In this month’s blog post is going about the ballast system aboard seagoing vessels, because most of these ships are required to have a proper ballast treatment system installed. How is this managed, and how can you be sure that your system works without any deficiencies.
Ballast is used to gain stability and trim a seagoing vessel in such a way that the ship is still able to manoeuvre when a vessel is in ballast condition. Double bottom tanks and side tanks are filled with seawater. Often, seawater is taken in the port of departure and emptied in the port of arrival.
After years of ballasting like this, men discovered that micro-organisms which are living in seawater could not be taken towards a port of destination, because it damages the ecosystems.
In 2004 the IMO (International Maritime Organization) unveiled the Ballast Water Management Convention to tighten the rules about losing ballast water at sea or in port. Vessels are now obligated to have a Ballast Water Management Plan and a Ballast Water Record Book on board to register when they take or lose ballast water.
Since September 8th, 2017, all new ships need to have a Ballast Water Treatment System onboard. Older vessels need to have this system installed and working when the date of the IOPP-certificate expires. Port State Control is the governmental body surveying this aspect.
We at GMS Instruments know that the risk of incorrectly emptying ballast water can be huge. We are happy to help you out with every question about products which makes it easier to test the condition of your ballast water, like the CMT Ballast Water Test Kit. With this kit, it is possible to decide quickly and simply if your ballast water is treated in the correct way. Port State Control is already working with these kits. Do you want to know more about ballast systems? Ask our specialist for help!