. He even paid for an adaptor to be specially made for his boat. It still didn’t work.

“Why would they say that it works?” David says.

Fellow marina user Rex Newey says it astounds him that council would let the situation happen.

“It’s an intricate part of any marina.”

But David is unapologetic about kicking up a stink over the pump out station.

“People in New Zealand a little nervous about making waves. I’m from a different culture.”