Water Conservation in Action at Sunnyside Marina

Autumn boat-washing is underway, and so are the marina’s efforts to keep dirty water out of the river.




2 minute read

Boat washing at Sunnyside Marina
Boat washing at Sunnyside Marina

Last spring, St. Croix 360 reported on the St. Croix stewardship efforts underway at Sunnyside Marina in Stillwater. The marina is a leader in the Minnesota Clean Marina Program, and has implemented a system to capture, clean and recycle water it uses when washing boats every fall. The marina also won a Stewardship Award this year from the St. Croix River Association.

Now, boat-washing season is in full swing. All of the marina’s 200-some boats are pressure-washed as they are pulled out of the water and put away for the winter.

The photo below, provided by Sunnyside’s manager Rick Chapman, shows the difference their filtration system makes. The liquid on the left is what runs off the wash pad, and the water on the right is what comes out of the filtration system.

Recycled Water from the boat washing at Sunnyside Marina in Stillwater on the St. Croix River

To be fair, some of what runs off the boats is the algae and slime every watercraft accumulates if it sits in the water all summer. But it also contains boat paint, acid from the cleaning solution, and other toxic chemicals.

It takes about 40 gallons to wash each boat, and the marina washes eight boats per day for about six weeks each fall. All told, the system captures and cleans more than 13,000 gallons of water every year. The marina spent about $375,000 installing the water filtration system two years ago.


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Water Conservation in Action at Sunnyside Marina