Maritime waste water treatment using UV technology

UV disinfection is a chemical-free method of ensuring water is clean, safe and complies with wastewater discharge regulations from the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Posted: Wednesday, 27 March 2019

UV technology works by inactivating dangerous microorganisms and preventing the spread of harmful bacteria.

Wastewater can be separated into different categories, clear water, grey water and black water. Clear water is solid-free wastewater which could be produced from air conditioning units or unused tap water.  Grey water is the term given to wastewater from baths, shower and sinks. From ships, this will also include the wastewater from cleaning and cooling on-board machinery and can be contaminated with detergent, microbes and oil. Black water is sewage water. It will often contain pathogens that must be neutralised or removed before the water can be released safely into the environment.

Black water is subject to regulation by MARPOL, one of the most important international marine environmental conventions which were introduced by the International Maritime Organization. It prohibits sewage discharge and black wastewater requires treatment first to help reduce the pollution of our oceans.

Under MARPOL, black water requires treating in an approved disinfection system before the water can be discharged. There are various treatments that can be used to clean black water including biological treatment, hypochlorination and UV technology. Often, a combination of these methods is used to enhance the effectiveness of the disinfection.

There are typically 3 levels of treatment for successful water cleaning that are used for marine and cruise ships that require a mixture of these treatments. The first treatment is to separate the fluid into layers and to remove the settled and floating materials, the second treatment removes further organic matter by helping it decompose using microbial activity. The third stage of treatment is where Alpha-Purify can help. The partially cleaned black water is then moved through a disinfection chamber where UV can be used to disinfect the water. The UV radiation disinfects the water by damaging and inactivating the DNA of microorganisms, preventing them from replicating and rendering them harmless. Once fully treated, the water is then safe to be discharged into the sea.

As well as UV lamps, Alpha-Purify also supplies UV disinfection system accessories such as quartz sleeves, ballasts and O-rings. For more information on Alpha-Purify’s UV lamps and how they can be used for your wastewater treatment needs, please Contact Us.

You may also like...