Ships’ BWM and operations in Freshwater: why is BIO-SEA the best solution?

General context of ballast water management in freshwater waterways

Shipowners are facing the complexity of choosing the right BWMS for their ships operating in freshwater waterways like the Great Lakes.
Indeed, BWMS based on electro-chlorination need high salinity (>15 PSU) to effectively work while holding time can be required before de-ballasting with almost all UV-based BWMS. So, the first ones do not suit the freshwater and for UV technology, except for BIO SEA, performance of some UV systems increase the operation time.

BIO-SEA by BIO-UV Group provides the best BWMS for Freshwater (i.e. Great Lakes) operations 

bio-sea bwm systems

  • IMO & USCG Type approved
  • 50 to 1400m3/h (per system) under USCG mode
BIO-SEA BWMS ensures reliability, flexibility and efficiency and those are the reasons why world leading shipping companies have been choosing it.



Ballast water treatment aims at eliminating (USCG) or rendering harmless (IMO) the organisms to avoid discharging invasive species in the environment.

Treatment technologies provide a certain dose of energy (UV radiation, heat…) or active substances (chlorine, biocide…) to kill the cells, and the rapidity of the effect depends on the amount of energy or active substance : the greatest dose you have, the quicker is the effect.
In order to balance between efficacy and operating costs, manufacturers of BWMS have chosen a reasonable dose to apply, and this implies a corresponding delay for the killing effect.
As an example, for UV-based technologies the most common approach is the inactivation of the organisms by making them incapable of reproducing, yet they are still living for hours or days. That is why holding time may be required to make sure the organisms’ cells are damaged enough and are counted as dead in the discharge.
With a higher UV dose, immediate killing can be reached, with a lower (or no) holding time.
For chemical treatments, parameters such as kinetics of dispersion, temperature and/or concentration of substances may lead to different required holding times.