Wave marine environmental filters prevent pollution

Wave marine environmental filters are on course to stop the yacht Freedom from polluting the seas

When 23-year old Helena Schneider relocates from Southampton University to continue her studies at the Landing School of Boat Building and Design in Arundel, North America, she will be taking her home with her. Home for Helena is her Hallberg Rassy yacht Freedom which she has been living on board for the last four years.

Her route takes her via the Bay of Biscay to the Canary Islands, across the Atlantic to the Caribbean before heading north to Maine. Her aim is to promote sustainable change in the sailing and cruising community, and to promote the ways in which sailors can reduce their environmental impact.

“Having sailed all my life, I find it astonishing that we as sailors still think we are living ‘greener’ than motorboaters, for example,” says Helena. “We might not burn as much fossil fuel but we still have a large impact on marine life around us. Just think about antifouling paint and black water discharge for instance. To me, it’s important to show the small changes that all of us can embrace and the positive impact they make.”

Helena approached Halyard, the UK distributor of Wave marine environmental and technical filtration products for help. Wave marine ’s mission is to develop innovative products that reduce pollution helping to ensure cleaner seas, oceans and waterways.

The Wavestream filter, which has Lloyds Register Type Approval, is installed between the bilge and bilge discharge and ensures that only clean, oil-free bilge water is discharged overboard. The filter works using a cartridge which contains a unique filter media, which is so effective that it can hold up to three times its own weight of oil. Water from the bilge passes through the cartridge, and any pollutants adhere to the cartridge, ensuring that only clean water is discharged overboard.

Helena said, “Not many sailors are aware that the tiniest trace of oil discharged from your bilge is actually breaking the law set by the Marine Pollution Authority, which creates the standards for marine pollution all over the world. Oily discharge standards are 15 parts per million – if you have just one drop of diesel in half a litre of discharge, that’s more than three times over the standards.

“Fitting the Wavestream was incredibly easy, and the filter will last at least a year, giving me complete confidence that I will never pump polluted water overboard.”

Having completed much of the refit herself, when Helen did the first flush of the bilge water, she was horrified to find tiny traces of plastic in the Wavestream filter. “Even though I was being incredibly careful during the refit, it’s obvious that tiny parings of plastic have got into the bilges. I would have inadvertently discharged those overboard if the Wavestream had not been fitted.”

Another issue faced by many live-aboards and cruising sailors is palatable and safe drinking water. Having fitted a watermaker (an electric desalination plant) Helena was keen to be able to use this for drinking water.

Wave marine has developed the Flostream which provides safe and healthy water on board, eliminating the need to carry plastic bottled water. The Flostream sits between the water tank and tap, and its cartridge technology is designed to remove all contaminants, chlorine, bacteria, metallic tastes and odours from water. These not only make water taste horrible, but can also cause health problems.

“Discovering the Flostream was really exciting in my mission to be sustainable,” said Helena. “Having clean, safe and palatable drinking water available at all times will mean I never need to use plastic water bottles on board. The Flostream fits between the tank and the tap, and its cartridge will last for the length of my journey before it needs replacing. Whenever I fill up my water tank I’ll be able to drink the water from it. The water tastes brilliant!”

Certified to NSF 42 and 53 standards for health and aesthetics, the smaller Flostream 2 will filter up to 3,800 litres with the Flostream 4 catering for up to 7,600 litres.

Helena says, “With the Wavestream and Flostream on board I’m fighting one oil spill at a time, and one plastic bottle at a time.”

Dan Maund, Technical Sales Manager at Halyard has been helping Helena with choosing the most appropriate products for her boat and the journey across the Atlantic. “We’re delighted to be supporting Helena, who is showing such passion and concern for the environment and is trying to promote the effectiveness of sustainable boating to the cruising and live-aboard community.”

Helena’s journey can be followed via her Facebook page