Sewage disposal from ships in Dutch ports

Ships may discharge treated sewage in Dutch Ports

Change of national legislation: amendment ‘Scheepsafvalstoffenbesluit en –regeling’

Discharge of wastewater from galleys, messrooms, laundries, pantries (gray water) and sewage (black water) was forbidden within sea ports and shipping lanes leading thereto. From July 1, 2020 this is possible under certain conditions.

The Convention on the collection, deposit and reception of waste generated during navigation on the Rhine and other inland waterways (CDNI) includes a ban on the discharge of greywater and black water for ships with more than 50 persons on board. The CDNI stipulates that this prohibition does not apply to sea-going ships in seaports, which must comply with the provisions of MARPOL. MARPOL Annex IV (sewage) applies to sea-going vessels as soon as the ship is leaving the port. Up to 3 miles from the coast, only treated black water may be discharged. There are no discharge conditions with regard to gray water in MARPOL.

The CDNI was not correctly implemented in Dutch legislation. As a result, discharges of gray and black water from seagoing ships into Dutch ports were not allowed. The present amendment formulates conditions under which discharges may take place. The date on which it enters into force is July 1, 2020.

The discharge conditions for ships with more than 50 persons on board are (according to the new Article 22a of the SAR) as follows:

Discharge of gray and black water is only permitted if the waste water has been treated in a treatment plant that meets the requirements of IMO resolution MEPC.159 (55) or newer. Furthermore, the following applies:

  • There may not be visible contamination (discoloration or solid particles in the water).
  • The installation is sufficiently large and is demonstrably well maintained and managed.
  • The sludge from the installation may not be discharged into the port.

The sewage treatment plant should meet the following effluent standards in the performance test:

  • BZV5     : 40 mg/l
  • CZV       : 180 mg/l
  • pH         : 6-8,5
  • chlorine: maximum 0,5 mg/l

If these data are already available on board, they can also be accepted.

For ships with less than 50 persons on board, gray water may be discharged untreated. Black water must be treated according to the above discharge conditions.

The inspection is as follows:

  • For ships with more than 50 persons on board, the requirement applies that the effluent must demonstrably meet the standard. Sampling the effluent could form part of an inspection.
  • Ships with less than 50 persons on board must be in possession of the certificate as proof that the installation is certified according to chapter 4.1 of MEPC.159 (55).