Following the United States Coast Guard (USCG) decision not to accept the most probable number (MPN) method in assessing ballast water treatment systems, tests of Alfa Laval PureBallast are underway using the USCGA-approved 5 chloromethylfluorescein diacetate (CMFDA) staining method. With completion expected during Q2 of 2016, the tests will enable a new USCG type approval application after receiving the results.
In mid-December 2015, the USCG issued its decision that the MPN method is not equivalent to the CMFDA staining method stipulated by the USCG Ballast Water Discharge Final Rule. This nullifies previous type approval applications of UV-based ballast water treatment systems submitted on the basis of the MPN method, including that of Alfa Laval PureBallast.
The decision applies solely to the MPN method and in no way disqualifies UV-based systems from USCG type approval. Nor does it necessitate any change in PureBallast, which is approved by the USCG as an Alternate Management System (AMS). On the contrary, Alfa Laval has already begun CMFDA testing and expects to submit a new application following its completion.
Firmly confident of USCG approval
“Alfa Laval has both a robust biological disinfection technology and a system with AMS approval,” says Stephen Westerling Greer, Global Business Manager for PureBallast. “We are fully convinced of PureBallast’s ability to meet the USCG criteria, so what remains is to demonstrate it according to the USCG’s preferred method. This we are doing quickly in order to support our customers.”
Global treatment requirements approaching
Though US ballast water regulations took effect in 2012, no systems of any technology have yet been type approved by the USCG. Meanwhile, the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention is edging closer to implementation. Following recent ratifications by Belgium and Fiji, which bring the combined gross tonnage of ratifying countries to 34.8%, a mere 0.2% more is required to make global ballast water treatment requirements a reality.