UV technology is used in the marine industry to treat ballast water and as part of advanced wastewater (grey and black) purification and potable drinking water systems


Ultraviolet light is used for multiple applications in the marine industry, including to treat ballast water before discharge into the ocean, to provide potable drinking water on passenger and commercial ships, and treat wastewater from on-board laundries, kitchens and bathrooms.

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Drinking Water

Making the best use of available water resources whilst at sea is a core feature of using disinfection and purification systems aboard merchant and commercial vessels. The versatile nature of UV technology means systems can be fitted into kitchens, individual cabins and as part of the larger, vessel-wide engineering set up. More on how UV helps to purify drinking water can be found here.


Similarly, ensuring marine vessels are able to safely and efficiently recycle wastewater means UV technology is widely used aboard boats to help process grey and black wastewater. The systems are also used for cruise ships to clean spa and pool water


Many large shipping vessels such as container ships, military vessels and cruise liners use enormous amounts of ballast water for balancing their loads and therefore ensuring high levels of stability when they are at sea.

Ballast water carried by ships will contain organisms and pathogens commonly found where that water was loaded that could be harmful or invasive to native flora and fauna where the ballast water is later pumped out. As global shipping traffic increases and environmental science highlights the potentially destructive impact of these practices, ballast water treatment regulations have been introduced to address the problem.

On-board UV technology used in disinfection systems have proven to be a safe, commercially viable and environmentally-friendly method of treating ballast water, helping to render pathogens unable to replicate. This helps to protect ecosystems around the world without the use of additional harmful chemicals.


Wellboats also use UV systems to help keep both process and discharge water quality high. Wellboats have an isolated tank or 'well' in them that allows for fish stocks to be transported to new destinations but not to be exposed to potential contamination from external waters. The water in the well is kept clean using UV systems thanks to them being easily implemented for water inlet, outlet, or process areas.

Benefits of using ultraviolet technology in marine disinfection systems include:

  • Smaller space requirements than chemical-based systems
  • No chemical by-products in the water
  • Reduces chemical handling requirements
  • Possibility to render inactive microbes that have developed a resistance to chemical treatments.


Visit our other pages to find out more about how ultraviolet light can help treat:

Contact Us if you use UV systems to help disinfect water for marine applications – we are able to produce lamps for all systems at competitive prices.