Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) Signed Into Law

On December 4, 2018 the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Authorization Act, including VIDA, was signed into law by President Trump. VIDA amends the USCG regulations to allow for the use of reproductive methods by explicitly expanding the definition of “living” to ensure that organisms that can’t reproduce (nonviable) are not considered to be living.

The Path Ahead

With the signing of the bill, the USCG now has up to 180 days to a draft policy letter detailing reproductive methods based on best available science. In accordance with the Act, USCG must consider Type Approval testing methodologies that utilize organism grow-out and Most Probable Number (MPN) analysis to determine the number of viable organisms in ballast water that are capable of reproduction.

Reproductive methods have been used by the IMO for many years. In 2017, the IMO officially approved the MPN reproductive method to determine viability (BWM.2-Circ.61) establishing a basis for the best available science.

Following the release of the draft policy letter, a period for public comment shall be provided for no more than 60 days and the final policy shall be published no later than 360 days after the date of enactment of the Act.

Further Alignment

With this new legislation, the U.S. and the international standard on ballast water are closer aligned by providing a similar framework for Type Approval. More importantly, this legislation will help facilitate the process for many system manufacturers toward USCG Type Approval – ultimately giving shipowners more options and the reassurance they deserve.

Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) Passed by U.S. House of Representatives

On November 27, 2018 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Authorization Act, including the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), by unanimous consent. The Bill will now proceed to President Trump for signature.

Once signed into law, VIDA will harmonize the USCG’s policy approach on reproductive methods in determining ballast water treatment system efficacy with that of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The VIDA Bill includes legislative language that amends the USCG regulations to allow for the use of reproductive methods for the testing and approval of ballast water management systems. The legislative language amends the USCG regulations to allow for the use of reproductive methods by explicitly expanding the definition of “living” to ensure that organisms that can’t reproduce (nonviable) are not considered to be living.

The Bill requires the USCG to develop a draft policy letter detailing reproductive methods based on best available science within 180 days, and indicates the USCG must consider Type Approval testing methodologies that utilize organism grow-out and Most Probable Number (MPN) analysis to determine the number of viable organisms in ballast water that are capable of reproduction.

Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) Passed by U.S. Senate

For quite some time, the maritime industry has longed for the harmonization of state and federal regulations for vessel ballast water discharges in the United States.

Concerns regarding overlapping mandates of the United States Coast Guard (USCG), United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and state-specific regulations have made the implementation of ballast water treatment solutions costly and complicated for ship owners.

A Significant Milestone Has Been Reached

On November 14, 2018, the USCG Authorization Act was passed by the U.S. Senate with the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA).

The VIDA Bill includes legislative language that amends the USCG regulations to allow for the use of reproductive methods for the testing and approval of ballast water management systems. The legislative language amends the USCG regulations to allow for the use of reproductive methods by explicitly expanding the definition of “living” to ensure that organisms that can’t reproduce (nonviable) are not considered to be living. Basically, organisms that can’t reproduce are as good as dead for the purposes of the regulation.

Furthermore, the USCG is required to develop a draft policy letter detailing reproductive methods based on best available science and the USCG must consider Type Approval testing methodologies that utilize organism grow-out and Most Probable Number (MPN) analysis to determine the number of viable organisms in ballast water that are capable of reproduction.

This would harmonize the USCG’s policy approach on reproductive methods in determining BWT system efficacy with that of the IMO. In 2017, the IMO officially approved the MPN method to determine viability / reproductive capability (IMO Document BWM.2-Circ.61).

The Path Ahead

The Bill will now move on to U.S. House of Representatives for a vote. If passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, it would then be signed into law by the President of the United States. We are very encouraged by this development and will continue to monitor the progress of the Bill in the coming weeks.

SMM 2018

With over 2,200 exhibitors and about 50,000 visitors from all over the world, SMM is one of the world’s largest maritime trade fairs. We will be there alongside our partners GEA in Hall A3 Stand 216. On display will be our compact 250 m3/h treatment unit. This unit features recent innovations, including the inline lamp driver and integrated flow meter.

See you in Hamburg!

The Benefits of an Integrated Flow Meter

Retrofitting can be challenging, and the cost of installing certain types of ballast water treatment systems can sometimes exceed the actual cost of the system itself. That’s why, for us, purpose-built integration (filtration + UV within one compact unit) was the optimal solution. And continual innovation – such as our new integrated flow meter – is enabling us to further reduce footprint and simplify the installation process.

A photo of the electromagnetic flow meter installed on a Trojan Marinex Ballast Water Treatment systemMeasuring Your Ballast Water Flow

A flow meter is an instrument used to measure linear, nonlinear, mass or volumetric flow rate of a liquid or a gas. In ballast water treatment, a flow meter is required to ensure that the water is being treated properly and within the certified range limit specified on the Type Approval certificate.

However, the auxiliary flow meters that are typically used for ballast water treatment require a minimum of five diameters of straight pipe run between it and the treatment unit outlet. This adds unnecessary complexity to the installation process and increases the total footprint of the system, so we set out to find a better, more efficient way to measure flow.

A photo of the electromagnetic flow meter installed on a Trojan Marinex Ballast Water Treatment systemAbout Our Flow Meter

We wanted to make flow monitoring on the Trojan Marinex Ballast Water Treatment (BWT) system easier, intuitive and space-saving. So we worked closely with McCrometer – a leading global flow instrumentation specialist – to engineer, and manufacture a flow metering solution that better meets the unique needs of ballast water treatment.

Now, after months of collaboration and exploration, we are excited to unveil our custom solution to you: an integrated electromagnetic flow meter.

The Benefits

  • Pre-installed, pre-wired and factory-calibrated
  • Eliminates the need for an auxiliary flow meter
  • Eliminates the need for interconnections between the flow meter and treatment unit
  • No recalibration necessary for the life of the flow meter or treatment unit

Posidonia 2018

Posidonia 2016 was the largest in terms of exhibition space and most promoted event in the exhibitions’ almost 50-year history, and the 2018 installment (held June 4 – 8 in Athens) is shaping up to be even bigger and better.

We will be there, alongside our partners PAN MARINE in stand 4.230 (Hall 4, Stand 230). Our extremely compact 150 m3/h treatment unit will be on display – see for yourself just how compact it is and learn more about the reasons why shipowners around the world are selecting the Trojan Marinex BWT system.

BWT Talks at GREEN4SEA

On March 7, 750 maritime and shipping experts descended upon the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Kallithea, Greece for the 2018 GREEN4SEA Conference.

With a focus on shaping a more sustainable shipping industry, discussions and conversations at the event were centered on fuel alternatives towards 2020, exhaust gas cleaning systems and ballast water treatment.

Our Sales Director Juha Kiukas was part of the speaker lineup and participated in the ballast water stream. During his talk, Juha discussed the importance of a purpose-built ballast water treatment system as well the various market trends and challenges affecting shipowners.

Putting Our Filter to The Test

The combination of Total Suspended Solids (TSS) and high organic loading creates the most challenging conditions for filters. Furthermore, the loading rates of the suspended solids shipowners encounter during ballasting may be considerably higher than those seen under standard ballast water treatment system Type Approval testing. That’s why – to ensure uncompromising reliability – we’ve employed integrity, efficiency, and accelerated life tests. We’ve pushed our filtration to the limit, using punishing mixtures of challenge water and marine mud, to provide you with deserved reassurance and peace of mind.

To date, we have put filter systems through over 125 tests in four independent, land-based test facilities, one shipboard test facility and a shipboard pilot installation. Here’s some footage from one of them:

Dedicated Test Facility

Being part of the Trojan Technologies group of businesses gives us unparalleled access to 40 years of water treatment expertise, including our own dedicated test facility in London, Ontario, Canada. Having a facility like this has enabled us to conduct in-depth ballast water treatment studies throughout a wide range of water and ambient air temperature conditions, on flow rates up to 1,500 m3/h. It is at this facility that we run our filter elements through a multitude of continuous operation tests to verify full life cycle performance.

Robust Design

By identifying the inadequacies of off-the-shelf filters, and refining specific key features, we proceeded to custom-design and construct our own filtration system – one that would work in unison with TrojanUV Solo Lamp Technology. Learn more about the robust design of the Trojan Marinex Ballast Water Treatment system here.

Europort 2017 Video Spotlight: Ballast Water Treatment

At Europort 2017, Juha Kiukas (Trojan Marinex Sales Director) had the opportunity to take GREEN4SEA on a quick tour of the booth we shared with our channel partner GEA and answer a few questions about the Trojan Marinex Ballast Water Treatment system.

Watch as Juha provides insight into streamlining system installation, ways to overcome retrofit challenges, and the importance of comprehensive crew training.

Dispelling The UVT Myth

Ultraviolet light (UV) can treat extremely turbid ballast water, as long as the treatment system is engineered to the highest of standards. Unfortunately, misconceptions about UV’s ability to treat poor quality water are common. However, UV disinfection is extensively proven to treat wastewater, and, in most cases, wastewater is of poorer quality or lower UV transmittance (UVT) than ballast water.

What is UV Transmittance (UVT)?

UV systems not designed for poor water qualities will have dark zones.UVT is the ratio of light entering the water to that exiting the water. Simply put, water with high UVT (e.g., 90%) is relatively clear, allowing more UV light to reach the organisms you are trying to treat. As water quality decreases, the UVT is reduced (e.g., 50%) which in turn reduces the amount of UV light that is able to penetrate and provide treatment.

Every Port is Different

No matter where in the world your vessels trade – whether it’s clear seawater or turbid fresh water – your ballast water treatment system has to work. And, as you know, water quality varies from port to port and day to day.

Water quality varies from port to port.Different water quality parameters become more or less important depending on the type of ballast water technology used. In the case of Electrochlorination systems, the salinity, temperature and organic content of the water will have a dramatic impact on the overall efficacy of the system. For UV systems, UVT is the most important parameter impacting the effectiveness of the system.

High UVT Values Limit System Applicability

A conventional ballast water treatment system – utilizing a land-based-designed UV system (i.e., designed to treat drinking water with 85% UVT) – won’t be able to provide the same treatment performance in lower UVT (e.g., 50%) water. More equipment would be required to provide the same level of performance, and more equipment means increased power draw and space requirements.

A high UVT value limits system applicability.Many existing IMO Type Approved systems have been tested in higher clarity water (high UVT). It is expected that these systems will not be approved to treat lower clarity waters than to what they have been tested to under USCG regulations. The UVT value will be noted on the Type Approval certificate, significantly limiting the applicability of the system in poorer water qualities. In addition, alarms will be noted in equipment logs every time the UVT value of the ballast water falls below the minimum to which it was tested. Multiple alarms are likely to draw increased attention from Port State Control. The best way to reduce your risk is to utilize a ballast water treatment system that has been tested to low UVT values.

Dispelling The UVT Myth

The Trojan Marinex BWT system is tested and approved to one of the lowest UVT values in the industry, under full flow conditions. This dispels the myth that UV cannot be used in the poorest of water qualities.

Chart comparing the power draw of ballast water treatment systems throughout various water parameters.