MitraSK helps businesses ensure compliance with on-board water and environment testing regulations for maritime trade

Around 90% of traded goods are carried over the waves. As such, the oceans provide the main transport arteries for global trade. Pollution emissions from international vessels have a significant impact on public health and global climate changes. In addition, shipping companies have also emphasized environmental policy for the purpose of achieving corporate social responsibility and eco-efficiency. MSK marine services help your business comply with shipping regulations. As the maritime industry becomes increasingly regulated, it is vital your business ensures its ships and cargo are compliant with relevant regulations and are safe for stakeholders and the environment.


Air Environment

Expected growth in ship traffic will add significantly to local air quality problems and global climate-change risks unless ship emissions are further controlled. During the burning process in marine diesel engines, boilers, and incinerators, these fuels can produce significant amounts of black smoke, particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx), un-burned hydrocarbons (UHC), sulfur oxides (SOx), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), etc. Table 1.1. IMO (2000) estimated CO2, NOx, and SOx emission, which were based on an estimate of marine bunker fuel consumption and a statistical model, found that ocean-going vessels accounted for about 1.8 percent of global CO2 emissions.

Table 1.1 Ambient Air Quality Standard

Parameter Unit Value  exposures IFC Standard1 Method of Estimation
SO2 μg/m3 24hrs (average) 20 (guideline) IS: 5182 (Part 2)
CO mg/m3 1hr (Max) IS: 5182 (Part 10)
NO2 μg/m3 24hrs (average) 40 (annual) IS: 5182 (Part 6)
PM10 μg/m3 24hrs (average) 150 (ITM1) IS: 5182 (Part 23)
PM2.5 μg/m3 24hrs (average) 75 (ITM1) IS 5182 (PT-24),2019
SPM μg/m3 8hrs IS 5182: Part4:1999 (Reaff.2014)
O3 μg/m3 1hr (Max) TPM/MSK/ENV(AP)/01/07
Pb μg/m3 8hrs 160 (ITM1) USEPA IO-3.4
1IFC EHS General Guidelines, 2007

Noise Environment

Long-term exposure to noise can cause a variety of health effects including annoyance, sleep disturbance, negative effects on the cardiovascular and metabolic system. On the vessel any machinery activities induce noise level in the ambient environment e.g. shipyard movement, moving machinery, engine room, compressors, welding machine, small generators and other activities. The monitoring on the vessel deck is done as per IFC EHS General Guidelines, 2007 (Table 1.2) which details are as follows:

Table 1.2. Noise level as per IFC, 2007 standard

Location Category Standards determined at dB(A) Leq unit1
Time Interval Day Night
Silent Zone 50 40
Residential Area 55 45
Mixed Zone 60 50
Commercial Area 70 60
Industrial Area 75 70
1IFC EHS General Guidelines, 2007

Water Environment

Water safety and quality are fundamental to crew members and passengers onboard. Considering that water storage and distribution systems on ships are complex and could provide conditions for bacterial contamination, potable water on ships must be obtained only from those water sources and water supplies that provide potable water and are approved by WHO 2008, ISO 10500 and other national and international standards.

Table 1.3. Drinking water quality analysis

S.N Groups Analytical Attributes
I Physico-chemical Analysis Odour, Colour, Temperature, pH, Turbidity,Total Dissolved Solids (as TDS), Dissolved Oxygen
II Chemical parameters Calcium (as Ca), Magnesium (as Mg), Total Hardness (as CaCO3 ), Sodium (as Na), Potassium (as K), Chloride (as Cl ), Fluoride ( as F ), Nitrate (as NO3 ), Sulphate ( as SO4 ), Anionic Detergents (as MBAS), Oil and Grease, Phosphate (as PO4)
III Heavy Metals Iron (as Fe), Manganese (as Mn), Zinc (as Zn), Aluminium ( as Al ), Cadmium (as Cd), Lead (as Pb ), Mercury (as Hg ), Nickel (as Ni ), Arsenic( as As), Copper (as Cu), Total Chromium ( as Cr )
IV Biochemical and bacterial parameters Biochemical Oxygen Demand (as BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Total coliform bacteria, Faecal coliform
V Pesticide Chlorine, sulphate and phosphate group of pesticides
VI Radioactive Alpha emitters, Beta emitters
World Health Organization (WHO), (Guide to Ship Sanitation, 3rd Edition, 2011 & Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality, 2008)
MLC 2006 (Standard A3.2-Food & Catering), European Union (EU), Drinking-Water Directive (DWD) 98/83/EC
International Health Regulations (IHR) of WHO


Sewage pollution control was the first environmental initiative in history. Technologies and regulations for land-based wastewater industries have been evolving for more than a century, bringing tangible improvements to our aqua environment. The IMO’s MARPOL Annex IV Convention, which aims at achieving the prevention of pollution by sewage from ships, was developed in the 1970s, and entered into force since 2003, EPA, 2002, and MECP. 227.(64), 2012.

Table 1.4. Sewage discharge standard for the shipping industry

Parameters Unit MEPCa EPAb Method
TSS mg/l 35 35 APHA(23rd Edition)2540D
BOD mg/l 25 40 APHA (23rd Edition) 5210B 2017
COD mg/l 125 120 APHA (23rd Edition) 5220B, 2017
Total Phosphorous mg/l 1 APHA 22nd Edtn-2012, 4500P-D
Total Nitrogen mg/l 20 APHA 23rd EDN 4500N C
pH None 6-8.5 6-9 IS 2720 (Part 26)-1987;Rffm:2011
Total coliform MPN/100ml <400 IS 1622 : 1981 (RA 2014)
Thermotolrant Colifom MPN/100ml <100 <200
IS 1622 : 1981 (RA 2014)
aMarine Environment Protection Committee (MECP.227.(64)), 2012.

bEnvironment Protection Act (EPA, 2002), General Notice No.44.of 2003, regulation 4.

MitraSK Marine Testing Services

MSK  offers a new comprehensive on-board water testing service for shipping companies and vessel owners. All on-board sampling is performed by qualified professionals who will collect the necessary samples in sterile containers and will then send off the samples to our retained laboratory for analysis. MSK operates in most major ports around the world and we offer a comprehensive range of sample collection services, laboratory analysis and consultancy services to the maritime sector. Our services include:

  1. Ambient Air Estimation
    • Inspection and testing for indoor air quality (IAQ)
  2. Stake Emission Sampling and Analysis
  3. Noise Level Estimation
    • Ambient Noise Level Estimation
    • Occupational Noise Level Estimation
  4. Drinking-Water Quality Estimation
  5. Scrubber washwater sampling and testing
  6. Wastewater sampling and analysis
  7. Testing of solid bulk cargo residues
  8. Hygiene services and food safety
  9. Ballast water sampling and testing

Why choose MSK?

With over 80 years of experience working with the maritime industry, and personnel in most major ports around the globe, MSK is the first choice for companies looking to develop strategies that ensure sampling and testing of as many required parameters as necessary in one sampling intervention.

Figure 1.1. On-board sampling and analysis of environmental commodities






Ambient Air Sampling






Ambient Noise and Occupational Noise Sampling





Wastewater Sampling






Water Sampling

Figure 1.2. Environmental & Ecological Monitoring work carried out by Mitra SK Bangladesh (Pvt.) Ltd. For Summit LNG Terminal Co. (Pvt.) Ltd. Project at Maheshkhali, Cox’s Bazar