- Top Tip Series: Port Authorities - what can you offer as a contingency measure for vessels failing BWT inspections?

If you are a port authority and want to ensure that your port is not being polluted with untreated foreign ballast water by visiting vessels failing to comply with IMO ballast water management regulations, then no doubt you will be considering the start of an inspection programme for vessels visiting your port.

Before starting these inspections you should consider the contingency measures required, in the event that a vessel fails an inspection as a result of a faulty onboard treatment system.

Repairing the faulty onboard treatment system may be one option for the vessel, however for more serious faults repairs on board may not be possible without the vessel first receiving a delivery of spare parts and / or a visit from a treatment system service engineer. In this case clearly a more workable contingency plan will be required if the vessel is to keep operational delays (and consequential costs) to a minimum and at the same time avoid polluting the port with untreated ballast water.

A port based single stage treatment system is an ideal contingency plan. A port system may be connected to the vessel’s ballast water system, allowing the vessel’s ballast water to be treated by the port system prior to discharge.              

This port based containerised system can be located on the quayside or alternatively on a workboat or barge that can then be positioned alongside the visiting vessel that has failed the inspection.   

Support equipment in the form of hoses, pumps and a generator can be supplied alongside the containerised system. This complete package of treatment equipment will keep the vessel’s operational delays to a minimum and more importantly will work to keep your port pollution free!