Ballast Water Treatment Regulated

The oceans are vast covering approximately 71% of the earth's surface. By volume, the ocean makes up 99 percent of the planet's living space--the largest space in our universe known to be inhabited by living organisms. The seas are abundant with diverse life ranging from the giant to the microscopic and beyond. Magnificent to explore and we are still making discoveries, such as the new species of bottlenose dolphins, which were recently found off the coast of Australia called the Burrunan.



As today’s ships move cargo from one shore to another, they may be taken for granted, but the design and engineering continues to be a tribute to the human spirit to exceed the dimensions of the past. The global economy relies on shipping, as you well know.



There are local economies that are either ruined or threatened because ballast water moves aquatic nuisance species (ANS) from one ocean to another. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) recognizes this concern both from an economic as well as an environmental perspective.


Currently, the IMO has a mandate that ballast water be treated to prevent economic and ecological damage. As of June, 2012, 35 states, representing 27.95% of the world tonnage, had agreed to the IMO mandate. 35% of the world’s tonnage is needed for the mandate to enter into force.

The US Coast Guard is leading the requirement to regulate ballast water ahead of the international treaty ratification. The US Coast Guard's final rule was published on March 23, 2012, in the Federal Register, and the calendar for the roll-out of the standards takes effect 90 days after publication, or June 21, 2012.

In-Tank Solution

The MH Systems' patented ballast water treatment system takes advantage of the inert gas generated on board from a marine inert gas generator.  MH Systems does not treat the water as it is being brought into the ballast tanks, i.e. in-line.  The water is treated ‘in-tank’ to kill the organisms and prepare it for discharge. Before the water is discharged the water is brought back to its original oxygenated state.

The Design

MH Systems' ballast water treatment system was conceived by an engineer who envisioned an elegant solution, simple in design. Further design and engineering was done by a team of scientists, engineers and naval architects who knew the MH System's solution for treating ballast water was brilliant.

The MH Systems' patent pending product consists of a vessel-specific ‘contract design’ for the ballast water treatment system, a control box, support for installation and operational support as needed.

The custom design specifies the installation of a gas compressor, piping, diffusers, valves and control system. No chemicals are needed or used.  No filters need be cleaned.  All components are off-the-shelf in origin, marine hardened with proven reliability.  The diffusers, for example, can operate without maintenance for 10 years. 

Because the MHS ballast water treatment system treats the ballast water ‘in-tank’, the system has unlimited capacity to treat any quantity of ballast water, independent of flow rate into or out of ballast tanks. Furthermore, there are no restrictions on how many ballast tanks can be concurrently filled.

We, at MH Systems, look forward to sharing our knowledge about treating ballast water and learning more about your fleet and schedule requirements.