Ship operators can meet ballast water regulatory requirements with our rapid, trusted, onboard testing solution.

  • To ensure optimal seaworthiness, many cargo ships and merchant ships these days are equipped with high capacity reservoirs in the hull (or double hull) for taking on large volumes of ocean water. The amount of this water, known as ballast, can be altered (by pumping or draining) depending on the weight of the load. Ballast enhances the stability and balance of a boat, whether it is empty, fully loaded or unequally loaded. Using ballast provides a major economic advantage because it enables the maximum amount of cargo to be transported while maintaining optimal buoyancy and seaworthiness, and therefore optimizes both speed and fuel consumption.

    Ballast water discharge is a well-known ecological problem. Essentially, ballast water is released in geographical zones far from where it was originally collected.

    Ballast Water Regulations – Are you ready?

    The introduction of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens to new environments through ships’ ballast water is a significant threat to the world’s oceans, posing severe environmental, economic and public health risks. In September 2017, the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention and the United States Coast Guard developed strict regulations governing ballast water management, stating that all ships must – within the next 5 years – meet certain standards when discharging ballast water. Installing a Ballast Water Treatment System is a significant and costly undertaking for ships, not to mention learning a new testing protocol to self-monitor ballast water. LuminUltra has been working on a ballast water (BW) testing solution for many years, and can help you navigate this new testing requirement.

  • The international maritime authorities (IMO – International Maritime Organization) have instituted measures to limit the ecological, economic and health risks of ballast water discharge.

    The IMO’s convention “for the control and management of ballast water” (the Ballast Water Management (BWM) convention) entered into force on 9 September 2017. As of that date, the treaty has been ratified by more than 60 countries, representing more than 70% of world merchant shipping tonnage. This legislation is supported and has been largely applied by the USCG (United States Coast Guard 46 CFR 162.060). France added several provisions in 2006 (articles L. 218-82 to L. 218-86 of the environmental Code) and adopted this convention in 2008 (Regulation n° 2008-476 of May 22, 2008)

    Quality standards for discharged ballast water have already been set. These standards define the permitted levels of the following organisms in discharged ballast water:

    • planktonic micro-organisms: organisms greater than 50 µm in size (most often zooplankton) and organisms between 10 and 50 µm in size (most often phytoplankton);

    • bacteria (less than 10 µm in size): Vibrio cholera (the toxic and infectious serotypes O1 and O139), Escherichia coli and intestinal Enterococci (species that indicate fecal contamination).

  • Ships are required to physically or chemically treat ballast water regularly to kill any micro-organisms using certified technologies (that pose no risk to the environment) in order to comply with ballast water discharge standards.

    Several methods can be used to determine the quality of untreated ballast water or to confirm the effectiveness of different treatment systems, including: fluorometric measurement of chlorophyll, culture-based methods, flow cytometry, quantification of esterase activity, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), ATP, etc. Many of these methods are difficult to use on site for a variety of reasons, including: complicated implementation requiring a laboratory or specialized skills, prohibitive cost, results that do not provide adequate information to ensure compliance with standards, etc.
    2nd Generation ATP provides many advantages for water quality analysis, but it must be optimized and adapted for use with ballast water, to specifically account for:

    • increased salt concentrations;

    • the biodiversity of marine plankton;

    • the necessity of obtaining reliable results that guarantee compliance with regulatory standards.

Ballast Water Regulations – Are you ready?

The introduction of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens to new environments through ships’ ballast water is a significant threat to the world’s oceans, posing severe environmental, economic and public health risks. In September 2017, the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention and the United States Coast Guard developed strict regulations governing ballast water management, stating that all ships must – within the next 5 years – meet certain standards when discharging ballast water. Installing a Ballast Water Treatment System is a significant and costly undertaking for ships, not to mention learning a new testing protocol to self-monitor ballast water. LuminUltra has been working on a ballast water (BW) testing solution for many years, and can help you navigate this new testing requirement.

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