The Slatest

Cruise Ships Have Reportedly Dumped a Billion Gallons of Sewage Into the Ocean This Year

This animatronic dinosaur is looking at the cruise ship next to the Sydney Opera House and thinking about sewage.

Jason Reed/Reuters


Cruise ships dumped more than a billion gallons of sewage in the ocean this year, much of it raw or poorly treated.

That information arrives courtesy of a press release by the advocacy group Friends of the Earth. They continue:

Friends of the Earth’s 2014 Cruise Ship Report Card reveals that some of the 16 cruise lines graded are slowly getting greener; but more than 40 percent of the 167 ships still rely on 35-year-old waste treatment technology. Such antiquated treatment systems leave harmful levels of fecal matter, bacteria, heavy metals and other contaminants in the water.


The Environmental Protection Agency says an average cruise ship with 3,000 passengers and crew produces about 21,000 gallons of sewage a day – enough to fill 10 backyard swimming pools in a week.


Via ThinkProgress

Correction, Dec. 4, 2014: The headline of this post originally misstated that the sewage report covered “last year” and said a billion tons of sewage were released. The report covers 2014 and said a billion gallons were released.