IMO ballast water sampling and analysis standard

Carine Magdo: Carine Magdo: "The company is uniquely placed to help formulate workable international standards for ballast water sampling and analysis"

The ISO 11711 – the Ships and Marine Technology, Piping and Machinery, Ballast Water Sampling and Analysis standard will provide guidance on the materials, design and installation of equipment used to sample treated ballast water from a vessel's discharge pipe.

But it does not yet include a standard on how to perform the representative sampling and analysis of ballast water, which will now be jointly be undertaken by a group of participants including water monitoring specialist, aqua-tools.

Carine Magdo, business development manager, aqua-tools, said that the company is uniquely placed to help formulate workable international standards for ballast water sampling and analysis.

“First generation methodologies used to monitor Adenosine Tri-phosphates (ATP) have proved ineffective in high salinity waters and therefore thought not to provide a reliable tool with which to test the efficacy of ballast water treatment systems,” she said.

Biological monitoring

Aqua-tools specialises in the biological monitoring of water quality for various applications, including ships’ ballast.

It works with a new-generation ATP (ATP2G) method to detect bacterial ATP in marine organisms in ballast waters.

The method eliminates the complex structures that conventional agents fail to break down, thus enabling the detection of phytoplankton, zooplankton and bacteria well below D-2 limit values.

Aqua-tools is working with French standardisation organisation Association Française de Normalisation (AFNOR) and the International Standards Organisation (ISO) to establish new chapters for the standard intended to provide guidance on the selection and use of the sampling apparatus needed to collect and process samples onboard.

The chapters will also include the methodologies that should be used to analyse the samples to determine compliance with ballast water discharge requirements.

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