Today we'd like to go over the alternatives to our Bilge Licker product, and the benefits of choosing our solution over the others. With over 30 years of experience in the Marine Industry, and service in many vessels around the world, our product represents the culmination of our insights into one of the largest polluting factors caused by running a ship today.
One of the more popular and necessary solutions to bilge water disposal is the pump truck. It is common practice to make use of this service, however sole reliance on pump trucks to come and collect the oily bilge water is far from an ideal solution. If the pump truck is the only preventative measure in place, oil will still constantly dumped from the bilge into the ocean while the ship is at sea.
Under certain circumstances calling in a pump truck is a necessary solution, as bilge conditions can deteriorate beyond the capabilities of any one solution after enough neglect. Unfortunately ship owners will continually pay up to 4 dollars per gallons to bring a truck in and purge their bilge of oily water, and the costs don't stop there: the oily water along with the various other contents of a bilge are considered a hazardous material, and involves an expensive disposal process.
We see the pump truck as a last resort alternative. The constant maintenance provided by our product can significantly reduce the frequency of truck calls made by our customers, saving considerable expense. Not to mention, the cost of a Bilge Licker is usually covered by a single truck visit.
A ships bilge is not the place people like to venture. We know because we have been there many times. Manually cleaning a bilge takes several days, and at considerable expense. At the end of the ordeal, the ship is left with a pristine bilge (if the job was done well); however, once the engines are started again the endless cycle of oil contamination continues again. With a Bilge Licker installed the bilge is perpetually maintained, ensuring that any bilge will remain uncontaminated. No longer need the crew be haunted by the prospect of scrubbing out an oil caked bilge.
Absorbent Pads & Socks
Unfortunately, as any user of either of these products knows, absorbent disposables do not solve the oil contamination problem. Instead, absorbent pads just transfer the boat owner's problem from one thing to another: the disposal of oily consumables. In the long run they are expensive to purchase and to dispose of on a continual basis.
Handling these oil saturated products leaves a lot to be desired. Often many of these absorbent pads are left floating around in the bilge. We have been on tugs with so many absorbent pads it looked as if they kept adding more without removing any for a long time. Eventually they break down and can plug the bilge pump. The Bilge Licker system deposits the waste oil to a storage tank almost anywhere on the ship, without any handling or mess.
Oily Water Separating (OWS) Systems
Most large modern vessels have Oily Water Separating systems installed by default. The Bilge Licker was never intended to replace an OWS system, but to instead improve its function, serving as a compliment. OWS systems are complex, and require filter consumables and frequent centrifuge cleaning -- resulting in high amounts of maintenance which can be a hassle to keep up on, and can result in the worst case scenario: by-passing the OWS system entirely. Installing a Bilge Licker along side an already installed OWS system will increase the longevity of it's filters and reduce cleaning demands by over 90%, improving the overall function and reliability of the OWS system.