Testing facility for ballast water management systems (BWMS)
Since 2013, Wageningen Marine Research has operated a testing facility for ballast water management systems (BWMS) in Den Helder. We offer tests for IMO and USCG type approval as well as R&D for your ballast water management system. The facility is uniquely situated near the Wadden Sea estuary, providing easy access to marine (North Sea), brackish (Wadden Sea) and fresh (Lake IJssel) water. Through the innovative ‘Feedtank’ cultivation system, we ensure reliable and predictable access to test water from March until October. Any toxicity tests required for certification are performed in-house.
Why treat ballast water?
Invasive species in ballast water
Ballast Water Management Convention
How does a BWMS work?
Our solutions for your BWMS
Complete package of fresh, brackish, and marine water tests
Wageningen Marine Research is part of the Control Union Certification Independent Laboratory (CUC-IL). USCG type approval testing is conducted with the supervision of CUC-IL.
Wageningen Marine Research offers manufacturers a complete package of testing and dossier preparation for the type approval of your BWMS. The evaluation follows the requirements of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and/or the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) protocol.
In addition to the standardised type approval tests, Wageningen Marine Research also provides R&D testing of prototypes and stress-testing of systems under rare circumstances, by which we finetune the challenge conditions per your requirements.
Our services and work methods
Preparation of dossiers (G9 Basic Approval en Final Approval)
Wageningen Marine Research can assist you in preparing the G9 Basic Approval and Final Approval dossier for the IMO per the GESAMP-BWWG methodology, which is required for chemical-based systems.
Pilot system tests
Wageningen Marine Research can perform smaller-scale R&D tests of your pilot system to determine how effective the system is under different circumstances and when appropriate, how improvements could be implemented. The Basic Approval tests can also be performed during these pilot tests.
Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) testing
Under IMO G9 guidelines, ballast water systems that use a biocide require a Risk Assessment, using toxicity testing, during the pilot (Basic Approval) and during type approval testing (Final Approval). Wageningen Marine Research can perform these Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) tests and coordinate the associated analysis of the Disinfection ByProducts (DBPs) to complete the risk assessment. Under certain conditions, the IMO G9 risk assessment is also accepted by US Coast Guard.
Land-based testing: Type Approval (IMO BWMS Code)
We provide the full scale of land-based tests with any type of water for type approval of your ballast water management system. For shipboard testing, we often collaborate with GoConsult and DavidConsult (GCDC).
Research and development
We can also determine the efficacy limits of a BWMS. We test systems using a series of extra challenging water characteristics such as high Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) or suspended solids concentrations, winter conditions, or extreme plankton concentrations. Although it is not required under current legislation, this may yield valuable information for producers and potential customers.
Our testing facility may also be used to test the effectiveness of filters and filtration systems and to conduct comparison tests between different types of filters.
Ballast water testing facility specifications
Expertise and experience
Since 2006, a team of experts at Wageningen Marine Research has been involved with the risk assessment of ballast water treatment systems that make use of active ingredients as established in IMO guideline G9. In that time, several BWMS have been tested using different bioanalyses.
From 2009, a full-scale test facility is operational, providing land-based efficacy tests in accordance with the IMO BWMS Code and USCG ETV protocol.
Our team of experts in the area of ecology, biology, and ecotoxicology will ensure that all requirements in IMO and/or USCG guidelines are satisfied. Our team works closely together with accredited laboratories for chemical and bacteriological analyses.
In 2020, the following dossiers have been completed and approved, for which we carried out the land-based tests in cooperation with CUC-IL:
- Kuraray, Microfade II: IMO & USCG type approval
- JFE Engineering Corporation, BallastAce: USCG type approval