Working of Ballast Water Management System

Ballast Water Management System

aqualogisticSFor every maritime company, a high-quality ballast water management system is essential. A ballast water management system is designed to remove invasive marine animals. It is a primary avenue for non-indigenous marine species introduction is ballast water.

Large cargo ships need ballast water to maintain balance and stability. Ballast water is vital for ship safety, but its discharge may affect the maritime ecosystem by introducing potentially invasive species. Ballast water control and treatment lessen this danger.

Ballast Water is a Serious Issue:

Ballast water contains silt and small creatures, including bacteria, microorganisms, tiny invertebrates, eggs, cysts, and larvae. Untreated ballast water may endanger the environment, human health, and the economy by transporting invasive aquatic organisms from one section of the world’s seas to another. This includes the ballast tanks of a ship.

The ship’s size, available space, budget, and other factors determine the ballast water treatment system they require. By releasing ballast water, organisms are returned to the local marine ecosystem. Without natural predators and under the appropriate circumstances, these alien species may thrive, becoming invasive and harming local populations.

Ballast water from ships is a significant source of aquatic species introductions worldwide, which is why it has become an issue in recent decades. Invasive species harm is increasingly acknowledged as a major hazard to ecological and economic health.

How does Ballast Water Management System Works?

The “ballast water tank” is spread in the double bottom tank, the forepeak tank, the tail tip tank, and the side tank or a deep water tank. The ship’s ballast water system uses a pump to inhale or drain water from the cabin to maintain ballast and trim.

Almost every ballast water treatment system incorporates a water filter. A good water filter serves many functions:

  • It effectively removes sediment that can enter turbulent ports and accumulate in ballast tanks if not adequately removed.
  • A filter can also remove many of the microorganisms discussed previously.
  • This process saves time and energy treating organisms that pass through the filter and must be neutralize before water can be stored on board or dumped.

float level switch monitors a liquid level in a tank or container. Variations in the liquid level actuate the mechanical switch. The float level switch may open or stop inlet/outlet valves and pump water in or out. Or it can sound an alarm to alert the user. These float switches are available in a great variety to handle a wide range of liquids.

Float switches are often used to regulate alarms and pumps when a liquid level increases or lowers. This article will concentrate on electrical float switches used to open and shut or turn off and on the electrical circuits.

How do BWTS Work?

It’s important to know that most BWTS use a two-stage treatment approach that includes filtration followed by disinfection. The procedures involved in it are:

• Ultraviolet (UV) Therapy:

The UV radiation from the lamps affects the DNA of the organisms in the ballast water and makes them non-viable or incapable of reproducing. When microorganisms are prevent from flourishing in water, the environment in which they are discharged does not have to deal with their negative consequences. This UV is mainly designed to aid specific ballast water treatment systems. The TSS (total suspended solids) water might impair the effectiveness of UV therapy, and the quality of the filtering system that precedes the treatment is critical to its success.

• Disinfection Using Chemicals:

Biocides are the disinfectants mainly used in BWMS; they inactivate microorganisms in the ballast water by using chlorine as an oxidising disinfectant. It is necessary to neutralise or detoxify treated water before it can be used for ultimate DE ballasting, which is a significant downside of biocides employed in around half of all systems.

• Thermolysis:

As the name implies, heat treatment is the process of heating ballast water to a temperature that kills any organisms present. This procedure may be completed in one of two ways:

  1. By heating the ballast water in their tanks
  2. Bypassing it via the ship’s engines (effectively turning it into cooling water).

Heat treatment is required to disinfect and sterilise ballast water. However, this process might take a long time and create further corrosion in the ballast water tanks.

• De-oxygenation:

Any live organisms in the ballast water are killed by de-oxygenation, much as biocides. The organisms in the ballast tank or ballast flow are asphyxiated by an inert gas (such as nitrogen) injected into the treatment system. It is vital to note that this procedure takes two to four days and needs the tanks to be sealed against ambient oxygen to be successful. For short flights, de-oxygenation is not advised.

• Ultrasound Therapy:

An ultrasonic treatment removes organisms from ballast water by generating high-frequency ultrasounds. Ultrasound’s high pressure kills organisms by destroying their cell wall. But research shows that ultrasonic treatment works best in conjunction with other ballast water treatment methods like UV or biocides.


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