BWMS operational efficiency verification needed

10 Oct 2017
BWMTech North America

Lack of BWMS compliance procedures was a concern at BWMTech North America

Concerns have been raised over verifying operational efficiency in ballast water management systems (BWMS) once type approved.

According to a conference delegate at BWMTech North America, some shipowners present indicated concern that there is no way to check system compliance.

Carine Magdo, aqua-tools’ business development manager, said: “It does appear that once certified by the USCG or IMO the ballast water treatment system is left to run and run without anyone really knowing if it’s working or not. There is no requirement to prove efficiency.”

Mandatory testing needed

Ms Magdo said she is “very concerned” that there is no protocol in place to verify system efficiency and it should be a mandatory requirement.

With ballast water treatment efficiency dependent on multiple parameters, such as injection points, water volumes and flow rates, ecosystem complexity and the varying types and sizes of marine organisms, she warned “a Type Approval certificate alone cannot guarantee the efficiency of the system.”

“Shipowners, Independent Laboratories, system manufacturers, PSC inspectors – all parties involved in ensuring the BWM Convention is effective – need to think about testing the water, during commissioning, alongside and onboard,” Ms Magso said.

“Quick monitoring of all three factions (bacteria, 10 to 50 µm and >50µm) is by indicator-based ATP 2G technology and can assess treated water within 40 minutes of sampling. This provides shipowners and manufacturers with the confidence their systems are efficient and, above all, compliant,” she added.