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14 February, 2018 - 02:54 By Tony Quested

Cambridge technology combatting marine pollution

Technology from Cambridge company Bactest has been adopted by a global ballast water treatment system manufacturer to help prevent potentially lethal pollution being caused by ships entering port.

Erma First is using Bactest’s compliance testing toolkit Speedy Breedy SeaSure along with its proprietary technology to test ballast water prior to discharge. Speedy Breedy SeaSure is suitable for the onboard testing of bacteria, phytoplankton, residual chemicals and salinity. 

Ballast water discharges by ships can have a negative impact on the marine environment and is now controlled by a formal, global convention. Cruise ships, large tankers, and bulk cargo carriers use a huge amount of ballast water, which is often taken on in the coastal waters in one region after ships discharge wastewater or unload cargo, and discharged at the next port of call, wherever more cargo is loaded. 

Ballast water discharge typically contains a variety of biological materials, including animal matter, viruses, and bacteria. These often include non-native, nuisance, exotic species that can cause extensive ecological and economic damage to aquatic ecosystems, along with potentially fatal human health issues.

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