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Regrowth Study - Ballast Water Treatment

Since no single ballast water treatment technology is 100% effective against all marine organisms then it is logical to assume that if ballast water is treated during uptake, there will be a recolonisation by bacteria during the ballast voyage. The issue is therefore not one of "if regrowth" but "when regrowth".

Depending on the initial strength, pH, temperature and contaminants (heavy metals and suspended solids) [Ref. 56], the Sodium Hypochlorite generated in an EC based BWT system can disappear in as little as 3 days [Ref. 18].

The minimum reactivation time registered for bacteria surviving chlorination, UV and ozone are 24 hrs [Ref. 15], 18 hrs [Ref. 12] and 3 days [Ref. 8], respectively. Considering that active bacteria can take ~12hrs to grow after an increase in food supply [Ref. 39], then zooplankton populations inside a ballast tank filled with treated water could potentially begin to regrow within 5 days, possibly reaching population levels that exceed IMO and USCG discharge standards within a few days after that.
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by Dr Carolina Grob, March 2016
Ballast Water Treatment: The Regrowth Problem

The issue of the potential for in-tank organism regrowth after ballast water treatment was raised with IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim during last week's Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting in London (MEPC 69).

Equipment manufacturer Coldharbour International wrote a letter to Lim, others attending the meeting and media, highlighting "an invisible threat to the smooth operation of numerous vessels post Ballast Water Management Convention ratification. A threat that has not been given the attention it deserves."

While thousands of ships can have ballast journeys of over a week, the Convention's current testing protocols only require water is held for five days to check system efficacy. The U.S. Coast Guard's equivalent testing protocol for type approval only calls for a holding time of one day, states the letter.

Regenerated organisms, at higher levels than those set by the Convention could therefore be discharged into new ecosystems despite the proper use of a lot of the presently approved ballast water treatment systems.

"The industry must become officially aware of the extent to which the smooth operation of  tonnage will be affected so that remedial solutions can be found in time, where necessary," said Panos Smyroglou, Chief Commercial Officer of Coldharbour International.
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The Maritime Executive, April, 2016
Is the below new NEWS?
No, these date back to 2016.

Nevertheless, unless IMO's and USCG's legislators and testing protocols address this issue soon, it will make headlines after IMO's and/or USCG's grace period is over.

Ship owners particularly of large tonnage that often have long ballast voyages
will be the focus of PSC, even if they have committed no wrong doing; they fitted a "certified" in-line BWT System, in the hope of being compliant.
BALLAST Water
and the PSC