Slideshow and Curriculum

Chapter 5 - Decontamination


For this module you will need:

  • PowerPoint presentation on decontamination
  • Flipchart and markers
  • Decon unit(s) with fuel, water and engine starter fluid
  • Decon attachments (garden hose, fake-a-lake, muffs, wand, diffuser, spray nozzles)
  • Boat(s) prepped and ready for full decon demonstration
  • Personal protective equipment (including water and heat resistant gear)
  • Extra safety glasses and gloves for students
  • Contact thermometer
  • Specimen collection kit for demonstrate
  • 5 gallon buckets (2), bait net and fake fish (or something to use as fish) for bait demonstration



The purpose of the decontamination module is to prepare students to perform decontamination at WIDS.  This module reinforces the triggers for decontamination, teaches the standard operating procedures for the decontamination unit, and empowers students to follow the step by step decontamination procedures.

PowerPoint Presentation – Decontamination (30-45 min)

The presentation is a brief overview of decontamination that follows along the curriculum chapter and touches on the highlights.  It is not meant to be comprehensive.  It is meant to be an introduction that will be reinforced through the outdoor sessions and the chapter review group activity.


Outdoor Session – Decontamination Unit Standard Operating Procedures, Winterization and Attachments

NOTE: For larger classes, this can be a third small group done at the same time as the next concurrent sessions. All students should wear the proper PPE when performing any type of decontamination.


Begin with showing the students the parts of the decontamination unit and giving them a basic understanding of how it works.  Next follow the decontamination unit’s standard operating procedure manual (specific to the unit you are teaching students to use) and do it while a student reads it to you.  Have each student turn the unit on and off to see how that feels.  Introduce attachments – show them, name them, and tell inspectors which procedures they are used for.


Concurrent Indoor and Outdoor Sessions:

Step by Step Decontamination Procedures, and Decontamination Demonstration and Practice

Note: This session is intended for two concurrent groups, unless the class size is less than 10.

trainer showing students attachments







        Trainer showing students attachments.          

Indoor - Decontamination Manual

The trainer should arrange class so students and teachers are all sitting facing each other in a circle.  The trainer should sit with their students.  This time is spent going through the manual page by page with the students and talking through the step by step procedures for decontamination and asking questions (no PowerPoint).

  • Standing Water Decontamination
    • Interior Compartments
    • Engine Flush – Outboard, I/O, Inboards
    • Ballast Tank Flush
  • Plant Decontamination
  • Bait Decontamination
  • Full Decontamination: Mussel Boats!

Outdoor - Decontamination Demonstration and Practice

This outdoor session is for students to start and shut down the decontamination unit, put together attachments, spray the hull, flush an engine, flush a compartment, practice taking samples, etc. 

If time and equipment allows, the ideal is to break the class into small groups and have each group perform a full decontamination (start to finish) on a boat including all paperwork.  This will give them practice performing all procedures and exposure to all compartments, equipment, engines, hull and trailer sprays, sample collection, photos, and paperwork.

However, time often runs short for this during a two day training (60 minutes).  At a minimum, be sure each student sprays the hull and switches between high and low pressure, and everyone sees an engine flush.


Students must also know how to hook up the attachments and know where to have them hook up the muffs, fake-a-lake, garden hose and diffuser attachments so they know how to assemble those parts – this can be done inside in bad weather.

Students should learn the following in the decontamination module:

  • Know the reason for decontamination and decontamination triggers
  • Know the basic temperatures and pressures for each type of decontamination
  • Know the difference between the four types of decontamination and the step by step procedures for each
  • Know the standard operating procedures for the decontamination unit
  • Know how to hook up attachments
  • Know how to take samples and get them processed
  • Know how to process a mussel boat with a full decontamination
  • Know how to fill out decontamination paperwork

Most important – Students should feel comfortable using the manual and following the procedures to perform decontamination!