Ballast Water Treatment
A ship’s untreated ballast water can have serious environmental consequences. Aquatic life discharged with this untreated water may out-compete native species, causing the collapse of entire commercial fisheries, the displacement of native seabed communities, and the red tide contamination absorbed by filter-feeding shellfish.
These impacts threaten aquatic ecosystems worldwide, and environmental policy is developing rapidly to address them. IMO timelines phase in requirements for ballast treatment systems on all newly-built and existing vessels. In California, this phase-in schedule is more aggressive, with treatment requirements starting in 2010. Ballast water treatment systems must be tested and independently certified to verify they meet applicable standards.
Since 2000, Glosten has brought shipboard operations and design experience to ballast management solutions. In 2007, Glosten assisted with the design, risk assessment, and installation of a prototype onboard ballast water treatment system (Severn Trent De Nora’s BalPure™) for the S/R AMERICAN PROGRESS, a 46,000 deadweight ton, double-hull product tanker (see Ballast Water Treatment Facility: Design, Risk Assessment, and Installation on a Tank Ship, 2008). In 2008, Glosten began its assistance to the National Park Service towards developing an emergency ballast water treatment procedure, as well as coordination of subsequent field tests with numerical modeling and scale testing efforts (see Mixing Biocides into Ships' Ballast Water - Efficiency of Novel Mixing Methods, 2009).
Glosten served as a technical consultant for the engineering and design of a shipboard ballast water treatment testing facility onboard the Training Ship Golden Bear. This facility now functions as a "plug and play" platform for testing ballast water treatment systems, which can be loaded onboard in standard 20-foot containers and connected to the ship's ballast water tanks, electricity, and ancillaries.
Sewage Management and Treatment
Raw or poorly treated sewage from boats creates both serious health and environmental problems. Swimmers who come in contact with water contaminated with human wastes can become ill from bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Serious diseases that result include hepatitis, typhoid, and cholera. Shellfish can convey virtually all water-borne, disease-causing organisms to humans. When wastes are concentrated in poorly flushed areas, the subsequent low oxygenation of the water can result in fish kills.
States such as Alaska have invoked restrictive standards for international and domestic cruise ships operating in their local waters. Consequently, several mature MSD technologies are in transition. Glosten has conducted fleetwide sewage management and treatment studies, and can be called upon to provide assistance in evaluating applicable standards and technologies.