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Tina Peri

Zlatan Kulenovi
ore Dobrota
Faculty of Maritime Studies, University of Split

Adriatic Sea, as part of the Mediterranean, is one of the

semi-closed seas, and is therefore particularly vulnerable to

all kinds of pollution.
For this reason, much attention has been paid to the
prevention of various types of marine pollution from ships,
from oil pollution, problems of introducing a foreign
species with ship's ballast waters and air emissions.
There is not enough information of marine pollution from
ship's waste water.
The increase of cruisers in the Adriatic arises questions
whether our sea is safe
The aim of this paper is to explore the technology of
wastewater treatment on cruisers, the quality of discharged
water and the impact on the purity of the Adriatic Sea.


Wastewater on board :
1. sanitary wastewater : sewage containing feces or black
water and wastewater from washing of marine living
quarters or gray water;
2. bilge water
Attributes which determine quality of wastewater:
1. dispersed substances - amount of substances
dispersed in a unit of volume of water (mg/l or g/m3)
2. biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) which determines
the amount of oxygen required to biologically break down
organic matter by microorganisms (mgO2/l)
3. indicator organism - his presence in waste water indicates
that water may contain pathogenic organisms. As an
indicator organism, coliforms are applied.

Pollution with wastewater from cruisers

Impact of big cruisers on environment can be

compared to an impact on environment of a small city.

Average daily pollution from a cruiser with 3000
passengers is:
Black water: 60000 120000 l,
Grey water: 1020000 l,

Sludge: 25000 l.

Republic of



in liters



up to 340

Technological processes of wastewater

treatment plant on cruisers
Wastewater treatment processes are classified
according to the substances that should be
removed from waste water on board.
According to naval regulations regarding the
cleaning of ship's waste water before discharge into
the sea, particular goals for stages of cleaning are

previous or preliminary cleaning means application

of the procedures by which large, dispersed and floating

waste matter is removed from the waste water,

first stage or primary cleaning is the application of

physical and/or chemical cleaning processes that

remove at least 50% of suspended solids and reduce the
value of BOD-5 for at least 20% compared to the value of
the incoming water,
second stage or secondary cleaning means the use of
biological and/or other procedures that reduces the
concentration of suspended solids and influent BOD-5
for 70 - 90%, and the concentration of COD (chemical
oxygen demand) for at least 75%,
third stage or tertiary cleaning is the application of
physical-chemical, biological and other processes by
which the ship's wastewater reduces the concentration
of nutrients influent for at least 80%.

Performances of wastewater treatment

plant on cruisers
There are four systems for treatment of wastewater

from passenger ships so far.

SCANSHIP wastewater system represents advanced
technology of wastewater treatment which is fully
The quality of waste water after treatment by this
system is in accordance with the strictest standards.
The system configuration consists of five cleaning

5 cleaning modules:
1. pre-treatment module





filtering or separation
of solid impurities,
biological treatment
module biological
treatment using
flotation module
flotation and
flocculation using
polishing module
polishing with a 30 m
UV module UV

Test program for determination of qualittive

features of the wastewater treatment plant
When testing the degree of treatment representative

samples should be taken. Based on these samples we get

the right picture of the treated wastewater quality.
Proper sampling of water for its analysis is crucial for the
assessment of water quality based on which cruiser will get
a certificate of sanitary wastewater in compliance with the
Convention, MARPOL 73/78 Annex IV
Representative samples must be taken several times a day
because waste water has a very uneven flow and
composition, which vary throughout the day.

According to SCANSHIP wastewater system sampling is

done according to the following points:

Representative sampling is done at the exit of the UV unit or

after the last process.

A place for taking the samples must be heated using gas
burners or electric heaters to destroy any possible bacteria at
the site of sampling.
After disinfection a representative sample for coliform
bacteria, a minimum of two bottles of 100 ml is taken.
Then representative sample of the total amount of suspended
solids (TSS) in a volume of 1 l is taken.
Then a representative sample of the biochemical oxygen
demand in five days (BOD-5) in the amount of 1 l is taken.
Value of pH as well as the amount of chlorine is taken from
samples of total suspended solids.


Discharge of sewage into the sea is prohibited, except when:
ship discharges crumbled and disinfected sewage using an
approved system, at a distance greater than 3M from the
nearest land, or feces, which are crushed and disinfected at a
distance greater than 12 M from the nearest land, with one
condition, that feces which are located in the tank for storage
are not released at once, but in small amounts while ship is
sailing at speed not less than 4 knots or
ship has in operation an approved sewage treatment device for
which management has determined that it meets the
requirements and that the results of testing of the device is
listed in the International Certificate of preventing fecal
contamination from ship and, moreover, that in an outbreak
there are no visible floating solids nor cause in a color change in
the surrounding water.

Comparison of requirements for the quality

of discharged sanitary wastewater

73/78 Annex


USCG for


















bacteria [in 100
ml of water]

Although regulations of Croatian Shipping Register

correspond to MARPOL Convention, Annex IV, cruisers

always process wastewater only to that minimum level at
which it complies with the regulations.
It is shown that representative system can meet stringent
requirements of Alaska resolution and discharge purified
wastewater with less than 30 mg/l of BOD-5, 30 mg/l of
TDS and 20 coliform bacteria in 100 ml of water.
US General Accounting Office recorded 104 cases of
intentional illegal waste disposals from cruisers from 1993
till 1998 which had been paid 30 million $.
In the past 10 years, U.S. authorities sued and collected
fines from cruise companies worth 100 million $.

MARPOL Convention prescribes the conditions under which the ship's

wastewater could be discharged into the sea. Appendix IV provides

protection of the sea from wastewater, but only in the range of 12M of
territorial sea.
Each country has the right to tighten the provisions of the Convention.
Analyzing passenger traffic in the Adriatic Sea, it can be concluded that
each year the number of passengers on cruise ships increases considerably.
Because the technology of wastewater treatment is improved to that level
that can meet the most stringent quality requirements, Republic of Croatia
has room for harmonization of its legislation in order to preserve the
Considering the poor possibilities for the control of the territorial sea
of Croatia, it is expected that bad practices by cruise companies will occur
and it is probable that not each one will be noticed and processed.
For further research it would be recommended to explore better
possibilities of monitoring and legal possibilities of sanctioning of cruisers
that do not obey rules in Adriatic Sea.

Thank you for your attention