NPS ferry is first dedicated Great Lakes vessel fitted with BWT system

JULY 3, 2012 — A 1958-built National Parks Service ferry has become the first dedicated Great Lakes vessel to be supplied with a ballast water treatment system (BWT), according to Hyde Marine, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Calgon Carbon Corporation (NYSE: CCC).

A Hyde Guardian Model HG60 BWT has been installed on the 128 passenger ferry, which providesservice to Isle Royale National Park in Michigan. The 165 foot long Ranger III is the largest piece of moving equipment owned and operated by the National Park Service (NPS).

NPS is currently exempt from having to install a ballast treatment system on this vessel because it operates in one captain of the port zone under USCG rules and has the freshwater fleet exemption from EPA (33 CFR 151.2015 (b) and EPA VGP 2.2.3.11).

The NPS conducted a review of available type approved treatment systems and voluntarily installed the Hyde Guardian to meet multiple objectives, including:

  • Protection of Park waters from accidental aquatic invasive species transfers during ballast discharges from the Ranger III
  • Prevention of zebra mussel introduction via the Ranger III from Park waters to the Houghton Shipping canal where none are currently detected
  • Producing a report on IMO ballast technologies available for small ships
  • Support of research and testing to enhance the ability for small ships to implement BWT and provide a test platform for compliance test development

According to NPS superintendent Phyllis Green, the BWT installation is a result of support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

"We are pleased that the Ranger III is the first commercial freshwater vessel in the Great Lakes with a permanent BWT system on-board," she said.

Ongoing support from the GRLI is expected to help NPS and other agencies continue to find treatment solutions for the larger ships of the Great Lakes freshwater fleet.

Treatment system selection was based on IMO type approval, ability to operate in the fresh water and cold conditions of Lake Superior, as well as a number of technical and ship specific details. UV based treatment was found most suitable because the short route between the mainland and the Park would provide insufficient treatment holding time for many biocides. The Hyde Guardian System was successfully installed with minimal disruption to the ship's schedule and without having to drydock the vessel.

The chemical-free Hyde Guardian is comprised of automatic backwashing depth filtration and powerful UV disinfection. The filter and UV are used during ballasting, and the water receives a second dose of UV prior to discharge. The Hyde Guardian system has a compact, modular design with low power consumption, low-pressure drop, and simple, fully automatic operation

Hyde Guardian received IMO Type Approval in April 2009 and was the first BWT System accepted into the U.S. Coast Guard's Shipboard Technology Evaluation Program (STEP).  Calgon Carbon's UV Technology Division and Hyde Marine received ISO 9001:2008 accreditation from the registrar Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and the ANAB National Accreditation Board in 2010.