We work with the Maritime Environmental Resource Center to further the efficient and effective transition of ballast water treatment technologies from concept and prototype to certification and routine operational use.
We work with the Maritime Environmental Resource Center (MERC) to evaluate individual ballast water management system’s performance and efficacy against a range of environmental conditions. MERC is a Maryland initiative that provides facilities, expertise, information, and decision tools to address key environmental issues facing the international maritime industry. MERC’s primary focus is to evaluate the mechanical and biological efficacy, costs, and logistical aspects of ballast water management systems. These research services are offered aboard a mobile test platform (pictured) perfect for testing ballast water treatment technologies. Our scientists carry out a very high level of quality control and assurance, which is critical for ensuring that only the best technologies are approved for us in The United States.
SERC’s role has been to evaluate the efficacy of ballast water treatment systems by conducting biological analysis of zooplankton and phytoplankton collected in the tanks. We are an independent scientific collaborator to provide technical consultation on experimental and sampling designs used to test the efficacy of alternative ballast water treatment systems and in no way endorse any particular ballast water technology. In these experiments we compared the number of organisms in the tanks before and after the treatment system was run, and compared these results with results from untreated control tanks to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment in killing or removing organisms. For a treatment system to be effective it must be able to reduce the number of plankton in the tank to an acceptable level.
Testing and evaluation services done through MERC ensure that ballast water treatment systems are designed to prevent the transport of non-native aquatic species and meet International Maritime Organization and United States Coast Guard ballast water discharge standards, as well as other maritime environmental technologies standards. Our goal is to work with MERC to further the efficient and effective transition of treatments and technologies from concept and prototype to certification and routine operational use.