Monitoring Ballast Water Management Systems
Monitoring Ballast Water Management Systems to protect local eco-systems
To protect local ecosystems from harmful marine organisms and invasive aquatic species distributed globally in ballast water, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the “International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments” in 2004 and The Ballast Water Management Convention in 2017.
Cargo vessels take in fresh or salt water to provide stability and improve maneuverability as cargo loads change. Water is often collected in one part of the world and dumped in a different part of the world, posing a serious risk of introducing harmful marine organisms and species to other local ecosystems.
The Ballast Water Management (BMW) Convention
The BWM Convention applies to new and existing ships designed to carry ballast water of 400 gross tonnage and above. It requires each vessel to hold a valid Certificate, a Ballast Water Management Plan, and a Ballast Water Record Book, and includes two regulations defining BWM standards:
Part 1: Regulation D-1
On September 2017, the first of 2 parts within the regulation of ballast water management entered into force. This means that ships are now required to perform the ballast water exchange on open seas and is no longer allowed in places such as ports. This exchange of ballast water has to be done at least 200 nautical miles away from the coast and at a place with at least 200 meters of water depth.
Part 2: Regulation D-2
The second part of the ballast water management regulation, referred to as D-2, includes the requirements of installing ballast water management systems on ships. These systems will make sure to destroy any biological organisms that could potentially create great harm to a local eco-system, in which these biological organisms are not native.
New vessels have had to comply to both D-1 and D-2 from 8 September 2017, whereas existing vessels were only required to comply with the D-1 standard from that date. All existing ships have to comply with the D-2 standard depending on the vessel’s international oil pollution prevention certificate renewal survey and at the latest on 8 September 2024.Keld Reimer Hansen Key Account Manager at Senmatic
How ballast water management systems work
The ballast water management system works by removing and destroying the biological organisms that are in the ballast water and that can be potentially dangerous, if released in waters, where the organisms are not native.
There are different types of ballast water management systems available, depending on a range of factors such as:
- Space on board for the system
- The budget available for the system
- The resources available for installation and operation
- The effectiveness in destroying biological organisms
The most common technologies for management of ballast water available include:
- Chemical disinfection
- Ultra-violet light treatment
- Heat treatment
- Electric pulse systems
- Magnetic treatment
- Filtration treatment
- Deoxygenation systems
- Acoustic treatment
Often ballast water treatments include at least two of the previously mentioned technologies to make sure that the IMO regulations are met. These different types of treatments are divided into stages and often consist of one stage using a physical separation treatment, while the other stage uses a disinfection treatment. As mentioned earlier, choosing the right combination of technologies and stages is based on factors such as the type of ship, cost limitations and space availability. Such a choice should always be made in collaboration with industry professionals, who are able to tailor a system based on the specific needs.
Reliable sensors at intake and outlet
Monitoring Ballast Water in line with the convention requires reliable sensors, as sensors are used to control the temperature dependent processes that destroy unwanted biological organisms. Sensors are typically placed in the system’s intake and outlet.
Senmatic already delivers sensors used for Ballast Water Management Systems. For this type of installations, we generally recommend our type B and type S sensors as standard-products. We also customize BWSM sensor solutions to match the exact customer needs.
Type B is a threaded immersion thermometer - Form B - DIN 43765 for measurement of temperatures in gases, vapours, and fluids e.g., in sealed pipelines - in the low-pressure range (pressure test at 75 bars).
- Removable insert type MI60. Ø6 mm immersion sheath of stainless steel according to DIN 43762. Sensing element according to IEC 751
- Protective sheath Ø9×1/Ø11×1 mm, Form B of stainless steel, AISI 316TI according to DIN 43763.
- Approvals: DNV-GL - for L2/ext. length up to 140 mm and L1/immersion length up to 200 mm, Bureau Veritas, DNV-GL EU RO MR.
Type S is a straight thermometer with or without extension length for measurement of temperatures in gases, vapours, and fluids e.g., in sealed pipelines – in the low-pressure range.
- Standard with 3 conductors and 1×Pt-100
- Temperature range: -50 / +150°C
- Protective sheath, Form B of stainless steel AISI 316TI
- Approvals: DNV-GL, Bureau Veritas, DNV-GL EU RO MR
Choose Marine Approved Sensors
Quality is directly linked to safety, operating costs, and efficiency. Choosing marine approved sensors means trust in product quality and assurance that the product will keep operations predictable and safe. For a sensor to be marine approved it must be tested meticulously to provide predictability and security. The products are built to perform in maritime conditions, undergoing both physical and electronic testing with its practical use in mind.
Marine approvals also provide a common language across regions and nationalities, enabling you to enter new seas, markets, and partnerships with existing documentation in terms of quality, lifespan, and performance.
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