The launch of a new HPC Water Test Kit has been announced by Parker Kittiwake, which represents advancements for testing the overall microbiological cleanliness of a vessel’s system, quickly alerting seafarers to potential safety risks and prompting action before further contamination occurs.
With a single sample, mariners can detect the presence of harmful bacteria and confirm the efficiency of a vessel’s water disinfection system, without the need for specific training.
The improper management of water is a long established route for infectious disease transmission on-board vessels. Ships represent an isolated community with close accommodation, shared sanitary facilities and common food and water supplies. Such conditions can be favourable to the rapid spread of infectious diseases and frequent water testing is therefore essential to maintaining high operational standards.
Parker Kittiwake’s HPC Water Test Kit enables Heterotrophic Plate Counts (HPC) to be conducted easily and safely on-board, and provides the crew with an indication of the overall microbiological cleanliness of a vessel’s system.
The test reveals the number of bacterial Colony Forming Units (CFU) present in the volume of sample tested, which provide an overall indication of the microbiological cleanliness of potable and recreational water systems. With this simple, proactive and preventive measure, the good sanitary conditions that are crucial to the health and welfare of passengers and crew can be safeguarded.
Under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 every ship is required to have a Water Safety Plan (WSP) as well as on-board testing. Signatories – which include nine of the top ten largest registries, and nearly 80 in total – must also facilitate inspections by Port Health Authorities (PHA) of any visiting commercial ship over 500g.t. and PHAs may detain vessels if testing finds that water is not of an acceptable quality.
Condition Monitoring Market Development Manager (Marine), Larry Rumbol, said: “Outbreaks of illness due to contaminated water are a persistent challenge at sea, and when infectious diseases strike they can have a considerable impact on a ship’s operational abilities. In extreme circumstances when health and protective measures have to be implemented, microbial risks can even become impediments to international trade. By taking sensible and simple pre-emptive steps it is possible to protect passengers and crew from bacterial transmission.”
Rumbol concluded: “Providing mariners with simple, intuitive tools that don’t require the provision of extensive training is the best way to ensure they have the right information to effectively manage the condition of their vessels. The Parker Kittiwake HPC Water Test Kit provides an easy-to-use and effective tool for the routine monitoring of potable and recreational water quality, as well as delivering an operational indicator of the effectiveness of water disinfection, and its trends. In addition it is safe to use, with no risk of cross contamination and the test level minima are far in excess of conventional dip slide tests.”