An educational article

How does an oil in water monitor work?

by Gillian Lovering

Oil in water monitors or oil in water analysers can be used to detect and measure oil content in water. On a vessel this can be known as the oil content monitor (OCM).

An oil in water monitor can use a range of measurement technologies to suit different applications. These include Scattered Light, Microscopy, Flourescence and Ultra Sonics. For more information about the different types of technologies please visit our Smart Technology, Smart Thinking page, which contains more details about Water Quality Monitoring.

Download the guide to oil in water monitoring & discharge

On vessels, the Oil content monitor (OCM) is fitted to the oily water separator and is responsible for ensuring that any amount of oil in the water over 15PPM is alarmed and prevented from being discharged in the sea or river.

These oil content meters work using a light scattering measurement principle. The sample is passed through an optical cell and the light scatter algorithms will calculate the level of oil content, measured by PPM (parts per million). Depending on the version of software, alarms will be generated over a set tolerance (15PPM or 5PPM for some vessels).

All data is recorded in accordance with the legislation and made available for inspections at port to demonstrate compliance.

Contact Rivertrace today and see how we can help your vessels and maritime business stay compliant.