Since the use of Tributylin (TBT) in hull paint was outlawed in 2001, copper based anti-fouling paint, in conjunction with booster biocides, has become the industry standard.
A leader in its field, Peterhead Port Authority (PPA), has been servicing the fishing industry for over 400 years. Historically, all wash water from their hull cleaning process has been collected in storage tanks. This wash water was found to contain as much as 20 milligrams per litre of copper – the UK standard for the marine environment is 0.5 milligrams per litre.
PPA needed a solution that would reduce the copper levels in their wastewater to compliant standards. Their only option previously was to transport the water for treatment to a waste management facility off-site, incurring high costs, increased safety risks and carbon emissions.
The graph below shows the results of the trial as Peterhead Port.
PPA engaged with SEM to find a long-term alternative solution – our DRAM organic filtration technology. DRAM filtration uses biological, chemical and physical interactions to remove copper, zinc, ammonium, arsenic, mercury, aluminium, lead, cobalt and other heavy metals from waste waters. The filtration process involves microbial action combined with various forms of sorption.
This ground-breaking project proved the efficiency of the DRAM filtration system under field conditions. Copper levels in the wash water were reduced by 98%. PPA were then able to discharge hull wash water on-site directly into the harbour in an environmentally responsible manner.
DRAM’s patented filtration technology is by no means limited to the ports sector. From galvanisers and distilleries, to industrial units and fish processors, DRAM can be used to remove a raft of contaminants, enabling you to safely discharge ‘waste’ water on-site, saving on haulage costs and shrinking your carbon footprint in the process.