View Full Version : Holding tank on the wrong side

08-15-2012, 09:27 PM
I bought a 58' Playcraft pontoon houseboat earlier this year and I'm still in the process of figuring things out. I took my first swim underneath the boat a couple of weeks ago and was surprised to find that the holding tank is on the starboard side of the boat in the pontoon. The toilets and the pump out connection are both on the port side of the boat. I can't figure out why they would have designed it like this. The fresh water storage tanks are also on the port side, so I don't think it would be a weight distribution issue. Anyone have any theories about this?

My fresh water fill connections are on the port side (along with the water tanks). Are there any building code sort of issues with having the sewage pump out and fresh water connections on the same side of the boat?

They had trouble pumping the tank out earlier this year. They said it had a clog in it. Eventually they got it, but it made me think that it would be a much shorter run for the pump out hose if I moved it to the port side of the boat near the tank. Can anyone think of any reason to not do this?

08-16-2012, 04:15 AM
I can think of a couple issues that might be of concern. First would be the possibility of a mixup between the sewage pumpout and the fresh water fittings... I'm not sure I'd want to go there. Every so often you hear of someone putting fuel in the waste tank or trying to pump out a fuel tank.

Second IS weight. When you leave the dock, customarily your water tank would be nearly full and the holding tank nearly empty. During the voyage you consume potable water while you also add water to the holding tank; if they're on the same side of the boat the weight change isn't that great, but if they're on opposite sides it would be exaggerated.

On my boat the pumpout (on the stern) is a good 12-15' from the tank, and aside from taking longer than usual to pick up the prime, it works just fine.

08-16-2012, 10:41 AM
What Mr. Wille said.

08-16-2012, 11:41 AM
That makes sense.


08-16-2012, 07:58 PM
There is an industry standard for potable water systems. It is not a law. It is published by the American Boat And Yacht Council. See http://www.abycinc.org H-23 INSTALLATION OF POTABLE WATER SYSTEMS FOR USE ON BOATS - JULY 2008

A couple of items caught my eye.


The potable water system shall be designed and installed so that the potable water is totally separated from any contact with water used for other purposes.

23.8.6 Storage Tank Inlet

The storage tank inlet shall be permanently installed, preferably in a vertical plane, in an accessible and protected location, as far as practicable from the fuel tank fill and sewage pump-out fittings.

If you do a search on the internet you will find a lot on sewage systems on boats, and some on plumbing systems.

08-17-2012, 05:22 AM
we had a 1995 5215 playcraft. our holding tanks were under the boat in the cross members, the fresh water tanks(2/100gl tanks) were on either side of the boat under the beds.we had fresh water fills and waste caps beside each other on both sides. sometimes the waste tank got filled with water or we pumped out the fresh water. i finally color coded the caps.