With the first few fully certified Ballast Water Treatment systems now on the market, shipowners are slowly drifting into the purchase phase of compliance.
In the near future, a mechanical Ballast Water Treatment system will now need to be retrofitted on all large ships and ship’s crew will have a new piece of equipment that will need to be operated, monitored, and maintained.
Many equipment suppliers have invested their hearts, souls and hard earned dollars in designing and certifying Ballast Water Treatment Systems and now these systems will see the hard test of real life operation. In the simplest terms, this story played out on Oily Water Separators, and quite possibly there are some lessons to be learned from the OWS implementation history.
In the MAX1 study survey we included a few questions where we asked crews to tell us what their favorite Oily Water Separator brands are. We were very hesitant to include that question because there could be all types of weird bias and we would need a huge sample to makes sense of data where there could be as many as 40 brands and even more models mentioned.
The survey was very successful, but the “favorite brand of OWS” question was not very effective. We wanted to include that question because there is a real problem with brand specific customer feedback in OWS equipment. Some OWS manufacturers may have great working relationships with certain ship owners, but, overall, shipowners simply buy what the shipyard deems a good deal, or they themselves specify a brand with little or no feedback from their crews.
The lack of feedback, on a systems design level, is very ineffective. read more »
The MAX1 conference, which took place in Wilmington, NC on June 24, 2015, set a new standard in Shipboard Waste Management studies. The conference was a rapid fire exchange of ideas by 30 industry professionals representing almost all stakeholders involved in shipboard waste management.
For too long OWS and Shipboard Waste Management has been a stove piped debate and this conference finally broke the stovepipes and allowed industry professionals to interact with their peers in a completely transparent setting. Thanks to the hard work of all attendees we initiated significant advances and mutual understanding in developing solutions that have evaded the industry for almost 50 years.
In engineering there are the difficult problems and the really difficult problems. Getting to the moon or designing a safe replica schooner is difficult. The really difficult engineering problems often require that the user also needs to be re-engineered. Such problems may involve removing addiction or stopping irrational behavior or reducing poverty or altering preconceived notions.
I have often stated that the most difficult problem in my career has been the problem of proper bilge water management in all its forms, and on June 23 and 24 there will be a conference that completes the MAX1Study effort and that discusses the latest developments in that regard. It will address old and new concerns and present the latest thinking in achieving rugged and efficient solutions. Especially the search for efficient solutions is taking center stage and often only after massive study will the efficient solutions start to become more apparent.
Very strangely, in the middle of this work, I came across a very interesting article in the Atlantic magazine about making proper police reforms. read more »
When we were asked to look at OWS effectiveness by NFWF, one of the tasks we proposed was the development of a survey to obtain more information of actual OWS and shipboard waste management. With input of the research team (made up of all types of stakeholders in our industry), we have now developed the survey and invite everybody in the marine industry to take it.
In almost every technical case, or operational problem we get involved in we find that it first takes the construction of a chronological narrative to get an idea as to where the shoe sticks.
In the first half of 2015 Martin & Ottaway will be performing a study for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, "MAX1 Studies" (MARPOL Annex I Studies), that will address the following questions:
- How effective are shipboard Oily Water Separators?
- What can be done to further increase the effectiveness of shipboard oily waste management?
The intent of MAX1 is to establish the deepest possible industry cooperative framework and seeks partners and participants to address the wide ranging issues concerning OWS systems and machinery space waste stream management.