Briefing Note: Provision of Boaters’ Facilities
This briefing note sets out The Inland Waterways Association’s views on the provision of boaters’ facilities along the waterways. Such facilities usually include rubbish and sewage disposal and water supply, but can also include toilets, showers, and laundry and recycling facilities.
Boaters staying on board their boats, whether at a mooring or navigating the system, need regular access to several facilities including water, and refuse and sewage disposal, as well as occasional access to other services such as showers, laundry, electricity, fuel, and places where maintenance can be carried out. Such facilities should be accessible on a suitably frequent basis, in working order, reliable and any costs should reflect the current market rate.
Navigation authorities are generally responsible for the provision of facilities. Canal & River Trust states that it provides facilities at frequent intervals with thousands of water points and hundreds of water-side waste disposal facilities for rubbish (although only some have recycling facilities). IWA recommends that maintenance and renewal of boaters’ facilities should be considered as part of navigation authorities’ asset management strategy. Currently, many are old and unreliable resulting in poor service for boaters and high maintenance and emergency callout costs for navigation authorities. Demands have changed, and the drainage to facilities often cannot take the quantity, particularly when utilised for self-operated pump-outs.
[The photo shows a new boaters’ facilities building at Marsworth on the Grand Union Canal – by Alison Smedley]