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  • Bilge water

    A question mostly aimed at the engineers... Our oily water separator hasn't been running since i signed on to my current vessel (over two months ago). From what i gather it doesn't work.. and the first engineer doesn't know how to fix it. I have heard stories about the first discharging untreated bilge water straight over-board, a not so well kept secret amongst the engine crew, is it possible he is doing this? I know we can also transfer bilge water to two heating tanks where the water can be evaporated out and separated this way but that way of doing things is quite slow, it really doesn't add up.. What do you suggest in a situation like this?

  • #2
    Hrmmm, I don't know the mechanical side of things, one of the engineers would know better, but if you have genuine concerns you can contact your companies DPA, their may also be a "whistle blowing" scheme within your company which will be detailed within the companies SMS, and I suppose depending on the relationship you have with the crew on board you could ask?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
      A question mostly aimed at the engineers... Our oily water separator hasn't been running since i signed on to my current vessel (over two months ago). From what i gather it doesn't work.. and the first engineer doesn't know how to fix it. I have heard stories about the first discharging untreated bilge water straight over-board, a not so well kept secret amongst the engine crew, is it possible he is doing this? I know we can also transfer bilge water to two heating tanks where the water can be evaporated out and separated this way but that way of doing things is quite slow, it really doesn't add up.. What do you suggest in a situation like this?
      If the OWS is out of action, then normally Flag (via class) are informed as it would require a dispensation and it would be incredibly unusual for a dispensation to last for two months (usually you get one unless your vessel is somewhere like WAF). What exactly is wrong with the OWS? Is it the detector cell or the separator itself?

      Without knowing the actual specifics then it is difficult to answer to be totally honest. I've not heard of heating tanks where the water is evaporated out before to leave the oil residue behind, but maybe Chiefy or Clanky have? Either way, I'd recommend doing what Martyboy has said. Ask the Chief on board about the OWS, as the ORB paperwork is his responsibility and I doubt the primo can be bunging it overboard without the Chief knowing about it. Would it be possible for you to forward me a PM and we can see what exactly is going on and where you are and what not.
      I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

      All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

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      • #4
        Evaporation is normal, have a look at the ORB and see if there is a record of this being done. Check how much is in the bilge tank every day and if it has gone down then check the ORB to see if there is any record of where it has gone.
        Go out, do stuff

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        • #5
          P&O Jarvis class had a class of ships that had 2 special sludge taanks each....10m3 or so BUT had massive steam coils in them and fans fitted on top, their purpose....to boil out all the water from the sludge we made.

          Fill the tank and open steam, once tank >100deg then all water gone, drop to main WO tank....and repeat.

          we kept lo seperate from FO sludge and use the FO in the boiler while in port.

          It was possible to put bilge water up their too and keep the total down...........

          That said also been on ships where we steamed out bilge tanks to lower the water content....all allowed and legal assuming you ill in the ORB properly
          Trust me I'm a Chief.

          Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
          Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
          No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.


          Twitter:- @DeeChief

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          • #6
            As a cadet, ask those who are mentoring you on the ship, DO NOT go around them. As chances are you might not understand what they are doing. Depending the type of ship, you can go a very long time with out using the oily water seperator, especailly if you are discharging it ashore when in port.

            If they openly tell you that they are pumping it over the side, and witness them doing it, it would be worth taking up with the Chief Engineer if you feel confident and feel he is unaware, or if you do not trust him, pass on an e-mail to the flag state of the vessel (depending its flag). BUT this is a last resort as a Cadet, and you must be certain you have seen them pumpin it over the side. You do not want to hang inoccent people.

            Just asking something simple like, can you show me the oil record book for my portfolio is better then looking in secret.

            If they do turn against you, immediately contact your training officer, and explain to them in full.

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