Water is a vital component in the effective operation of every vessel in the maritime industry. Whether it’s potable water for seafarers, cleaning and showering or water for boilers and cooling systems, both the water itself and the infrastructure that it relies upon require the use of efficient water treatment to ensure safe and continuous operations at sea. This is where marine water solutions are considered of vast importance for the maritime industry and its thousands of vessels operating worldwide.
Although it can be difficult to provide at sea, providing passengers and seafarers with fresh, clean water is an essential service for the maritime industry. Marine water solutions such as water filtration and other water treatment services have several advantages for the maritime industry. Perhaps most important, it ensures everyone has access to potable water at sea and contributes greatly to the physical and emotional wellbeing of seafarers.
What are marine water solutions? And why are they so important to maritime businesses?
What are marine water solutions?
As the name suggests, marine water solutions are the provision of water at sea, including drinking water. In the maritime industry, most vessels and ships can now generate their own water making the onboard filtration systems incredibly important in maintaining the physical and mental wellbeing of seafarers.
In the past, onboard water solutions were produced through evaporation meaning filtration was limited to salt water intake. Water could also be loaded onto the vessel at a port. However, in this day and age, most vessels produce their own water at sea.
For example, reverse osmosis (RO) water producers have become increasingly popular and are being installed aboard a growing number of owners’ and operators’ vessels. In addition to the RO membrane, the majority of shipboard RO freshwater systems also contain pre and post-filters and treatment components that guarantee a steady supply of fresh water for the crew and any passengers that may be present.
Other benefits of modern marine water solutions for maritime businesses include:
- Cost-effective – Modern marine water solutions are more cost effective than traditional solutions, with a short return on investment and leasing options available. This is particularly relevant when considering the provision of reusable products such as steel water bottles and the costs associated with the provision of plastic water bottles.
- Safer – Modern marine water solutions provide safer drinking water for seafarers, which can improve physical and emotional wellbeing at sea.
- Sustainable – Many modern water solutions give maritime businesses more options when it comes to sustainability. Choosing reusable containers and bottles for example instead of single-use plastic is more environmentally friendly and can help build more trust with your customers.
Modern water filtration and crew wellbeing
Although it can be difficult at sea, modern water filtration methods and other marine water solutions offer the maritime industry a variety of advantages. The most notable is the provision of fresh, hygienically clean water to seafarers and passengers.
Of course, the most obvious advantage of water filtration is that it removes contaminants by eliminating potentially harmful impurities such as chlorine, disinfection by-products and even heavy metals like mercury, lead and arsenic while leaving behind necessary minerals like magnesium, fluoride, calcium, and zinc. These nutrients are essential at sea, which is important for working vessels where the crew’s physical and mental health is crucial.
When it comes to environmental sustainability, the marine industry hasn’t always been the subject of the intense inspection. However, the industry has come under increased scrutiny in recent years as it is a major source of global carbon emissions. Contributing to 3% of global carbon emissions every year, the sector is coming under increasing pressure to adopt more sustainable practices.
As a result, a lot of owners/operators are turning to sustainable water solutions both at sea and in ports. For example, many are choosing to provide their crews with reusable containers and steel water bottles rather than resorting to single-use plastic. In doing so, the industry can minimise plastic waste and eliminates the need for barges to lift pallets of single-use plastic products. This is reducing the carbon footprint of the sector and providing a more dependable, affordable alternative to traditional practices.
Of course, reusable containers can be also problematic. Like single-use plastic products, many reusable containers and bottles are made using carbon fuels which is just as resource-dependent as plastic. Toxins can also leach into the water, which can put the physical well-being of both seafarers and passengers at risk. The solution, therefore, may lie in the implementation of stainless steel water bottles which are far more environmentally friendly than other modern reusable materials.
So what are marine water solutions? And why are they so important to maritime businesses?
Water is a crucial element for the efficient operation of the maritime industry. To ensure safe and ongoing operations at sea, the water itself and the infrastructure that depends on it must be treated effectively. This applies to potable water for seafarers, water for cleaning and showering, as well as water for boilers and cooling systems.
Although challenging to provide at sea, it’s critical to provide passengers and seafarers alike with clean, fresh water. As a result, the maritime industry benefits greatly from modern water filtration techniques as well as other marine water solutions. The contribution of marine water solutions to the operations of maritime businesses is of the utmost importance and should not be overlooked.