Case Study: Combating Biofilm


How to Combat Biofilm in Vessel Potable Water Systems


Biofilms’ are a complex biological deposit that is much talked about, but is essentially inevitable in any high volume fresh water storage system. There are many factors which can impact upon Biofilm growth rates and can be optimised to inhibit the development of biofilm, Among other more complex areas these include :-

  • Source water quality
  • System design
  • Cleanliness of system components
  • Water turnover rates/storage times
  • System operation
  • Biocide dosing
  • Temperature
  • Provides an environment for bacteria to live and grow
  • Often causes of legionella growth & recurrences
  • Cannot be removed by super-chlorination
  • Can lead to corrosion issues
  • In-service treatments i.e. Chlorine Dioxide can lead to increased short term hazards


Potable Water Tank Before EPSCO Clean

Potable Water Tank Before EPSCO Clean

Potable Water Tank After EPSCO Clean

Potable Water Tank After EPSCO Clean



Despite all of these techniques - or even the use of new high profile water treatment systems – the nature of fresh water and Regulatory requirements will demand tanks and pipework are periodically cleaned to remove build-ups . This cleaning should then allow adequate control and prevention for extended periods.

It is this process where EPSCO can deliver the most benefit to vessel owners. We provide a chemical cleaning and disinfection systems that removes biofilms present in both tanks and pipework. It involves a simple application procedure which is 100% effective with minimum service disruption and confirmed by post work sampling. The system is already popular and used as the preferred option by vessels owners across Europe, especially where water quality and limited time in port are critical factors.

Coupled with actual water quality, our cleaning process as part of regular maintenance will enable you to comply with potable water quality standards for ships, offshore water delivery standards, along with national standards for control of Legionella. Specifically, this includes MCA MGN 397, MSF Carriage of Potable Water Standards, plus HSE ACOP L8 & Guidance.

"The on-going effective management of water quality on vessels can only be assured through periodic and effective cleaning"