USCG Approved Ballast Water Treatment Systems are Now Required

By September 8, 2017, all ships are required to have USCG approved ballast water treatment systems. Ships use seawater as ballast by discharging water when loading cargo, or taking on water when unloading to help balance the ship. Ballast water is typically taken on in one port or while sailing through the ocean, and discharged in another area. The greatest hazard of a ship’s ballast water is the spread of invasive species. When ships discharge their ballast water from another region, they are dumping bacteria and viruses into a foreign environment, disturbing the natural biodiversity needed to support the local aquatic life and coastal stability. This causes enormous damage to shorelines, beaches and fishing industries around the globe, while costing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and clean-up efforts.

International regulations have been in place since the IMO (International Marine Organization) put the Ballast Water Treatment Convention in place in 2004. The Convention is enforced by the MEPC (Marine Environment Protection Committee), providing international standards on a ship’s requirements to have their ballast water treatment systems approved. The United States Coast Guard will be enforcing these guidelines, verifying that the vessel is utilizing USCG approved ballast water treatment systems.

New regulations of the Ballast Water Treatment Convention

When the original Convention was first adopted in 2004, the treaty stipulated that the regulations would enter into full force 12 months after receiving ratification of at least 30 States, which represent 35% of the world’s merchant shipping in terms of tons. With Finland’s accession on September 8, 2016, the Convention received all ratifying votes with 35.14%, and currently 52 contracting parties. The new international shipping regulations will enter into full force on September 8, 2017. All ships, whether cruise, cargo or tankers, will be required to utilize an approved ballast water treatment system. IMO authorities state that the new regulations are a significant milestone for the health of the planet.

LightSources Can Help with USCG Approved Ballast Water Treatment Systems

LightSources has partnered with some of the largest suppliers of ballast water treatment systems to provide expert solutions for USCG approved ballast water treatment for any type of vessel. UV technology has proven effective in eliminating all potentially harmful marine species, while avoiding corrosion or pollution with harsh chemicals. LightSources proprietary UV germicidal lamps provide advanced performance with long life and low maintenance.

Our research and development efforts have resulted in proprietary LongLife™ technology with our Low Pressure (LP) Amalgam lamps for UV germicidal applications. These lamps offer increased efficiency of 30-35% over other bulbs, while emitting the most effective wavelength of 254nm for superior germ killing solutions. Our Medium Pressure (MP) UV germicidal bulbs are just as effective while leaving a smaller footprint which is beneficial to smaller ships and tight spaces. Please see additional information on our Germicidal Lamp Basics in our Education section, one of the many informative documents provided for your reference.

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LightSources and its affiliated companies are global leaders in the germicidal UV light industry. We partner with OEMs of any size to design, engineer and mass-produce new types of proprietary and specialty lamps cost-efficiently and with short turnaround. Please contact us to speak to one of our expert engineers about USCG approved ballast water treatment systems.

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