Ballast Water Treatment System

New UV ballast water treatment system means future US navy vessels can sail anywhere in the world.

30 June 2021


Ballast water treatment system: US Navy


UV-based ballast water treatment specialist BIO-UV and US engineering and servicing partner, The Columbia Group, are developing a ballast water treatment system for the United States Navy. The contract follows an international call for tenders to develop a military version of a UV ballast water disinfection system to equip future US Navy ships.

Ultraviolet light is used instead of harmful chemicals to sterilise ballast water, which can be either fresh or salt water. Ballast water is discharged by ships typically when they reach their destination port, which in some cases can have a negative impact on organisms in the marine environment.

BIO-UV is one of a small global group of companies that have developed a UV-based water disinfection system certified to both IMO (International Maritime Organization) and USCG (United States Coast Guard) type approval requirements, which look at factors such as the viability of micro-organisms in the water and whether they can reproduce or not.

This dual certification provides BIO-UV Group with a major advantage over its competitors by enabling it to guarantee shipowners that their vessels will be able to sail anywhere in the world and in particular in US coastal waters.


Ballast water treatment and miitary vessels 

Until now, military vessels have operated outside the scope of the USCG Standards for Living Organisms in Ship's Ballast Water Discharged in US Waters regulation. The ruling governs the management of ballast water in American waters. However, future American military vessels will now need to be equipped with ballast water treatment systems.

Working with The Columbia Group, BIO-UV Group will design a robust ballast water treatment system for ballast pump capacities from 300m3/h up to 1,000m3/h. Winning the tender, BIO-UV Group demonstrated its experience acquired with the French and other navies. The company recently secured contracts to supply the Belgian and Dutch navies with ballast water treatment solutions for installation to 12 mine-hunting vessels.

For almost 20 years, BIO-UV Group has been designing, manufacturing and marketing ultraviolet light (UV-C) water treatment technologies for a multitude of industrial applications. In 2011, it added the treatment of ship ballast water to its range. The company’s product range is designed and produced at its own purpose-built facility in Lunel, France,