Shipboard Trial of Primary and Secondary Ballast Water Treatment Systems

Principal Investigator:

David A. Wright

Start/End Year:

2000 - 2002


Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Co-Principal Investigator:

Rodger Dawson, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science


Through a rigorous shipboard testing program under normal ballasting conditions we propose to demonstrate a comprehensive ballast water treatment system consisting of primary and secondary treatments that will be of immediate practical use to the shipping industry. One primary and two secondary ballast water treatments will be employed in a combination system that will be installed on a vessel in Baltimore Harbor. The primary treatment is a voraxial separator which relies on high centrifugal force to separate suspended particulates from the ballast water inflow. Ultraviolet irradiation and a chemical biocide will be used as secondary treatments to control biota which remain in the "filtrate." Both will be tested singly and in combination with the separator. Samples of treated and untreated ballast water will be analyzed for particulate content and for the viability of remaining organisms including phytoplankton, zooplankton and bacteria. Pigment fluorimetry will be employed to determine phytoplankton viability and a molecular live/dead probe will determine bacterial viability. Viability of zooplankton will be determined as signs of movement and heartbeat. Sizing and taxonomic identification of plankton will also be employed.

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