Ships float on the ocean, (unless there is a hole letting in all the water). Install an engine, propeller and a hearty crew, and your ship will travel anywhere around the world where the water is deep enough. Sounds simple, right? Well, there is a little more involved than wearing a fancy hat and knowing the difference between “port” and “starboard.”

Large container ship passing under bridge

Large cargo ships such as container vessels carry over 20,000 shipping containers, (depending on the size of the ship and containers). To date, the largest container ship is the HMM Algeciras with a capacity of 24,000 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit – an inexact unit of measuring cargo capacity). But how do it and all the other container ships keep from tipping over while at sea? It might surprise you to know that these massive vessels deliberately take on water to keep themselves stable; it’s called ballast.

Ballast tanks are compartments within a ship that holds water to easily provide weight adjustment. (i.e. ballast to keep the ship stable regardless of how much cargo is on board). Thousands of tonnes of surrounding water are pumped into the ballast tanks when cargo is removed and pumped back out at a different port when more cargo is added.

It sounds quite simple, except not all water is the same. It contains harmful microbes and pathogens that could be invasive to the local marine life. Over 5,370 cargo ships are carrying nearly 2 billion tonnes of cargo around the world each year. That’s a lot of potential for contamination and damage to the local ecology!

Here’s where UV disinfection saves the day!

Ultraviolet ballast water treatment consists of germicidal UV lamps that surround a chamber through which the ballast water is allowed to pass. The UV lamps emit UV-C rays, which acts on the DNA of the organisms making them unable to reproduce and rendering them harmless!

UV light is proven to be a safe and commercially viable disinfection solution. It uses no chemicals so there is no waste residue and it does not affect the water itself, except to eliminate harmful pathogens! Working with filtration systems to filter sediment, UV ballast treatment is one of the most efficient and cost-effective disinfection systems to prevent contamination of water in the most environmentally effective way!

Alpha-Purify works directly with BWTS Manufacturers supplying them with custom-made UV lamps, as well as shipowners looking for replacement UV lamp for their existing systems.

Contact our sales team to discuss your UV system requirements.