MARPOL 73/78 Laws Guiding OWS

Oil water separator ( OWS ) is a useful tool for separating oily bilge waters to avoid water pollution.

On this article, we are going to look into MARPOL 73/78 laws guiding OWS. Lately, 70’s, most ocean-going ship directly pump out oily waters into the ocean, which eventually flow down to the short side, creating a large pollution also eliminates marine animals etc. The MARPOL 73/78 Annex I law which came into force in 1973 created commendable records by reducing the act of polluting the waters.

This law which was amended in 1978 added more positive and advanced technology to help the ship operators to control the water pollution.  All seagoing vessels were equipped with OWS, to help separate the oils mixed with water before pumping overboard. It was also added with penalties to any ship that engages in pumping oils, chemicals, etc which may cause water pollution.

How the inspectors read information from OWS?

These laws were somehow manipulated by most ship operators by showing working OWS but never use them. More advance in the equipment was added in 1993, which adds micro sim, three ways valves, etc.

The micro sim records and saves all operations, which were carried out via OWS. This gives more opportunities for the port control inspectors to check operations carried out with this equipment.

Following the oil record book, which should be carefully recorded as per the law recommended way. This includes recording each tank level, time & date of transfer, the officer who was in charge during the operation, a period in when OWS was use, location, etc.

What is new in the system?

Recently it’s very important and dangerous for any ship operator to pump out oily water higher above 15 PPM. Previously, a test of this equipment was carried out only on checking the 15ppm alarm but in the recent time.

After 1993, inspectors can be able to check the equipment by recycling the water through the help of a three-way valve. This help in passing the water from the tank to tank without sending it overboard while in port.

It’s important for every ship officers to read and understand the IMO resolution MEPC 60(33) for oil content meters in accordance with MARPOL 73/78 Annex I. This will save you from landing yourself into jail or fines.

We hope this article advance you and useful to your career at sea. You can share, recommend, leave comments for more information. It’s our world, we all need to join hands to keep it clean.

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