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Ballast Water Management Systems

DHI provides biological performance testing for type approval of ballast water management systems (BWMS) according to the requirements by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the United States Coast Guard.

Email Address
DHI Ballast Water Centre,
Agern Allé 5,
DK-2970 Hørsholm,
Fax Number

DHI provides biological performance testing for type approval of ballast water management systems (BWMS) according to the requirements by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the United States Coast Guard.

The IMO flag state and the US authorities are represented by classification societies or independent laboratories. DHI performs type approval testing of BWMS in collaboration with three classification societies and independent laboratories that include DNV GL, Lloyd’s Register and Korean Register.

Ballast water testing and technology development

More than 20 manufacturers of BWMS have been testing their systems at DHI, and several have returned for type approval tests of new models or alternative filtration technologies. The value of DHI’s uncompromised independency is clear: the type approval testing is the sole independent verification of the biological treatment efficacy before the BWMS is purchased by ship-owners.

The biological performance test is not only providing the basis for the granting of type approval by authorities. The results of the test also document the technical properties, treatment capability and limitations of the system, which is valuable information for the ship-owner.

DHI has a ballast water test facility in Hundested, Denmark.
Several BWMS can be tested simultaneously at DHI’s test facility.
The DHI test facility has culture ponds, visible in the bottom left of the image.
DHI has laboratory facilities for the cultivation of algae.
View from the test facility in Denmark.
The main pump at the test facility in Denmark.
Shipboard testing in Algeciras, Spain.
Collection of samples during shipboard test.
Counting of bacteria in ballast water sample.
The final challenge water prior to land-based testing.

Land-based and shipboard testing

The type approval of BWMS is based on tests of treatment efficacy conducted at a land-based test facility and after installation of the BWMS on board a vessel.

DHI’s land-based test facility in Hundested, Denmark, is highly flexible, and five BWMS can be connected to the test facility at the same time. The land-based test facility includes one source tank with a volume of 750m³ and six retention tanks, each with a volume of 250m³, that permit parallel testing of BWMS. The main pump at the test facility operates with a flow rate of 200m³/h to 600m³/h.

DHI conducts shipboard tests on vessels all over the world. The large team offers the possibility to initiate shipboard testing with short notice and to meet changes in the vessel schedule.

Type approval for ballast water management system

DHI understands that time to market is of utmost importance for manufacturers seeking type approval of their BWMS. The duration of the type approval testing programme may exceed a year.

DHI is highly efficient in all steps the testing programme. Pilot testing is available to help set the performance claim of the BWMS, as well as the capacity for completing type approval testing, and the delivery of high-quality test reports according to the agreed timelines. DHI has completed a high amount of type approval tests according to US requirements.

DHI’s type approval tests of BWMS are performed in accordance with ISO 17025 and are accredited by the Danish Accreditation Fund.

Customer-focused BWMS type approval

Customers include BWMS manufacturers from Asia, Europe and North America. DHI’s ballast water team is truly international and includes several nationalities from Asia and Europe. DHI strives to deliver the best service to customers and the diversity of the team helps to do exactly that.

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  • DHI Ballast Water Centre

    Our Ballast Water Centre offers biological performance evaluation of ballast water management systems (BWMS) according to International Maritime Organization (IMO) and United States Coast Guard (USCG) standards.

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DHI Ballast Water Centre
Agern Allé 5
DK-2970 Hørsholm

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Fax Number