Detentions for sewage treatment on the increase

Marine pollution has always been in the spotlight but now, even more attention is being paid to the impact of sewage on the environment. Strict regulations and an increasing focus on compliance is having a big effect on shipping.

A recent bulletin issued by UK P&I Club has highlighted the issue. It reveals that detentions due to sewage are on the rise at an alarming rate.

Detentions

The bulletin concerns recent data released by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) which shows the extent of the problem. So far in 2019, the most common reason for the detention of their vessels was sewage-related.

The deficiencies – generally worded as ‘sewage treatment plant defective’ – could be down to a number of issues. These range from poor maintenance of equipment, inadequate checking of effluence or, in some cases, discharging raw sewage directly into the waters of the port.

Detentions for inadequate sewage treatment are a growing concern for ship operators. In 2018, sewage was also listed as the second most common detainable deficiency in the Tokyo MOU.

MARPOL Annex IV

The legislation that you need to comply with will depend on factors such as the vessel size and type, where it’s operating and when its sewage treatment equipment was installed.

Annex IV is a complex piece of legislation which focusses on the treatment of sewage and the discharge of sewage effluents. We’ve compiled a comprehensive free guide to help clarify all aspects of sewage effluent legislation which applies to commercial shipping vessels.

MARPOL Annex IV applies to ships on international voyages which are over 400 gross tonnage, or those that are less and certified to carry 15 passengers and crew. It contains detailed regulations about the onboard equipment needed to control sewage discharge, the reception facilities that must be provided at ports and terminals, and the requirements for survey and certification.

There are a number of guidelines within MARPOL Annex IV that are worth paying particular attention to in order to avoid detention:

Resolution MEPC.227(64)
This applies to sewage treatment plants installed after 1st January 2016 on ships that are operating outside the ‘special areas’ designated in MARPOL Annex IV (detailed in MEPC.200(62))

Resolution MEPC.159(55)
These are revised guidelines about implementing effluent standards and performance tests for sewage treatment. They apply to treatment plants installed between 1st January 2010 and 1st January 2016 on vessels that operate inside ‘special areas’.

Resolution MEPC.2(VI)
This contains recommendations for international effluent standards and provides more guidance for performance testing in sewage treatment plants. It applies to equipment installed before 1st January 2010 on ships operating in ‘special areas’.

Inspections

During an inspection, the vessel should be able to demonstrate that it meets all the operational requirements of MARPOL Annex IV when it comes to effluents and sewage treatment. The International Safety Management Code also requires crews to be familiar with sewage treatment systems and maintain up-to-date records.

If a defect is discovered, this must be reported to the appropriate authority at the earliest opportunity. Additionally, you can’t make any changes to the ship’s systems without authorisation from the Flag Administration after an inspection has been conducted.

Essentially, you need to make sure that your sewage treatment processes are always compliant or you risk detention.

A Simple Solution

The amount of legislation can be overwhelming – especially as it’s frequently updated and is likely to get even more stringent in the future. Our new Sewage Water Test Kit offers an easy way to make sure your sewage treatment processes meet the regulations.

It provides you with everything you need to carry out regular testing and doesn’t require any formal training. Everything comes in one kit and the test procedures don’t use any complicated equipment – they’re quick and easy and can be performed by anyone. Its design is based on recommendations from the Department of the Environment and the Water Research Centre so you get only the most vital components that make sure you’re compliant.

Carrying out regular tests of your vessel’s sewage will enable you to identify issues much earlier and correct them with the minimum of difficulty. This will save time and money, and increase your productivity.

Don’t risk detention. Make sure your sewage processing is compliant.

A Guaranteed Compliant Test Solution

10 reasons why you need to be connected at sea

Reliable broadband at sea can have a dramatic effect on your running costs and save you money in a variety of different ways. Here we look at 10 reasons why operators need to stay connected…

  1. Efficiency

Being connected means data collection and reporting systems are able to operate in real time. The Internet of Things (IoT) enable sensors on mechanical and digital devices to transfer information over a network without human interaction. This can provide you with precise details about fuel consumption, operating conditions, regulatory compliance and many other performance indicators which can either be managed onboard or transmitted instantly to shore.

  1. Crew welfare

Today’s crews are made up of a multitude of different nationalities working longer hours with much faster turnarounds in ports. The average person touches their smart phone 2,617 times a day so being in an isolated environment without the ability to connect with family and friends can have a debilitating effect on a seafarer’s morale. This is particularly important as crews get younger – millennials’ have grown up in the digital age where connectivity is taken for granted.

A good internet service will allow people to use their own devices in the privacy of their cabins, accessing news services in their native language, internet banking, instant messaging and a variety of sport and entertainment options.

  1. Safety

As well as keeping close contact with onshore support and guidance, you’ll also be able to receive live reports of hazardous situations and get instant access to medical specialists if one of your crew falls ill or is injured.

Additionally, the IoT enables operators to easily monitor potentially dangerous materials and maintain safety equipment by using live cameras and sensors. For example, if a lifebuoy or raft is deployed and this information is automatically transmitted back to shore as soon as it hits the water, then rescue operations can begin much quicker.

  1. Lower Insurance Premiums

The data you receive from onboard sensors can be used to demonstrate your safety record to insurance companies. This can result in significant savings for ship operators.

  1. Less down-time

Data collection and constant monitoring of equipment is much more cost-effective than being suddenly surprised by an unexpected problem which could result in lengthy delays.

If your ship has good connectivity, it will also allow remote access. This means that experts can access computers, software and networks from shore, cutting down on the need for onboard visits when you’re in port.  System maintenance, upgrades and troubleshooting can all be done by remote administration without interrupting your day-to-day operations.

  1. Keep up to date

Updates to navigational charts, weather forecasts and operational procedures can all be done effortlessly with a good internet connection at sea. Additionally, media services like the one offered by KVH will allow shipowners to send video messages easily from headquarters to vessels in the fleet.

The mini-VSAT Broadband  provides exceptional call quality with perfect clarity as well as supporting Wi-Fi calling between cell phones. It’s able to do this by automatic fast switching between its global network using redundant beams for seamless and completely reliable communications wherever you are in the world.

  1. Training

The shipping industry is constantly developing and improving so modernising working practices is an ongoing challenge. New equipment, new processes, new techniques – crews always need to be operating at maximum efficiency. Training can therefore be an issue, taking up valuable time.

Access to learning and professional development is much simpler when there’s a strong internet connection at sea. It allows real-time chat between the shore and the vessel and downloading content isn’t a problem – training materials and large files will be easily accessible with a high-speed data channel.

  1. Attract and retain good crew

As all modern companies know, a lower turnover of staff is more cost-effective and business savvy. You don’t spend as much money on recruitment costs or training which can soon stack up as new ships enter fleets and workforces become older.

Research shows that full access to the internet is an important consideration when seafarers are deciding which vessel to work on – 75% say that this influences their choice. In terms of just how important, 92% of both officers and regular crew said that it has a ‘strong or very strong influence on who they worked for’.

  1. Stay competitive

Operators need to keep up with advances in technology in order to future proof their vessels. They can’t afford to ignore developments in efficiency, cost-effective practices and data collection as their rivals will undoubtedly be using them to give them the edge in their operations.

The maritime industry now understands the important role technology plays with 69% of seafarers seeing big data and analytics as a valuable part of their jobs in the next five years. 75% also see predictive maintenance as an opportunity rather than a threat. This shows just how vital being connected is in today’s environment – operators need to take care not to be left behind.

  1. It can be easy

Getting reliable broadband onboard your vessels is no longer a complicated and expensive process. With the mini-VSAT Broadband package, you can easily monitor bandwidth use, charge seafarers for what they use, manage traffic settings and maintain cyber security.

It’s powered by a high-speed worldwide network and provides expanded global coverage. The plan is simple and flexible with a single monthly subscription and no long-term contract so there’s no commitment – your airtime options can be adapted to fit the needs of your particular operation. If you need to cancel at any point, you won’t be penalised.

Instead of using a whole rack of equipment, this one simple box which can be installed free in selected international ports. There’s also a global support programme with up to five years warranty on parts and labour.

Make sure you’re reducing costs and improving efficiency by using a safe, reliable internet connection at sea.

NO commitment, NO penalties, NO hassle.

Contact us to find out more.