Bench-Scale Testing Services

A major LSRI-GWRC focus area is providing support to technology developers in an effort to accelerate the development of technologies having potential for preventing the introduction and controlling the spread of invasive species within the Laurentian Great Lakes. Testing services are limited to unique and/or enhanced tools, technologies, and methods such as:

  • Prototype ballast water treatment processes, such as, novel components, active substances, procedures, mechanisms, and activities that may be able to reduce or eliminate introductions of invasive species associated with commercial shipping via ballast water;
  • Compliance and early detection monitoring tools and technologies aimed at the prevention of release and/or establishment of invasive species via ballast water discharge; and
  • Rapid assessment and response tools and technologies aimed at accelerated ballast water testing and compliance monitoring.

Bench-Scale Testing Services

The LSRI-GWRC research team brings an unbiased, freshwater perspective and works with each technology developer on an individual basis to design an appropriate testing plan. The research team is committed to data quality and all bench-scale testing is conducted under the LSRI Quality Management Plan.

Monitoring and Assessment Technology Testing

LSRI-GWRC’s bench-scale team will work with developers to design laboratory-scale experiments to provide supporting data on the effectiveness of tools, technologies, and methods showing potential for early detection monitoring of invasive species in the Laurentian Great Lakes ecosystem and compliance monitoring or rapid assessment tools for ballast water analysis in freshwater.

Ballast Water Treatment Process Testing

Aspects of the testing plan for ballast water treatment processes may include:

  1. Aquatic Degradation (for treatment processes involving a chemical active substance): This investigation is aimed at determining how long the active substance is measurable in treated water.
  2. Dose Effectiveness: The objective of this stage of testing is to determine the biological efficacy of the treatment process to cultured, freshwater organisms. This assay employs 48-hour exposures of organisms to treated water. Exposure may be achieved via static or flow-through conditions, depending upon the treatment process. Organisms may include: green algae (Selenastrum capricornutum), microbes (Escherichia coli and Enterococcus sp.), and/or zooplankton (Eucyclops sp. and Daphnia magna juveniles and ephippia).
  3. Chronic Residual Toxicity (for treatment processes involving an active substance, which may or may not require neutralization prior to discharge): This stage of testing examines chronic toxicity of water treated (and neutralized) by the treatment process to the green algae (Selenastrum capricornutum), zooplankton (Ceriodaphnia dubia), and fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas).

Bench-scale testing will be conducted in laboratory water (high transparency and low concentration of suspended solids and organic carbon) and water amended to achieve challenge conditions similar to those stipulated in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Technology Verification Program’s Generic Protocol for the Verification of Ballast Water Treatment Technology, v.5.1. Aquatic degradation testing may be conducted at several different temperatures. The use of different water qualities during testing provides developers with independent data that may be used to troubleshoot difficulties that may be encountered at a larger scale (i.e., land-based or shipboard testing). Throughout the progression of testing, many water quality parameters are measured to ensure accurate quantification of the degradation and/or exposure conditions.

GWRC - Quality data with a freshwater perspective

GWRC staff members performing analysis for a ballast water management system test

Enlarged image of Daphnia magna

Olivia Counting

Enlarged image of Eucyclops

NBOT sampling


Christine Polkinghorne - Bench-Scale Testing Project Lead

[NAME:KPRIHODA] - Program Manager

Request for Applications

GWRC’s 2021 Request for Applications is now open.