Water Sampling? The Crew Can Do It Themselves Now

Singapore freight forwarders – Star Concord
14-Feb-2024

Fleet owners and shipowners encounter various regulations concerning safety and the environment, including those related to different types of water on board. While this may not be their core business, ensuring ships are compliant with laws and regulations is crucial. Normec MTS (Maritime Testing Services) has devised a user-friendly and efficient method for sampling water on board: practical sample kits that allow the crew to take water samples themselves.

World’s first with this approach

Hans van der Wart MSc, MBA, Director of Normec MTS, explains how the company came up with this method: “Previously, it was customary for someone to come on board to conduct sampling. This takes time, costs money, and scheduling is always on very short notice. Moreover, there aren’t always employees available to do this. So, we thought: why not let the crew take these water samples themselves? We then analyse the samples in our laboratory. Legislation does not state that the crew cannot take the samples themselves. We have included a manual in our sample kits, allowing them to sample everything at their convenience. They can take ballast water samples when in port and scrubber water samples on the open sea, when the engine is running at full power. Dedicated sample kits are also available for drinking water, grey water, and black water. As far as I know, we are the first in the world with this approach.” 

Normec MTS sends out the sample kits worldwide, usually through the agents of the fleet owners. They deliver the sample kits to their warehouses and send them with the supply shipments to the ships. If a sample kit is urgently needed somewhere, it can be delivered anywhere in the world within a few days.

 

 

All data readily available for VGP and D-2

The ballast water sample kit has been developed for ballast water treatment systems with active chlorine, UV, and filtration applications, and includes a wide range of chemical and microbiological tests. The drinking water sample kit undergoes chemical and bacteriological analysis in the laboratory. The scrubber water sample kit is intended for the three mandatory samples per ship per year: inlet, outlet, and overboard discharge.

Normec MTS clients can log in to the client portal and view the complete history of all reports about their ships. Van der Wart says, “They can easily export this information if they need to upload this data somewhere to comply with legal guidelines. This saves a lot of time and effort and also prevents errors from manual entry. Consider, for example, the Vessel General Permit, the VGP. Every ship sailing to the United States must comply with this system. You have to prove it, or you won’t get in. The data we provide based on the tests is already formatted to be uploaded via the Central Data Exchange of the Environmental Protection Agency, making the data available to the EPA with a few clicks.”

Another guideline that ships must comply with is the D-2 standard for ballast water treatment systems. These systems must be approved and then checked by an approved supplier. Normec MTS is an approved supplier and can test ballast water for microbiological contaminants.

Environmentally friendly legionella control

Environmental protection and safety are always the focal points for Normec MTS’s activities, as Van der Wart explains: “Consider bilge water, for example. We all do our best to prevent oil from getting into the seawater. But also, to prevent legionella problems in the onboard drinking water system.”

In this regard, Normec MTS expects to launch a revolutionary new method for legionella control soon. Van der Wart says, “We have developed an environmentally friendly method to combat legionella. Right after the water maker, we have installed a high-frequency unit that inhibits the growth of bacteria through vibrations. Ships no longer need to stay at the dock for chemical cleaning; they can let this system work on the go. The pilot study results are promising, so we hope to have more to report on this soon.”

About Normec MTS

Normec MTS (Maritime Testing Services) is an independent agency accredited by the Dutch Accreditation Council, equipped with all the necessary expertise for testing water on board. Normec MTS has multiple NEN-EN-ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accredited laboratories and the required knowledge of all applicable (inter)national laws and regulations regarding compliance and safety of water on board. Moreover, Normec MTS is an approved supplier for D-2 commissioning. By using smart ICT solutions, our clients benefit from our services in the best possible manner.

This article is sponsored by Normec MTS. For more information, visit https://normecmts.com
 

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