R&D Project

Development of a “Best Practice Guidance for the handling of wastewater in Ports" for the Special Area Baltic Sea

Eutrophication is one of the main threats to the biodiversity of the Baltic Sea and is caused by excessive input of nutrients to the marine environment. A part of the nutrient input originates from shipping. From 2000 to 2014, the number of cruise passengers in the Baltic Sea has increased by almost 250%, as well as cruise ship calls by 53% (Cruise Baltic Statistics 2014). As a consequence, the Baltic Sea has been designated as first MARPOL Annex IV Special Area at the initiative of HELCOM. Passenger ships intending to discharge sewage within the Special Area have to comply with more stringent regulations on nitrogen and phosphorous removal. The requirements can be met by either installing advanced wastewater treatment systems or discharging the sewage to port reception facilities (PRF). This creates challenges for the Baltic ports, shipping companies and municipal wastewater treatment plants. Therefore the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency of Germany (BSH) commissioned this project on the development of a “Best Practice Guidance for the Handling of Wastewater in Ports”, which will provide information and concrete guidance for involved parties and HELCOM member states.

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