In recent years, the transportation and subsequent discharge of ballast water has led to a number of environmental issues, some of which have had serious implications. Loading a vast amount of water from the sea in one part of the world and jettisoning it many thousands of miles away is necessary for the stability and safety of a vessel, of course, but there is more than just an amount of water involved.
In every discharge, there could be a number of invasive species being offloaded into an alien environment. There might be bacteria, organisms, molluscs, coral, fish, amphibians and more in each tank-load, each potentially causing serious and catastrophic effects, so it comes as no surprise to hear environmental organisations urging governments, marine authorities and shipping companies to do more to help.
In the light of recent legislation, owners and operators of vessels throughout the world have been investing in one form of ballast water treatment system or another. There are various types available, but whichever one is chosen it’s vital for everyone in the industry to test the quality and integrity of their ballast water on a regular basis. Thankfully, Eazychem supply a particularly effective Ballast Water Test Kit.
So which ballast water treatment system suits you best?
There are a number of systems on the market, but which is the most suitable will depend on a number of factors, including:
- Ease of installation
Filtration systems can be extremely effective in separating organisms and other materials from the water prior to discharge. If the process is carried out at the start of the voyage, the potentially invasive species can be returned to their home waters without any damage occurring. Filtration is carried out by the use of discs or screens or via the use of a powerful hydrocyclone.
Magnetic field treatment is another option. This option involves the addition of magnetic powder to coagulants, and then to the ballast water itself. Various species will become attached to the magnetic flocs which start to form in the water. These can then be removed easily by using strong magnetic discs to remove the formations.
Some industry leaders feel the use of chemical disinfection is the most reliable. This particular ballast water treatment system can utilise a variety of techniques and chemicals to destabilise or neutralise invasive species. Chemical processes can include chlorination and ozonation, and the end results are generally very good. Several other options are available to owners and operators, such as heat treatment, deoxygenation, ultrasonic treatment and plasma treatment. Whichever option you choose, you will be able to monitor its efficiency via our eazy Ballast Water Test Kit.