Onboard Drinking Water: Martek Marine Advises

Monday, September 23, 2013

Martek Marine, manufacturer of the drinking water testing kit, Drinksafe, is advising owners to ensure that they are aware of the requirements of port state control and flag state water testing requirements in response to the Maritime Labor Convention 2006.

The introduction of MLC 2006 heralded a significant step forward for the quality of drinking water for ship’s crew defining that “frequent documented inspections” be performed which is why Martek developed Drinksafe to have more tests than any other kit on the market.

Martek’s Sales Director, Steve Coulson, explains that “Drinksafe contains 1,800 tests, more than any other on the market providing a comparative cost per test that is approximately 50% lower than the closest comparative test kit.

Bacteria and pathogens that can grow in poorly maintained drinking water include E.coli, Norovirus, Salmonella and Legionella bacteria, which can lead to Legionnaires’ disease, a pneumonia-like illness which can be fatal. The importance of avoiding these bacteria is particularly heightened on a vessel which could be days from the nearest port and for which delays or route changes for medical assistance could cost thousands of dollars. Factors which can promote the growth of bacteria and toxins in a ship’s water supply include limited flow rate, tank or pipe corrosion, alkalinity or acidity and temperature. Often, these problems occur together, accelerating the growth of bacteria.

The only standard kit guaranteed to meet all legislation and flag state requirements, Martek said,  is their Drinksafe which is easy to use and requires no calibration, saving unnecessary spending on calibrations and saving crew from complicated and time consuming procedures. Drinksafe does not use glass ampoules or messy sample bags, and is robust enough for use on board as well as light, waterproof and small enough for simple stowage when not in use. Multi-language instructional videos are included to explain the testing process.


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