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The longer untreated sewage or black water are stored in holding tanks, the more likely it is for anaerobic conditions to develop. Natural biological processes within the sewage consume oxygen and this consumption needs to be compensated. Anaerobic conditions can lead to the formation of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) or even sulphuric acid (H2SO4). The first is an extremely smelly and potentially lethal gas, the latter can erode the substance of the plant, the piping and ultimately the ship’s structure. For this reason, the IMO MEPC’s resolution MEPC.53(16) (Guidelines for the operation, inspection and maintenance of ship sewage systems) states that storage tanks without active aeration should be monitored very closely.

A tank aeration systems compensates the oxygen consumption by the supply of fresh oxygen and thereby also assists the active biological processes – the natural way of sewage treatment. It also helps to minimize sedimentation of solid particles, although not as effectively as a tank aeration and circulation system. We recommend tank aeration systems primarily for the sewage mixing tank and black water holding tanks.

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