Portable water testing

Portable water analysis refers to the process of evaluating the quality of water using portable testing equipment and techniques. It is a crucial aspect of environmental monitoring, public health protection, and ensuring safe drinking water supplies, particularly in remote or resource-constrained areas where access to laboratory facilities may be limited. Portable water analysis enables rapid on-site assessment of various water parameters, including chemical, physical, and biological characteristics. Here’s an overview of the key aspects of portable water analysis:


Which discharges should be monitored?

Improperly managed water on ships is an established route for infectious disease transmission. Furthermore, water may be a source of index cases of disease, which might then be transmitted via other routes. Most waterborne outbreaks involve ingestion of water that was contaminated with pathogens derived from human or animal excreta. Contamination is associated with spoiled bunkered water, cross-connections between potable and non-potable water, improper loading procedures, poor design and construction of potable water storage tanks, and inadequate disinfection.
Furthermore, water may be a source of index cases of disease, which might then be transmitted. 

The Marine Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 is the platform of International Labour Organisation (ILO) to implement standards for the employment and living conditions for workers onboard vessels. Standard A3.2 Food and Catering states that “Each member shall adopt laws and regulations or other measures to provide minimum standards for the quantity and quality of food and drinking water and for the catering standards that apply to meals provided to seafarers on ships that fly its flag and shall undertake educational activities to promote awareness and implementation of the standards referred to in this paragraph.”
According to WHO “Guide to Ship Sanitation” (Third Edition) “A ship operator’s role is to provide safe water to passengers and crew, fit for all intended purposes. Water on board should be kept clean and free from pathogenic organisms and harmful chemicals. Responsibilities are to monitor the water system, particularly for microbial and chemical indicators, to report adverse results under the IHR 2005, where required, and to take corrective action”.

Each flag state lays down minimum requirements to ensure that drinking water of appropriate quality is made available. Requirements vary however and meeting the criteria laid down by a particular flag state might not be enough to ensure high levels of water quality needed by the various Port State Authorities.
Ocean World FZE helps its customers monitor the water quality onboard their ships, helping them maintain higher quality levels and reducing the risk of infection or illness. Our laboratory analysis services are designed to satisfy the requirements of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Labour Organisation, and the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006), using both microbiological and chemical analysis.

Furthermore, we are able to provide additional testing according to each company’s specific water safety plan.


Portable water testing

What we Ocean World FZE have to offer?

Unlike other testing requirements for the vessels, such as Bunker Fuel or Lube Oil Sampling/Testing, VGP Monitoring present the following major difficulties:

  • The majority of the analytes to be tested require specific sampling procedures, that marine crews are unfamiliar with.
  • Onboard testing is required for some parameters, such as TRO.
  • Samples for some parameters must be analysed within 8 hours from sampling.
  • Samples must be transferred under specific conditions and preservation.

Therefore, to resolve the above issues, we offer to our clients all-inclusive, turn-key monitoring solutions for the all the aforementioned discharges and specifically:

  • Onboard Attendance for Sampling acc. to ETV Protocol, as well as BWMS code and Field Testing acc. To 40 CFR 136.3 methods
  • Sampling bottles and containers as per VGP methods’ requirements.
  • Transportation of the samples within the required timeframes.
  • Transportation of the samples with the required conditions (preservatives/light/temperature conditions etc)
  • Lab Testing with EPA designated methods (40 CFR 136.3 methods) in Accredited Laboratories
  • Reporting as per EPA requirements
  • Guidance on Regulations – Provision of 30-page Guide
  • Technical Support and Customer Care


WHO Testing Protocol

WHO Guidelines for drinking-water quality (4th edition) gives information about microbial, physical and chemical aspects of drinking-water quality, and is often used as a reference by different national drinking-waterlegislation.
The more specific “Guide to Ship Sanitation 2011”has the primary aim to present the public health significance of ships in terms of disease and to highlight the importance of applying appropriate control measures. The guide is intended to be used as a basis for the development of national approaches to controlling the hazards that may be encountered on ships, as well as providing a framework for policy-making and local decision-making
In accordance with the below guidelines we have created a testing protocol that should be acceptable by the majority of flag administrations & Port State Controls Worldwide.

Parameter Method
APHA 2120 B
APHA 4500 H*B
APHA 2510 B
APHA 2130B
Total Hardness (CaCO3)
Total Residual Disinfectant
APHA 4500 Cl / APHA 4500 ClO2
APHA 3120B
APHA 3120B
APHA 3120B
APHA 3120B
APHA 3120B
APHA 3120B
Escherichia coli
APHA 9222 G
Heterotrophic Plate Count (at 20 °C)
APHA 9215 D
Heterotrophic Plate Count (at 37 °C)
APHA 9215 D
Legionella spp.
ISO 11731:2017

For additional assurance the above protocol can be combined with the monitoring protocol of EU Drinking Water Directive.

Also a wide series of additional microbiological and chemical tests can be performed, according to your specific requirements.

EU Directive 98/83/EC Testing Protocol

The EU Drinking Water Directive sets minimum quality standards for water intended for human consumption (drinking, cooking, other domestic purposes), in order to protect EU citizens from contamination. The Drinking Water Directive laid out minimum requirements as regards the monitoring programmes in its Annexes II – Monitoring and Annex III – Specifications for the analysis of parameters.
The purpose of check monitoring is regularly to provide information on the organoleptic and microbiological quality of the water supplied for human consumption as well as information on the effectiveness of drinking-water treatment (particularly of disinfection) where it is used, in order to determine whether or not water intended for human consumption complies with the relevant parametric values laid down in this Directive.
The following parameters must be subject to check monitoring. Member States may add other parameters to this list if they deem it appropriate.


ColourAPHA 2120 B
(Hydrogen ion concentration) pH@25°CAPHA 4500 H*B
Conductivity@25°CAPHA 2510 B
TurbidityAPHA 2130B
AmmoniumAPHA 4500 NH3 G
Nitrite(1)APHA 4500 NO2 B
IronAPHA 3120B
Aluminium (2)APHA 3120B
Escherichia coliAPHA 9222 G
Total Coliform bacteriaAPHA 9222 B
Heterotrophic Plate Count (at 20 °C)APHA 9215 D
Heterotrophic Plate Count (at 37 °C)APHA 9215 D
Clostridium perfringens(including spores)(3)Microscopy
Pseudomonas aeruginosa(4)APHA 9213 E

Note 1: Necessary only when used as flocculant (*).

Note 2: Necessary only if the water originates from or is influenced by surface water (*).

Note 3: Necessary only when chloramination is used as a disinfectant (*).

Note 4: Necessary only in the case of water offered for sale in bottles or containers.

Reach Us on +971(55)9923604 | +971(56)3379405

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