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Great Waters Research Collaborative Awards a Grant to Study the Performance of a Ballast Water Management System in The Great Lakes

Logos: University of Wisconsin, US Department of Transportation Maritime Administration and Great Waters Research Collaborative

The Lake Superior Research Institute - Great Waters Research Collaborative and the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration awarded a grant for work under the Great Lakes Ballast Water Research and Development Plan. Grant funding comes from the GLRI. The objective of this two year project is to evaluate the performance of a ballast water management system with respect to the reduction of spores and other propagating material from aquatic nuisance species through treatment of ballast water. If effective, this system will reduce the environmental and economic risk from the spread of aquatic nuisance species in the Great Lakes.

The VanEnkevort Tug and Barge (VTB) and DESMI Ocean Guard team have installed the DESMI Ocean Saver Compact Clean 1500 UV Ballast Water Management System, a U.S. Coast Guard type-approved system for treatment of ballast water on board the VTB vessel. This will be the first time its performance will be assessed in the Great Lakes, where water quality (e.g., low salinity, low temperature, high turbidity) is markedly different than in oceans. During uptake of ballast water, the system will both filter the water and treat it with ultraviolet light. As ballast water is discharged, a second ultraviolet treatment will be applied. The Collaborative will analyze ballast water from each step of the treatment process to assess the performance of the ballast water management system in Great Lakes conditions, helping to determine whether this technology can function effectively in these waters.

The project is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2022.