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A ballast water treatment system (BWTS) is a technology used to treat the water that is taken on board a ship for the purpose of providing stability and trim, known as ballast water. The goal of a BWTS is to remove, inactivate or render harmless any harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens that may be present in the ballast water, before it is discharged into the environment. This is done to prevent the spread of invasive species and to protect the marine ecosystem.
There are three approaches to treating ballast water: mechanical, physical or chemical. Mechanical methods would include separation and filtration; physical methods include ozone, electrical currents or UV radiation, while chemical solutions are biocides or a form of chlorination.
Mr. Marine can assist you with troubleshooting, calibration and servicing in the following ports:
D2 commissioning testing is carried out to confirm that the installation of the BWTS was successfully performed. It validates that the mechanical, physical, chemical and biological processes of the BWTS are working correctly according to the design specifications.
Contact us to plan your D2 commissioning testing.
Annual VGP (Vessel General Permit) water sampling for most vessels is required, following the initial commissioning period. This is generally after the first year of operation.
No. Currently annual compliance sampling is not required. It is recommended to regularly check the quality of your ballast water to avoid problems with Port State inspectors.
As of June 1st 2022, commissioning sampling is compulsory and cannot be organised by the maker. As per regulations, analyses should be conducted on Total heterotrophic bacteria, E. Coli and Enterococci.
According to the current rules and regulations, there is no requirement for annual D2 testing. Such testing could be introduced in the future.
During the first year after the installation of the BWTS, water needs to be tested between 2 to 4 times. If sampling results are below permit limits for two consecutive events, then sampling may be reduced to one time per year.
If the vessel exceeds the limits, it should return to monitoring twice a year. Analyses should be conducted on Total heterotrophic bacteria, E. Coli and Enterococci. Compliance with these VGP requirements is administered by the EPA which requires that tests are carried out according to their specific guidelines.
Total Residual Oxidant (TRO) is a measure of the amount of oxidizing agents present in ballast water. Oxidizing agents such as chlorine and hydrogen peroxide are commonly used in ballast water treatment systems to kill harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens before the water is discharged into the environment. TRO is used as an indicator of the effectiveness of the treatment process, and the level of TRO in the treated water is used to ensure that the treatment system is working properly and that the discharge is safe for the environment.
The limit of TRO for ballast water discharge is the maximum amount of free chlorine or chlorine compounds present in the water after treatment. IMO has established a limit of TRO less than 0.1 mg/l as Cl2. These limits are put in place to ensure that the treatment process effectively kills harmful organisms and pathogens in the ballast water, while protecting the marine environment. BWMS manufacturers must comply with these limits, and ship owners must ensure that the TRO levels in their ballast water meet the standard before discharge into the sea.
In Singapore, the regulations for ballast water management are set by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).
All ships calling at Singapore ports are required to have a valid International Ballast Water Management Certificate (IBWMC) or a Ballast Water Record Book (BWRB) on board, and to comply with the relevant requirements of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention).
Ships are also required to conduct ballast water exchange or use an approved ballast water treatment system before discharge in the port limits of Singapore.
Ships are required to keep records of the ballast water management and treatment activities and provide them to the MPA upon request.
As part of their compliance with the BWM Convention, ships are also required to carry out regular maintenance and service of their ballast water treatment systems and keep records of the same.
It’s important to make sure that the ballast water treatment system is installed, operated and maintained in compliance with the regulations set by the MPA and the manufacturer’s recommendations. It’s also recommended to use a certified service provider for the maintenance and service of the system.
For purposes of this permit, analytical monitoring does not need to be conducted by an approved lab, but all monitoring does need to be conducted using an EPA approved method or a method specifically referenced in the permit. EPA allowed this flexibility in the VGP to accommodate vessels engaged in international voyages which rarely frequent U.S. waters or vessels which test to see if their systems meet certain standards before entering waters of the U.S.”
At Mr. Marine, we follow all EPA guidelines and best practices to ensure our customer’s vessels remain compliant. It is essential that chain of custody records are completed correctly and holding times and conditions are followed to avoid non-compliance.
The answer to this question is dependent on the type of systems installed and where your vessels sail.
For US waters, USCG/EPA requirements for VGP compliance are:
For IMO, MEPC.279(70) requirements are:
Mr. Marine trades under Mr. Marine Elevator, Mr. Marine Ballast and Mr. Marine Instruments & Controls. Our dynamic company aims at keeping vessels safe and compliant, anywhere in the world. With technical know-how, unparalleled spare part sourcing and 24/7 responsiveness, we are your global beacon.
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