Making boat ballast water safe

Friday, 23 October, 2015 | Supplied by: UV-Guard Australia Pty Ltd

Making boat ballast water safe

With the boating season fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about how owners of boats can meet regulations and ensure their ballast water is pathogen-free before discharge to the ocean.

Invasive aquatic species and pathogens present a significant threat to Australian marine ecosystems, and ballast water has been identified as a major pathway for introducing species to new environments. Shipping traffic has increased over the last few decades and so has the problem of contaminated ballast water — particularly with the introduction of steel hulls, allowing vessels to use water instead of solid materials as ballast.

Under Australian regulations, international vessels must adhere to mandatory ballast water requirements to reduce the risk of introducing harmful aquatic organisms into Australia’s marine environment. Australia is also a signatory to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments. This convention aims to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic organisms transferring from one region to another by establishing standards and procedures for the management and control of ships’ ballast water and sediments.

UV-Guard Managing Director Richard Vallance said UV water treatment is an ideal part of a ballast water management plan. He explained, “UV water treatment systems are compact and power efficient, making them the perfect solution to onboard ballast water management.

“No microorganism is known to be immune to UV. Once the UV light penetrates the pathogen’s cell membrane, its DNA is deactivated, rendering it harmless — which is exactly what you want when you’re sending your ballast water back out to the ocean.

“Unlike chlorine treatment, UV water disinfection is chemical-free, meaning there is no danger of overdosing. A higher UV dose has no detrimental impact on the end product — an essential consideration in the instance of ballast water, which will be returned to the sea.”

UV-Guard Australia has joined forces with Holland-based RedOrange Industry (RO-I), which is a technical supplier of equipment to a number of commercial industries — including marine/offshore oil and gas throughout Europe — as well as the largest shipping companies globally.

“Through our reseller, RO-I, our water treatment systems are now finding their way onto the many container ships that criss-cross our seas,” said Vallance. “These types of ships have to abide by strict international regulations when it comes to the treatment of their ballast water and discharge, hence why many are turning to UV for its efficiency and chemical-free advantages.”

UV-Guard’s range of water treatment systems can be tailored to each boat or ship’s custom specifications.

“Our water treatment engineers work with each customer to specify the requirements of each vessel we service. We calculate the required UV dose and flow rate to ensure that the system provides the protection required for that specific vessel,” Vallance said.

The water treatment systems are WaterMark certified, food-grade compliant and effective against the indicator microbes toxicogenic Vibrio cholera, E. coli and Enterococci, which are listed in the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments.

Phone: 02 9631 4900
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