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Sketches and diagrams of bilge and ballast systems for a general cargo ship

The function of the bilge system is to be capable of pumping from and draining any watertight compartment within the ship, except for ballast, oil and water tanks. The capacity or size of pumps in the system depend on the size, type and service of the ship.

bilge-system-of-a-general-cargo-ship
Bilge system of a general cargo ship

ballast-system-of-a-general-cargo-ship
Ballast system of a general cargo ship

The function of the ballast system is to pump to and empty all spaces in the ship in which ballast water can be supplied. The suction pipes for the ballast system will be completely separated from the bilge system. The ballast system can also be used for other purposes in emergencies, such as supplying water to the fire main.

The type of valves used in a ballast system would depend on where they were placed, but most valves would be gate valves or butterfly valves. The type of valve used on a bilge system would be screw down non-return valves.

bilge-injection-valve
bilge injection valve

The function of the bilge injection valve is to remove large amounts of water from the engine room in the event of serious flooding. To do this, the bilge injection valve is opened and the main injection valve is shut, then the largest capacity pumps in the engine room will remove large quantities of water from the lowest point of the engine room. The diameter of the bilge injection valve in relation to the diameter of the main injection valve should be not less than two thirds its size.





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