The Bilge Monitoring Mastertrack588 is your tamper proof system, it’s control and monitoring is used in connection with the ship's oil filtering equipment where it monitors the oil content of the mechanism to ensure the bilge water discharge from a ship is in accordance with MARPOL 73/78, i.e. it does not exceed the legal limit. The unit is required for vessels above 10.000 gross tons when operating in certain areas. The Mastertrack588 bilge monitor is thus your compliance tool.
Tamper Proof Bilge Monitoring
The system is essentially a compliance tool and a vital component with regards to securing the maritime environment. The Mastertrack588 functions via a control and monitoring mechanism to ensure the bilge water discharge from a ship is in accordance with MARPOL 73/78. (link til paragraph)
The Mastertrack588 bilge monitor and alarm is installed in the engine room. More accurately it is set up for the monitoring and control of the discharge from the vessel's oily water separator, ensuring that the oil content does not exceed the legal limit of 15 (PPM (parts per million). The purpose of the Mastertrack588 is to prevent unlawful discharge caused by a fault in the 15ppm alarm or automatic stopping device, or by someone tampering (accidentally or purposefully) with the 15ppm alarm and automatic stopping devise. The bilge monitor also provides a tamper proof record of the actual discharge (time, place, oil content, water volume) to use as proof for PSC (Port State Control) that you have not made any illegal discharge. Considering the high fines for equipment deficiencies not to mention illegal discharges in US waters, and the cost of excess time normally spent waiting for PSC to scrutinize the bilge water discharge arrangements and how the crew is using them, it seems to be worth the money to install a Mastertrack588.
How it works
The Mastertrack588 includes a stainless steel cage with a sealed door. The chief engineer possesses the key and when locked, the system cannot be tampered with. It ensures that only water with an oil content of less than 15 ppm is discharged overboard.
The bilge water from the oily water separator is pumped through the system and analyzed by an oil content meter. A flow switch secures that there is flow through the oil content meter and a flow meter measures the accumulated volume discharge overboard.
The three way valve will immediately redirect the bilge water back to the bilge water holding tank if
the door is opened
the oil content exceeds the legal limit of 15 parts per million (PPM)
the flow to the oil content meter is lost
All components inside the system are connected to a digital recorder mounted in the engine control room, which typically logs every 10 minutes: the oil content, three way valve position, flow through oil content meter, accumulated discharged volume, rejected volume, door position, alarms together with the vessel’s geographical position (GPS) and time.
To maintain an overview the accumulated values are shown on the main screen of the Mastertrack588 (resettable): the total amount of discharge water in addition to the total amount of rejected water.
All data is logged and stored in an encrypted format. It can be presented to any official body, e.g. Port State Control, Coast Guard, and Vetting or Classification Society Officials to provide the necessary proof of compliance.
The Mastertrack588 System
The locked cabinet of the system includes:
Stainless steel cabinet with locked door
The 15 ppm bilge alarm
Three way valve
Communication unit with electronic logging
Paper logging as an option
Rules and Regulations for 15 ppm Bilge Alarms
According to MARPOL Annex I, ships of 400 gross tons and above must be fitted with a bilge water separator, and on ships of 10000 gross tons and above the bilge water separator must additionally be fitted with a 15 ppm bilge alarm, as for instance the Mastertrack588. However, ships between 400 and 10000 gross tons are also required to have a 15 ppm bilge alarm in order to be allowed to operate the bilge water separator when the ship is in one of the following "Special Areas" as defined by MARPOL.
The Mediterranean Sea
The Black Sea
The Baltic Sea and North West European waters
The Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden
The Arabian Gulf
The Oman area of the Arabian Sea.
For details see Reg.14 & 15 of MARPOL Annex I (Consolidated Edition 2006).
Ships built before 2005 may operate with equipment meeting the requirements of older IMO Rules, but ships built in 2005 and later must be fitted with bilge separators and 15ppm bilge alarms type approved According to MEPC.107(49).
For details see paragraph 1.3 of MEPC.107(49).