Maintaining An Oily Water Separator: 6 Key Parts to Replace on Time



Your oily water separator is an integral part of your vessel’s bilge water treatment system. Consisting of a separator unit, a filter unit, and an oil level monitoring-and-controlling unit, your separator will work to coalesce, filter, and remove impurities and oil from your bilge water. The result? You’ll be able to safely discharge water overboard as long as the oil content is within appropriate limits. 

That all sounds great, but what happens if your oily water separator malfunctions or turns faulty? At the very least, you could be at risk of breaching International Maritime Organization (IMO) guidelines, which could, in turn, put you at risk for steep fines. Maritime regulations dictate that discharged water must have an oil content of less than 15 ppm. Your oily water separator must be working well in order to help you meet that goal and avoid getting in trouble with your local authorities. 

If you enjoy avoiding fines and being in charge of a vessel that’s running like clockwork, it’s well worth investing in oily water separator maintenance. One key part of this maintenance is replacing spare parts on time. This can get confusing, but, fortunately, the experts at H2O have your back. Here’s what you need to know about spare parts and replacement schedules for your oily water separator.

Here are six key oily water separator parts you need to replace on time.

The BOSS oily water separator consists of several key components that need to be maintained on a regular basis. Failure to maintain these items may result in the equipment not functioning properly, which can result in a lot of unpleasantness, further damage,   costly repairs or even being held at port. Poor maintenance can also result in a very expensive lack of compliance with IMO guidelines. 

Consider keeping spare replacement parts for each of these six components on hand, so you’ll be ready to go if anything fails suddenly:

1. BOSS Polisher Filter Media: Organoclay, Sand, or Cartridges

If you get to a point where your BOSS separator can no longer maintain the required reading on your oil content monitor, it may be time to evaluate and replace your filtering media. The composition of your water—specifically, the number of hydrocarbons present—will influence the expected life of this component. 

2. Prefiltration Sediment Cartridge and O-Ring

Are you seeing a high-pressure differential across your pressure gauges? Alternatively, are you experiencing a low flow rate? If so, it may be time to consider changing this filter. 

3. Brannstrom Bilgmon 488 Measuring Cell (with an Up-to-Date Calibration Certificate)

This may just be the most important part of your system, so it’s one you’ll definitely want to keep a careful eye on. In order to maintain compliance with IMO regulations, this measuring cell must be within the calibrated period. Verify that your measuring cell is within this date. Since this is so important, know that the experts at H2O are ready to provide you with the date for your measuring cell. A good rule of thumb? This measuring cell is good for five years, after which it must be replaced. This measuring cell is not something that you want to keep a spare on the shelf. However H2O keeps these in stock for quick delivery to the customer when needed.

4. Discharge, Recycle, and Fill Solenoid Valves (with Repair Kits and Coils)

If you have high-quality valves, you’ll find that they last a long time—but not forever. Keep these solenoid valves clean, and they’ll last for years. Simply replace the O-ring or valve disk on a regular basis, and you’ll be good to go. 

5. Process Pump Mechanical Seals and O-Rings

After years of use, your pump may begin to leak. It’ll be worth your time to establish a routine of checking that the seals and O-rings are functional. Replace them as needed for optimal function. 

6. Circuit Board Fuses

Just in case one of your fuses blows, it’s always a good idea to keep a handful of these circuit board fuses in stock. This may happen if a valve or motor gets shorted or stuck. 

H2O is here to help you extend the life of your oily water separator.

Your oily water separator relies on a finely tuned system of filters, polishing media, cartridges, and cells that all need to be in good working order for you to achieve a bilge water oil content that allows for safe discharge overboard. 

Managing spare parts and replacement schedules can be a lot to keep track of. If you need assistance clearing up confusion or taking care of maintenance, H2O is a great source for reliable, relevant, and timely information. 

We can also help you find and purchase the water treatment system parts you need to help you keep your vessel running smoothly. Call our friendly, knowledgeable team today for more information about maintaining your oily water separator and the key spare parts you need to make that happen! 

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