Bilge Alarm / Oil Content Meter

August 2019

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USCG

USCG: Oil content meter/bilge alarm

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has issued a Marine Safety Lessons Learned bulletin recommending that shipowners check their vessels’ bilge alarm / oil content meters to ensure they are working properly. In recent inspections, Port State Control Officers in the United States found deficiencies in some bilge alarm systems of Oily Water Separators. Entries in the Oil Record Book did not correspond to the bilge alarm data being displayed by the bilge alarm/oil content meter.

This issue was found to relate mainly to the BilgMon 488 model of monitor and amongst the USCG recommendations are:

  • Remind vessel engineers to routinely review the stored data available through the LCD display ensuring that the data matches the information recorded in the ORB and actual OWS operations.
    • Maintain awareness that Port State Control Officers performing MARPOL examinations will verify that the BilgMon 488 is recording data properly and is aligned with the ORB entries.

Adherence to these recommendations is advisable in order to avoid potential departure delays that could follow from PSC intervention.

Further information and recommendations can be found in the USCG Lessons Learned 01-19 document.