Emergency Delivery System Development for Disinfecting Ballast Water

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
Recipient Type
Federal Government
Start Date
July 2009
End Date
June 2012
Activity Type
Counties Affected
St. Louis
St. Louis
Project Overview

Ballast water - water carried in tanks on ships to help provide stability and aid steering - is likely the single greatest source for introduction of non-native and invasive aquatic species. Ballast water is collected in one body of water and discharged into another body of water, usually large distances apart. At least one new invasive species is found in the Great Lakes every year, with Lake Superior being particularly at risk. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey will test methods of decontaminating ballast water on board a working ship with an emphasis on techniques that can be used in emergencies such as a grounded ship.

Overall Project Outcome and Results
This project was part of Phase III of an overall effort to produce an Emergency Response Guide to Handling Ballast Water to Control Non-Indigenous Species. Phase I ($25,000) was funded by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and resulted in a study plan entitled "Mixing Biocides into Ships' Ballast Water: Efficiency of Novel Methods." Phase II ($185,000) was funded by the Great Lakes Fisheries Trust and studied in-line injection, bulk dye dosing, perforated hose dosing, and passive mixing methods, such as ship's motion.

Similar to Phase II, this effort (Phase III) prepared ballast tank mixing and sampling equipment, field work on a working ship to trial promising ballast mixing methods, and analysis/report. The active methods being studied in Phase III are venturi eductors and air lifts. The outcome will be the incorporation of these methods (if determined to be effective and practical) into a best practices guide for treating the ballast water of ships either:

  • Arriving in port with high risk ballast water,
  • Leaving a port that contains ballast known to be high risk for the destination port, or
  • Grounded and laden with high risk, untreated ballast water.

Project Results Use and Dissemination
Preliminary information from Result 1 and Result 2 activities were shared at the May 18, 2010 Great Lakes Ballast Water Collaborative meeting in Montreal, QC and at the June 1, 2010 Lake Superior Binational Program - Invasive Species Workshop in Duluth, MN.

The final project results consisting of two reports entitled "Emergency Response Guidance for Handling Ballast Water to Control Aquatic Invasive Species" and "Mixing Biocides into Ship's Ballast Water-Great Lakes Bulk Carrier Field Trials" are posted on the National Park Service web site at http://www.nps.gov/isro/naturescience/handling-ballast-water-to-control-non-indigenous-species.htm.

Project Publication:
Emergency Response Guidance for Handling Ballast Water to Control Aquatic Invasive Species (PDF - 2.2 MB)
Mixing Biocides into Ship's Ballast Water: Great Lakes Bulk Carrier Field Trials (PDF - 3.5 MB)

Project Details
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2009, Chp. 143, Sec. 2, Subd. 06b
Appropriation Language

$125,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency for an agreement with the United States Geologic Survey to test the viability of treating ballast water through tank access ports or air vents as a means to prevent the spread of invasive species.

2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
US Geological Survey
Street Address
6505 - 65th Street NE
Zip Code
Administered By
Administered by

520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155