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What is oil in water?

Oil in water is where water has been contaminated by oil. This can be an oily water mix, formed by water coming into contact from oil residue from machinery or from an oil leak or spill. It can be present in different forms; free oil, dispersed oil and dissolved oil.

Rivertrace are world leaders in the measuring of free oil.

In the maritime industry, oil in water is something that is is required to be measured and controlled on all vessels. Uncontrolled levels of oil discharged into the ocean can have a dramatic impact on the environment. Oil cannot dissolve in water and leaves a thick sludge which can endanger marine life and the surrounding environment.

Vessels accumulate different types of oily waste water. The discharging of water from engine room waste (bilge tanks) and from cleaning cargo (slop tanks) is regulated by Marpol Annex 1. This covers all waste water which contain oil and can be discharged overboard at sea. For example, no more than 15 PPM (parts per million) of oil in water can be discharged into the ocean from the bilge tanks.

New technologies over the last thirty years, such as oily water separators, oil content meters and oil discharge monitoring systems (ODME), have been developed to ensure vessels can demonstrate compliance.

The oily water separator is a piece of equipment that is used to separate oil and water mixtures into their separate components. Oil water separators can be designed to treat a variety of contaminants in water, including free floating oil, emulsified oil, dissolved oil and suspended solids.

Contact Rivertrace for more information, or if you require a solution to your maritime oil in water issues.

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