MARTIN COUNTY, Florida (WPTV) - With miles of beautiful waterways, south Florida is a boating paradise.
To make sure it stays the way, it's important to keep sewage from those boats out of the water.
"I had to have something to get people kind of talking about it," laughs Darrell Schuler with the Martin County Utilities Department.
He's captain of the MS Poop.
"MS Poop" stands for the "Martin Ship Pump Out Operation Program."
Operated by the Martin County Utilities Department, it is the "Poop's" job to keep sewage out of area waterways.
It's a free service that first came into existence back in 2000.
"People were trying to take care of the water but the problem back then was there just weren't enough places where people could pump out their sewage tanks conveniently," said Schuler.
The county just got a state grant to keep the Poop in operation through next summer.
So how does it work?
The MS Poop shows up to where a vessel is docked or moored then connects a hose to the waste fitting on the vessel.
About 25-35 boats are served every day in the winter.
The customer gets a receipt and the waste is sent to a treatment facility for disposal.
Since its inception, about 12,000 pump-outs have kept 450,000 gallons of raw sewage from getting into the water.
"There were some places many years ago that I wouldn't let my kids swim in this river and now I feel comfortable doing that," said Schuler.
Captain Ben Sorace used the service just a few weeks ago and gives it high marks.
"They come right next to the boat and pump you out and I think it's a great thing for the community and a great thing for the county."