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lunes, 8 de agosto de 2011


The process of treatment of ship-generated sewage is important for the prevention of marine pollution as it has been found out that discharge of large quantities of untreated sewage has negative impacts such as:
• Oxygen depletion in the water due to is consumption by microorganisms during the decomposition of organic matter contained in sewage. This might cause serious problems to marine organisms in areas with long water renewal time as the Mediterranean and other closed seas.
• Pathogens in sewage discharged into the sea pose risk at the marine environment and public health.
• Creation of eutrophication on surface waters because substances contained in sewage cause excessive increase of plant and animal organisms so that the balance of the marine ecosystem is disturbed and eventually recreational are deterred.
• Chemical substances that exist in sewage or are formed during its treatment cause further marine pollution.

To prevent this kind of marine pollution from ships, Annex IV of the International Convention MARPOL 73/78 was adopted at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). It includes regulations for the treatment and discharge of sewage at sea and provides requirements for the survey of ships and the issue of the International Sewage Pollution Prevention Certificate. The revised Annex entered into force on 1st August 2005 for the new ships and it will enter into force on 1st August 2010 for existing ones.

With the aim to remind the seriousness of this kind of pollution and to promote the voluntary implementation of the requirements of the Annex by existing ships; then all members provided a Placard that offers a simple guidelines for the proper operation and maintenance of the Sewage Treatment System. Upon the discretion of the managing companies, the placard was forwarded to the ships to be placed in the area where the sewage treatment system is installed.

Guillermo Parra Avello

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