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MLC 2006 Water Test Regulations

What are the MLC 2006 water regulations

 The General Conference of the International Labour Organization, was convened in its Ninety-fourth Session on 7 February 2006, and created a single, coherent instrument embodying as far as possible all up-to-date standards of existing international maritime labour conventions and recommendations.

Part of this conference was to establish regulations to ensure that seafarers have access to good quality drinking water provided under regulated hygienic conditions, this section is known as "Regulation 3.2 – Food and catering" and came into force on August the 20th 2013.

It applies to any yacht of any size which engages in any form of commercial activity on international voyages.

IMO MLC2006 regulation requires water samples to be taken at regular intervals and analysed for biological, Mineral and corrosion indicators and Physicochemical Analysis.


What is regular testing?

IMO MLC 2006 fresh water regulation requires samples to be taken at regular intervals. Regular sampling means that there is a suitable spread of samples to detect possible variation in water quality. Variation could occur on long term (seasonal) or a more short term basis (within a week or day due to operational changes such as switching supplies (changing ports or changing areas where the on board water making equipment is obtaining its feed water). The requirement for regular sampling does not mean that the sampling occasions have to be spread at exactly equal intervals.

For most commercially operated vessels sampling frequencies are 12, 24 and 36 per annum. Samples should generally be taken at one, two or three times per month. If the vessel is moving from port to port it is important that there is a good spread between the sampling events. For sampling frequencies of 52 and 76 per annum samples should be taken once and sometimes twice a week to meet the targets. Ideally the day within each week that the sample is taken should be randomized, to ensure that the variations of usage and therefore turnover of water is taken into account.

Additional samples should be taken as part of the vessels statutory monitoring program for any element, organism or substance that you have reasonable grounds for believing that may cause the water to be contaminated, such as newly coated tanks or work carried out on any of the vessels pipework or treatment systems.