USCG reported that since 2015, there has been a dramatic increase in the volume of ballast water being treated before being discharged into US waters and provides a list of type approved BWMSs.
Namely, in 2015, about 150,000 cubic meters of treated ballast water was discharged monthly, but by 2017, the monthly discharge of treated water increased more than 10-fold to about 1.8 million cubic meters per month.
“The Coast Guard has strived to keep pace with this increase with the approval of six ballast water management systems (BWMS) and several additional systems now under review or undergoing testing at one of the Coast Guard-accepted Independent Laboratories (IL),” USCG stated.
The Marine Safety Center (MSC) verifies that each type approval submission meets the requirements contained within 46 CFR 162.060, with each application undergoes a six-step review process.
The type approved BWMSs listed below represent a range of technologies and pumping capacities.
- Initial screening,
- Engineering review,
- Land based test review,
- Shipboard test review,
- Component test review,
- Scaling review
However, during the review process some issues may arise, which are the following.
- Alternative evaluation requests: When a required evaluation, inspection, or test is identified as not applicable or impracticable, a request for an alternative evaluation that is equivalent to the requirements can be made under the provision of 46 CFR 162.060-10(b)(1).
- Electrical equipment in hazardous areas: With the exception of certain vessels involved in the Maritime Security Program, equipment installed on U.S. flag vessels must comply with the requirements of 46 CFR Subchapters F and J.
- Water quality: In some cases during testing, water quality conditions deviate from the challenge conditions specified in the “Generic Protocol for the Verification of Ballast Water Treatment Technologies,” commonly referred to as the “ETV Protocol”, which is incorporated by reference in the type approval requirements under 46 CFR 162.060.
- Scaling: Scaling studies evaluate the effectiveness of a BWMS over a range of treatment rated capacities without requiring that every unit in the range be tested. At a minimum, scaling submissions should include the following elements: an experimental design and test plan, a model to represent key parameters for each BWMS unit, validation of the model with experimental data, and IL verification of a scaling study.