Mobile anti-fouling wastewater collecting and filtration system


  CarenEcolo created in 2015 by Gaëtan FOUQUET has developped  a system that collects and filters the contaminated wash waters left when a boat's hull coated with anti-fouling paint is cleaned.

  The filtration unit is composed of 10  different types of filters that enables the filtered water to be cleaned off any oïl, paint residue, lead, copper, TBT, biocides and other poisonous materials.

       The  system can be customized to meet the client's need, it can be self powered, it can store the wash waters and even re-use the filtered wash waters. It could be used as a portable boat wash !


This patented product has been approved by the French Water Agency and has received 1st prize in the 2016 Crisalide contest and 3rd at the Paris Boat Show. In 2017, our product was prized 5 times  including  the Marine sustainability Award at Seawork International in Southampton and a Special Mention at the DAME Award in Amsterdam.

How it works

The trailer is taken to the area of work. The back ramp is opened to take out the PVC made tarpaulin rolled on its electrical winder. The collected area is set up in less than 5 minutes. The boat is cleaned by high pressure water taking out all the antifouling paint and the washdown water is pumped at the bottom of your cover as shown on the picture. The filtration unit is turned on when there is enough water to be pumped (2mm) and then the contaminated water is filtered automatically through 7 stages of different types of filters. The water is then returned to its environment, treated off all its contaminants.

Hard rubber collecting area and filtration system

The hard rubber collecting area can be fixed on any hard surface even on a submersible slipway like shown on this picture.

The wash water is collected at the bottom of the mat by a special pump to a tank trailer for a later treatment or to a filtration unit that will filter directly the pollutants contained in anti-fouling paints for an immediate discharge.


CarenEcolo is also working on a self powered desalination unit. To answer local demand, we have built a desalination unit in a trailer that can pump water directly in the ocean. The unit is equipped with batteries powering the pumps; the batteries are charged by solar panels. It's a compact system using reverse osmosis that has proven reliable and efficient over the past 50 years.

The unit can produce between 110 litres to 240 litres by the hour of drinkable water without any energy cost.

Call or e-mail us for more details.

A mobile self-powered unit with a capacity of 65 litres an hour of pure drinkable water specially made for the French fire department.



We call it  "the beach shower" but it can actually be used anywhere, a mobile unit with a fresh water tank of 1200 liters (315 US gallons) that will give about 1000 showers before needing a refill. The unit can also be self supplied by sea water going through a RO system.

The wash water collected goes through different filters that will clean and treat this reusable water. The pumps and accessories are powered by a 12V battery connected to a solar panel, making it self powered !

The user turns the handle to bring the water making him aware of the water he uses.


CarenEcolo in the press

Marina World, July/ August 2018, page 5

Marina World, July/August 2018, page 29

METS 2017 Special Issue

Dirty boat hull (Courtesy of jpf/galaad)

French firm CarenEcolo, founded in 2015, was nominated for a Marina and boatyard equipment DAME Award at METS 2017. Its economical mobile hull washing system removes pollutants from wash water so that it can be put back into the natural environment. We spoke with system creator Gaëtan Fouquet.

NauticExpo e-mag: How does your system work?

Gaëtan Fouquet: The system is packed in a trailer. It consists of a water-recovery tarp and a filter tank. The tarp is laid on the ground and the edges inflated to create a shallow basin. It takes advantage of the natural slope of the ground to collect runoff water—3% suffices. That’s typical of most parking lots and areas around ports.

Water treatment begins as soon as the hull washing starts. There are seven or eight filtration stages. The first recovers coarse particles like paint flakes, shellfish, etc. This step also removes hydrocarbons.

Subsequent steps finish with a 0.02 micron hyper-filtration. The result is clean, completely pollutant-free water. You can dump it back into the port, water flowers or even drink it, though the machine was not originally designed for that.

NE e-mag: What’s the target market?

Gaëtan Fouquet: Municipal, regional or other government entities, recreational boating groups and small boatyards.

For boatyards looking for something a little more durable, we’ve developed what we call a semi-permanent version. It’s left in place to recover washdown water. It can be installed on an existing open space without major construction work.

NE e-mag: Is environmental protection the main goal?

Gaëtan Fouquet: Yes. We saw that permanent systems were very expensive, hindering the development of clean hull maintenance. A mobile system eliminates the need for foundation work, greatly reducing setup costs. We’re four to five times less expensive than competitors offering permanent installations.

The main advantage of the system is that costs can be shared. For example, two towns can buy a single system, setting it up in one port for a week and in the other the following week. Installation takes only about 10 minutes. It can be brought right to the slipway, making it very practical.

NE e-mag: What are the worst pollutants resulting from uncontrolled hull cleaning?

Gaëtan Fouquet: Everything in antifouling paint—TBT, biocides, heavy metals like lead, mercury, copper, and tin. High-pressure hull washing concentrates these ingredients in the runoff water, creating pollution.

In addition, traditional drydock areas don’t have a filtering system as good as ours. Some make things dirtier rather than cleaner because the filters are so saturated that they add pollutants to the water instead of removing them. There aren’t so many that meet established standards.

NE e-mag: How often do you change filters?

Gaëtan Fouquet: We offer a machine maintenance contract that enables us to recover dirty filters and have them treated. We have two kinds of machines. For the mobile version, filters must be changed after 50 uses. For the ones we’ve just developed, it’s about 150 uses. It’s a beefed up version of the same system. We modified the filtration parameters, the amount of filtration agent and the absorption rate. It’s a system designed for boatyards.

Our system has been approved by the French Water Agency and is entirely ecological. We’ve gone a step beyond by designing the machine so that the different components can be reprocessed at the end of the system’s working life. The rubber mats can be treated and reused in playgrounds, and the flexible white retention tarps can be recycled into fabric or handbags.

The result is clean, completely pollutant-free water. You can even drink it (Courtesy of CarenEcolo).


October 18th 2017 : We are nominated for the Dame Award 2017 at METSTRADE in Amsterdam in the category Marina and boatyards !

Seawork reports a successful 20th anniversary edition of the show

Seawork International, Europe’s largest commercial marine and workboat exhibition, closed yesterday and was hailed a resounding success. Its usual warm, sunny weather saw over 630 exhibitors and 7,000 maritime professions coming together to meet and do business over the three days, 13-15 June in Southampton, UK.

What makes Seawork unique globally is the more than 70 vessels and floating plant are on display, afloat for trial. This year saw the Southampton skyline dominated by the immense 60m x 28m Skylift 3000 jack-up submersible platform being demonstrated by Dutch based Ravestein BV.

To help facilitate business, the exhibition hosts a range of complementary activities including the European Commercial Marine Awards, opportunities to see the latest innovations, new equipment and vessel launches in addition to structured networking opportunities and an engaging conference programme.

Seawork 2017 welcomed returning delegations and trade association from UK, Europe and the rest of the world including naval delegations from New Zealand, Bolivia, China and Malaysia, all keen to explore procurement opportunities with Seawork exhibitors worth £millions.

It was also a year of anniversaries; some in addition to Seawork’s own 20th. It was 100 years of business for EP Barrus, a 90th for Damen Shipyards and a 50th for USA based Harken. Barrus’ Tim Hart, commented, “Barrus have exhibited at Seawork since the start, so are also celebrating 20 years (of our) attendence. Seawork gives us two main areas of exposure; the UK MoD and workboat market. We regard this event as our main exhibition of the year.”

The new look European Commercial Marine Awards were also launched this year, with the Innovations Showcase, sponsored by Lloyds Register, receiving over 40 entries. The overall winner of the coveted Spirit of Innovations award was Blueye Robotics, with its unique, easy to deploy ROV was a clear choice for the judges.

Further category awards went to MICAD srl, Dynamic Load Monitoring Ltd, Reygar and Survitec. The Maritime Sustainability Award was presented to French company, CarenEcolo. In recognition of individual contribution, the voted-for 2017 Maritime Professional of the Year was presented to Barry Sales of Cheetah Marine.

The winners of the European Commercial Marine Awards

14 Jun 2017

On the evening of the first day of Seawork 2017 the award winners and runners up were announced at the debut of the European commercial marine awards, sponsored by Servogear and Brunvoll.

Taking place on site at the Golden Arrow Restaurant, the awards were a spectacular evening showcasing the latest and greatest innovations and talent within the commercial marine sector.

The overall winner of the Spirit of Innovation award 2017 was Blueye Robotics with the innovative Blueye Pioneer. Runners up were Garmin Europe with the inReach Satellite Communicators.

Category winners included MICAD s.r.l, winner of the Vessel design & Design construction with the MODCAT Project.

The Marine Engineering and Construction winner was Dynamic Load Monitoring Ltd, with their product the Subsea Datalogging Tensile Link. Runner up was awarded to Tidal Anchors Ltd with their product, the Tidal Anchor.

The Marine Equipment and Electronics category was won by Reygar with their product, BareFLEET. Runner was awarded to the explosion proof work light NOVA-EX R product, distributed by SMG.

Followed by the announcement of the Safety and Training category, which was awarded to Survitec with their product the Rope Access 3D 275N Life Jacket. With the Seabob rescue, distributed by Landau UK as runners up.

Finally the Diving and Underwater category winner was Blueye Robotics, with their product the Blueye Pioneer. Jatronic AS were awarded runners up with their, Pressure Operated Actuator, POA.T

The evenings Innovation awards were sponsored by Lloyds Register. 

The winner of the Maritime Professional of the year award, sponsored by GGTC was Barry Sales. Barry is a long standing member of the commercial marine community, working as a Technical Manager at Cheetah Marine.

Barry was nominated by his colleague, Lucy Strevens at Cheetah Marine, who commented "Barry is a hugely dedicated member of the Cheetah Team who’s passion for boating has been incremental in all aspects of the business from client relations to detailed aspects of the build process”

The Marine Sustainability award winner was CarenEcolo, for their Mobile Filtration Unit product. Jean-Yvon Turpaud, Technical Sales commented, “We are delighted, but surprised to have won this award from the Innovations Showcase, we did not expect to win so it was a great joy! It is the first time we have exhibited at a show outside of France, we saw that there was an Innovations Showcase, so we decided to come here to make our product known outside the French market.”

This mobile filtration unit is composed of a water collecting tarpaulin with inflatable sides where the boat is placed for high pressure cleaning.

The water and debris is then pumped into the the filtration unit to be decontaminated of paint, fuel, grease, biocides, lead, TBT, copper and other toxic materials. It offers a solution for ports not equipped with a recuperation and filtration area and is mibile so costs can be shared between ports.

Casper Vermeulen, of Damen Shipyards was presented with the Lifetime Achievement award.

Make sure you follow Seawork International on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with the exhibition events and conferences.


Mobile filtration unit wins marine sustainability award

A mobile filtration unit developed by French company CarenEcolo has won the Marine Sustainability Award at the European Commercial Marine Awards.

The awards showcase innovations and talent within the commercial marine sector. The winners were announced during the Seawork International 2017 Commercial Marine and Workboat Exhibition & Conference in Southampton, UK, on 13-15 June. 

The CarenEcolo mobile filtration unit is a system that collects and filters the contaminated washwater left when a boat hull coated with anti-fouling paint is cleaned. It is composed of a water collecting tarpaulin with inflatable sides where the boat is placed for high pressure cleaning. The water and debris is then pumped into the filtration unit where seven different types of filters decontaminate the water of paint, fuel, grease, biocides, lead, tributyltin (TBT), copper and other toxic materials.

TBT was used as a biocide in anti-fouling paint applied to the hulls of vessels to prevent the growth of marine organisms. TBT was widely banned after it was found to slowly leach out into the marine environment where it is extremely toxic to non-target marine organisms. 

The unit offers a solution for ports not equipped with a recuperation and filtration area and is mobile so costs can be shared between ports.

This is the first time CarenEcolo has exhibited the unit outside of France.


The New IMO Treaty to Ban TBT

December 4, 2002

The Diplomatic Conference held (October 1-5, 2001) by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London adopted the Draft Convention prepared by The Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) of IMO for the "Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems for Ships." The Convention has been developed to immediately ban the use of Tributyltin (TBT) globally in antifouling paints to "protect the marine environment". The ban on TBT has come about because TBT has detrimental effects on non-target marine organisms. In November 1999, IMO agreed that a Treaty be developed by the MEPC to ensure a ban on the application of TBT based antifouling paints by January 1, 2003, and a total ban on the use of TBT by January 1, 2008. The Convention will prohibit the use of harmful organotins in anti-fouling paints used on ships and establish a mechanism to prevent the potential future use of other harmful substances in anti-fouling systems (

Current Shipyard Practices

Current shipyard practices use freshwater and hydro blasting technologies (high pressure pumps) to washdown (to remove salt, slime, and biofouling) and paint from vessels. This produces washdown wastewater, which is discharged into waterways, contaminating port and harbor bottom sediments. If the TBT Treaty Enters into Force as proposed, the future cost of removal, treatment and disposal of spent antifouling TBT paint residues from ships in shipyards and drydocks and if not ther, then the subsequent cost for removal, treatment and disposal of TBT contaminated dredged material from harbors and waterways could increase significantly: an estimated 12 to 15 times. A key question is: who is liable for these additional costs? In the U.S., only the state of Virginia has discharge regulations (50 part-per-trillion) for TBT in washdown and hydroblast wasters from shipyards and drydocks. When a ship is first placed in a drydock, the vessel is washed down with freshwater to remove salt and prevent corrosion. This washwater is discharged directly to local rivers, estuaries or bays. The hydroblasting can break up the removed paint into paint chips into 10-micron size particles, which can be widely distributed in waterways. Over the past few years, this hydroblasting has become the preferred method to remove antifouling marine coatings (paints) from a ship's hull because of the human health risks from breathing sand blasted materials. Without national regulations on discharge requirements, this practice will continue and significantly increase between 2003-2008 as a result of the Treaty. Contaminated washdown (salt and slime removal) wastewaters from a large ship can exceed 100,000 gallons Hydroblasting (for total paint removal) wastewater from the same ship can exceed an additional 400,000 gallons. Rainfall runoff alone in a drydock can reach 20,000 gallons. Monitoring studies in the U.S. and U.K. have demonstrated that shipyards and dry-docks that remove spent TBT are the current major source of unregulated TBT in the marine environment.

Regulation of Shipyards and Drydocks

At MEPC 46 [a meeting of the IMO Marine Environmental Protection Committee held in London on April 23 through 27, 2001], a group of Delegations [Cyprus, Brazil, Denmark, Liberia, Marshall Islands and Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides)] stressed the need for language in the treaty requiring safe removal, treatment and disposal of TBT from ships. Subsequently in Plenary, the delegates then instructed the drafting committee to include a new article to regulate the "application or removal of anti-fouling systems" that are banned, requiring that they be "collected, handled, treated and disposed of in a safe and environmentally sound manner to protect the environment and human health". For most of the world, TBT in washdown and shipyard wastewaters can legally be discharged directly into local waters. In some places the discharge from the shipyard is routed through (ineffectively) a municipal waste treatment plant (WWTP).

At MEPC meetings, serious concern was expressed by some experts for the need to identify in the Treaty the necessary regulatory language for: (1) the "safe" removal, treatment, and disposal of "spent" marine antifouling paints (coatings) deemed "harmful" by the Treaty to also "protect the marine environment", and (2) who is liable for the future costs of dredging and disposal of TBT-contaminated port and harbor sediments dredged materials. The requirement for "safe" removal and disposal was subsequently incorporated at MEPC 46 as Article 5 in the Treaty, without it shipyards complying with existing national and local discharge regulations (most have none for the discharge of TBT) could inadvertently release more TBT to ports and harbors in the five-year compliance period than has been leached from ships (hulls) in the past 40 years to the same waters. A future concern of ports and harbors may be the liability for costs associated with the treatment and disposal of dredged sediments that are contaminated with TBT, which has not been addressed.

Treatment of TBT Contaminated Waste

Over the past four years, the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) — has funded several projects to develop and test wastewater treatment technologies to the Center for Applied Ship Repair and Maintenance (CASRM) and Old Dominion University in Virginia. These studies have found that washdown (salt removal) and hydroblast (paint removal) wastewaters in shipyards can contain up to six million parts per trillion TBT. In Virginia, this wastewater is treated to remove TBT from shipyard discharges. Researchers at Old Dominion University have demonstrated that off-the-shelf waste treatment technologies were not satisfactory for the treatment and removal of TBT in these wastewaters. In addition, U.S., Australian, U.K. and Swiss studies to remove TBT and other metals from wastewaters have found that advanced technologies not commonly utilized in normal sanitary treatment plants are required to remove TBT.

Studies conducted by EPA, U.S. Navy, UK DOE and the Consortium of Organotin Manufacturers Association (ORTEPA) have recorded declining levels of TBT worldwide, yet documented 'hot spots' of TBT in bottom sediments in the proximity of shipyards, drydocks, marina's, ports and harbors.


An example of how contamination can increase the costs for disposal of dredged material is seen in the two alternatives available to the Port of NY/NJ. The Mud Dumpsite, located three miles offshore, has been operational for many decades and has been the traditional disposal area that can accept clean dredged materials. Contaminated "spoils" have to be disposed of at an upland hazardous waste disposal facility. From 1977 to 1991, 90 percent of all NY/NJ dredge spoils were tested and classified, as clean spoils and only one to two percent were contaminated spoils. However, in 1991 the U.S. EPA required bioassay testing. This increased the volume of contaminated spoils.

For contaminated dredged material, the currently available alternative is upland disposal at a hazardous materials storage facility and none are available in the near vicinity. Howland Hook Terminal in Staten Island shipped 150,000 cu. yd. of sediment via barge and rail to Utah at a cost of $17 million or over $110/ cu. yd. Traditional fees for dumping dredge materials at the Mud Dumpsite at this time were in the area of $10/ cu. yd.

Therefore, concern was expressed over the need to identify regulatory language within the Treaty itself for the "safe" removal, treatment and disposal of TBT from ships, and clarification on the issue of liability of future dredging and disposal of TBT-contaminated port and harbor sediments. Under current regulatory practices for most of the world, TBT in washdown wastewaters can be discharged directly into local waters.

It is quite possible that the "regulated" nations can quickly implement new requirements to correct this situation. This implementation will result in the transfer TBT contamination to the "unregulated" countries, which are least able to deal with it. However, at IMO, there is a concern that unregulated countries may unknowingly accept the environmental and human health risks to gain economic benefits from removing TBT from ship's hulls. Market forces are selective for low-cost labor and weak environmental regulation. Unfortunately, most of these developing countries do not have the funding or environmental expertise available for the monitoring, research and technology development essential to treat and dispose TBT washdown wastewaters safely. These activities would defeat the purpose of the Treaty, which is to provide standardized global regulation and ensure that shipowners do not face multiple, fragmented and counter productive national regulations.

It has been estimated that between 70 to 80 percent of the 28,038 ships in global commerce use TBT. Under current practices, the estimated annual increase in wastes in shipyards and drydocks from the Treaty will be: 2.3 million tons of contaminated grit, 18,000 tons of spent paint, 1.8 million paint cans, and 1.1 billion gallons of contaminated washwater (low pressure for salt removal), and if the trend increases of using high pressure hydroblasting to remove spent paint, the volume of wastewater could exceed 5 billion gallons of water needing treatment.

Before the language of the Treaty is ratified, member nations should be aware of the need for regulating the removal and treatment of the spent paint (with biocides) in shipyards by each Member State (Contracting Parties to the Convention) and the permitted discharge limits for treated liquid wastes. In addition, where port and harbor bottom sediments contain TBT's, either from past activities or from paint removal in compliance with the treaty, port authorities would benefit also from defining who is liable for the increased costs for special dredging and treating of the TBT contaminated dredged material.

A Conference was recently held at the Technical University of Denmark in Lyngby, Denmark to bring together researchers on "Environmental Aspects of Handling Heavy Metal and TBT-Polluted Harbor Sediment." International experts indicated that a cost-effective system for remediation of persistent TBT (mostly paint chips) in contaminated bottom sediments might not be available for several years. Without incorporation of Article 5 in the treaty, shipyards complying with national and local discharge regulations could inadvertently release more TBT to ports and harbors in the five-year compliance period than has been released from ships (hulls) in the past 40 years to the same waters. This would be devastating to the marine environment.


When the IMO "TBT Treaty" enters into force, it will be implemented to remove the TBT from ships to protect the marine environment. The regulatory gap between removal and disposal may contaminate more port and harbor bottom sediments. Consequently, both shipyards and drydocks and ports and harbors (who had nothing to do with the Treaty) could be at risk for the liability of treatment and disposal of spent antifouling (TBT) paint residues and subsequent highly (TBT contaminated) bottom sediments in special landfills. The key question then becomes who is liable for the costs of removing and disposing these TBT contaminated spent antifouling paint residues and TBT contaminated dredged materials: shipowners, shipyards, or port and harbor authorities or the paint companies? Costs today for just dredging and disposal in a toxic and hazardous landfill have been estimated to be greater than $150 per cu. yd. … more than 10 times the current costs … and could be significantly greater if contained dredging is required and depending on the availability and location of nearby toxic and hazardous waste landfills and location of sensitive environmental resources in adjacent bays and estuaries. Current waste treatment technology is NOT available for treating TBT contaminated dredged materials, however a few studies are underway to develop them.

Regulation of "Contaminants" in Dredged Materials

Under Annex I of the London Dumping Convention, Contaminants in dredged materials can be ocean dumped if they are not greater than trace background levels, and not be Persistent, Toxic or Bioaccumulate.

Regarding TBT, it is a man made compound that does not occur in the marine environment, it is considered the most toxic material ever added to the marine environment, and filter feeding bivalves readily accumulate TBT. Bioaccumulation Factors (BAF) reported in the literature are as high as 50,000.

As the IMO TBT Treaty is ratified by Member Nations, Port and Harbor Authorities to determine their risks and liabilities from TBT contaminated dredged materials may wish to privately conduct risk assessments to determine the degree and extent of TBT contamination in their waterways and begin to give serious consideration to developing special toxic and hazardous material storage areas which could serve as immediate storage for TBT contaminated dredged materials until suitable technologies can be developed to treat them.

About the Author

Dr. Michael Champ has been involved in pollution and waste management for over 30 years. He has held appointments at the American University, Texas A&M University and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He has edited or authored eight books and over 350 publications. He is the co-editor of the major reference work on "Organotins: Environmental Fate and Behavior" 664 pg. (published by Chapman and Hall, Oxford). The book is a summary of over 40 years of research on the use and fate and behavior of the biocide - tributyltin (TBT), which is used as an additive in antifouling paints. He has severed as the resident scholar to the Army Corps of Engineers and to NOAA and a senior science advisor at EPA and a Queens Fellow (QEII) for marine science in Australia. Dr. Champ was asked by the U.S. Congress to help draft the Organotin Antifouling Paint Control Act of 1988, Public Law 100-333. (33 USC 2401). He has chaired four international symposia related to organotins and two for pollution prevention from ships and shipyards. In 2000 and 2001, he was the Technical Advisor to the Marshall Islands, Delegation for IMO MEPC 45, 46, for the New IMO Convention to "Control Harmful Antifouling Systems on Ships". The Treaty was adopted by IMO on October 5, 2001. He is the President of the Advanced Technology Research Project (ATRP) Corporation in Falls Church, Va., ( and has been extensively involved in developing waste treatment technologies and systems for TBT. He was a special consultant to CASRM (Center for Applied Ship Repair and Management) for three years for the development of the Barge Mounted TBT Waste Treatment System.