Reduce, reuse, recycle. That phrase has been used for decades. Sunnyside Marina, near Stillwater, has made great efforts to put that phrase to work.
The success of any marina depends directly on the quality and desirability of the waterway on which it operates. So complying with stormwater and wastewater regulations and permit requirements tops any marina’s priority list. Sunnyside is no exception, but they decided to do more, especially with regard to the water they use for boat washing. The majority of boat washing occurs during the fall season. During an average six-week period, Sunnyside washes nearly 250 boats, which uses about 10,000 gallons of water.
Sunnyside saw an opportunity to be more efficient and sustainable with its boat washing operations, rather than having boat wash water end up flowing into the river. In 2015, the marina installed a system that collects the wash water, sends it through a treatment/recycling system, and is then reused to wash more boats. The results are impressive. Since 2015, Sunnyside has reduced the amount of wash water entering the St. Croix River by 100%, and by recycling they have reduced the amount of water used for boat washing by 80%.
For going above and beyond their stormwater and wastewater permit requirements, the MPCA thanks Sunnyside Marina for its efforts to enhance the St. Croix River by reducing, reusing, and recycling boat wash water and rainwater.