The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) annual edition is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government produced by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the Government Publishing Office.
Download the Code of Federal Regulations in XML.
Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules for the Code of Federal Regulations and the United States Code
Text | PDF
Find, review, and submit comments on Federal rules that are open for comment and published in the Federal Register using Regulations.gov.
Purchase individual CFR titles from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.
Find issues of the CFR (including issues prior to 1996) at a local Federal depository library.
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
§56.50-50 Bilge and ballast piping.
(a)(1) All vessels except unmanned barges shall be provided with a satisfactory bilge pumping plant capable of pumping from and draining any watertight compartment except for ballast, oil and water tanks which have acceptable means for filling and emptying independent of the bilge system. The bilge pumping system shall be capable of operation under all practicable conditions after a casualty whether the ship is upright or listed. For this purpose wing suctions will generally be necessary except in narrow compartments at the ends of the vessel where one suction may be sufficient. In compartments of unusual form, additional suctions may be required.
(2) Arrangements shall be made whereby water in the compartments will drain to the suction pipes. Efficient means shall be provided for draining water from all tank tops, other watertight flats and insulated holds. Peak tanks, chain lockers and decks over peak tanks may be drained by eductors, ejectors, or hand pumps. Where piping is led through the forepeak, see §56.50-1(b).
(3) Where drainage from particular compartments is considered undesirable, the provisions for such drainage may be omitted, provided it can be shown by calculations that the safety of the vessel will not be impaired.
(4) Where the vessel is to carry Class 3 flammable liquids with a flashpoint below 23 °C (74 °F), Class 6, Division 6.1, poisonous liquids, or Class 8 corrosive liquids with a flashpoint below 23 °C (74 °F) as defined in 49 CFR part 173, in enclosed cargo spaces, the bilge-pumping system must be designed to ensure against inadvertent pumping of such liquids through machinery-space piping or pumps.
(5) For each vessel constructed on or after June 9, 1995, and on an international voyage, arrangements must be made to drain the enclosed cargo spaces on either the bulkhead deck of a passenger vessel or the freeboard deck of a cargo vessel.
(i) If the deck edge, at the bulkhead deck of a passenger vessel or the freeboard deck of a cargo vessel, is immersed when the vessel heels 5° or less, the drainage of the enclosed cargo spaces must discharge to a space, or spaces, of adequate capacity, each of which has a high-water-level alarm and a means to discharge overboard. The number, size and arrangement of the drains must prevent unreasonable accumulation of water. The pumping arrangements must take into account the requirements for any fixed manual or automatic sprinkling system. In enclosed cargo spaces fitted with carbon-dioxide extinguishing systems, the drains must have traps or other means to prevent escape of the smothering gas. The enclosed cargo spaces must not drain to machinery spaces or other spaces where sources of ignition may be present if water may be contaminated with Class 3 flammable liquids; Class 6, Division 6.1, poisonous liquids; or Class 8 corrosive liquids with a flashpoint below 23 °C (74 °F).
(ii) If the deck edge, at the bulkhead deck of a passenger vessel or the freeboard deck of a cargo vessel, is immersed only when the vessel heels more than 5°, the drainage of the enclosed cargo spaces may be by means of a sufficient number of scuppers discharging overboard. The installation of scuppers must comply with §42.15-60 of this chapter.
(b) Passenger vessels shall have provision made to prevent the compartment served by any bilge suction piping from being flooded in the event the pipe is severed or otherwise damaged by collision or grounding in any other compartment. Where the piping is located within one-fifth of the beam of the side of the vessel (measured at right angles to the centerline at the level of the deepest subdivision loadline or deepest loadline where a subdivision loadline is not assigned) or is in a ductkeel, a nonreturn valve shall be fitted to the end of the pipe in the compartment which it serves.
(c)(1) Each bilge suction must lead from a manifold except as otherwise approved by the Commanding Officer, Marine Safety Center. As far as practicable, each manifold must be in, or be capable of remote operation from, the same space as the bilge pump that normally takes suction on that manifold. In either case, the manifold must be capable of being locally controlled from above the floorplates and must be easily accessible at all times. As far as practicable, each overboard-discharge valve for a bilge system must comply with the requirements governing location and accessibility for suction manifolds. Except as otherwise permitted by paragraph (c)(4) of this section for a vessel employing a common-rail bilge system, each bilge-manifold valve controlling a bilge suction from any compartment must be of the stop-check type.
(2) Each passenger vessel on an international voyage must comply with the provisions of SOLAS II-1/21.
(3) A common-rail bilge system may be installed as an acceptable alternative to the system required by paragraph (c)(1) of this section, provided it satisfies all of the following criteria:
(i) The common-rail main runs inboard at least one-fifth of the beam of the vessel.
(ii) A stop-check valve or both a stop valve and a check valve are provided in each branch line and located inboard at least one-fifth of the beam of the vessel.
(iii) The stop valve or the stop-check valve is power-driven, is capable of remote operation from the space where the pump is, and, regardless of the status of the power system, is capable of manual operation to both open and close the valve.
(iv) The stop valve or the stop-check valve is accessible for both manual operation and repair under all operating conditions, and the space used for access contains no expansion joint or flexible coupling that, upon failure, would cause flooding and prevent access to the valve.
(v) A port and a starboard suction serve each space protected unless, under the worst conditions of list and trim and with liquid remaining after pumping, the vessel's stability remains acceptable, in accordance with subchapter S of this chapter.
(vi) For each vessel designed for the carriage of combinations of both liquid and dry bulk cargoes (O/B/O), no bilge pump or piping is located in a machinery space other than in a pump room for cargo, and no liquid and other cargoes are carried simultaneously.
(vii) For each cargo vessel in Great Lakes service, each common-rail piping for the bilge and ballast system serving cargo spaces, if installed and if connected to a dedicated common-rail bilge system, must lead separately from a valved manifold located at the pump.
(d) The internal diameter of bilge suction pipes including strainers shall be determined by formulas (1) and (2), except that the nearest commercial size not more than one-fourth inch under the required diameter may be used. Bilge suction pipes shall be suitably faired to pump inlets.
(1) For suctions to each main bilge pump:View or download PDF
(2) For branch suctions to cargo and machinery spaces:View or download PDF
L=Length of vessel on loadwater line, in feet.
B=Breadth of vessel, in feet. (5)
D=Molded depth (in feet) to the bulkhead deck. (6)
c=Length of compartment, in feet.
d=Required internal diameter of suction pipe, in inches.
Note 1. For tank vessels, “L” may be reduced by the combined length of the cargo oil tanks.
Note 2. For bulk carriers with full depth wing tanks served by a ballast system where the beam of the vessel is not representative of the breadth of the compartment, “B” may be appropriately modified to the breadth of the compartment.
Note 3. In the calculation for a vessel with more than one hull, such as a catamaran, the breadth of the unit is the breadth of one hull.
Note 4. In the calculation for a mobile offshore drilling unit, “L” is reducible by the combined length of spaces that can be pumped by another piping system meeting §§56.50-50 and 56.50-55, where “L” is the length of the unit at the waterline.
Note 5. For mobile offshore drilling units employing unusual hull forms, “B” may be modified to the average breadth rather than the maximum breadth.
Note 6. For each passenger vessel constructed on or after June 9, 1995, and being on an international voyage, D must be measured to the next deck above the bulkhead deck if an enclosed cargo space on the bulkhead deck that is internally drained in accordance with paragraph (a)(4) of this section extends the entire length of the vessel. Where the enclosed cargo space extends a lesser length, D must be taken as the sum of the molded depth (in feet) to the bulkhead deck plus lh/L where l and h are the aggregate length and height (in feet) of the enclosed cargo space.
(3) For vessels of 150 gross tons and over, no main suction piping shall be less than 21⁄2 inches internal diameter. Branch piping need not be more than 4 inches and shall not be less than 2 inches in diameter except for drainage of small pockets or spaces in which case 11⁄2 -inch diameter may be used. For vessels less than 150 gross tons no bilge suction shall be less than 11⁄2 inches internal diameter and no branch piping shall be less than 1 inch nominal pipe size.
(4) For vessels of 65 feet in length or less and not engaged on an international voyage, the bilge pipe sizes computed by Formulas (1) and (2) of this paragraph are not mandatory, but in no case shall the size be less than 1 inch nominal pipe size.
(5) The number, location, and size of bilge suctions in the boiler and machinery compartments shall be determined when the piping plans are submitted for approval and shall be based upon the size of the compartments and the drainage arrangements.
(e) Independent bilge suction. One of the independent bilge pumps must have a suction of a diameter not less than that given by Formula (2) in paragraph (d) of this section that is led directly from the engine room bilge entirely independent of the bilge main, and on passenger vessels each independent bilge pump located in the machinery spaces must have such direct suctions from these spaces, except that not more than two pumps are required to have direct suctions from any one space. A suction that is led directly from a suitably located pump manifold may be considered to be independent of the bilge main. Where two direct suctions are required in any one compartment on passenger vessels, one suction must be located on each side of the compartment. If watertight bulkheads separate the engine and boiler rooms, a direct suction or suctions must be fitted to each compartment unless the pumps available for bilge service are distributed throughout these compartments, in which case at least one pump in each such compartment must be fitted with direct suction in its compartment. In a vessel with more than one hull, there must be one bilge pump that has an independent bilge suction in each hull. In a column stabilized mobile offshore drilling unit, the independent bilge suction must be from the pumproom bilge.
(f) Emergency bilge suctions. In addition to the independent bilge suction(s) required by paragraph (e) of this section, an emergency bilge suction must be provided in the machinery space for all self-propelled vessels as described in the following subparagraphs. Emergency suctions must be provided from pumps other than those required by §56.50-55(a) of this part. Such suctions must have nonreturn valves, and must meet the following criteria as appropriate:
(1) On passenger vessels propelled by steam and operating on an international voyage or on ocean, coastwise, or Great Lakes routes, the main circulating pump is to be fitted with a direct bilge suction for the machinery space. The diameter of such suctions shall not be less than two-thirds the diameter of the main sea injection. When it can be shown to the satisfaction of the Commandant that the main circulating pump is not suitable for emergency bilge service, a direct emergency bilge suction is to be led from the largest available independent power driven pump to the drainage level of the machinery space. The suction is to be of the same diameter as the main inlet of the pump used and the capacity of the pump shall exceed that of a required main bilge pump.
(2) On passenger vessels propelled by internal combustion engines and operating on an international voyage or on ocean, coastwise, or Great Lakes routes, the largest available pump in the engine room is to be fitted with the direct bilge suction in the machinery space except that a required bilge pump may not be used. The area of the suction pipe is to be equal to the full suction inlet of the pump. The discharge capacity of the pump selected shall exceed the capacity of the required main bilge pump.
(3) Vessels over 180 feet in length which are not passenger vessels and which operate on international voyages or in ocean, coastwise, or Great Lakes service, must be provided with a direct emergency bilge suction from any pump in the machinery space, except that a required bilge pump may not be used. The discharge capacity of the pump selected must exceed the capacity of the required main bilge pump and the area of the suction inlet is to be equal to the full suction inlet of the pump.
(4) Vessels under 180 feet in length need not provide an emergency bilge suction, except that passenger vessels shall comply with the requirements of paragraphs (f) (1) and (2) of this section.
(5) Each vessel with more than one hull must have an emergency bilge suction in each hull.
(6) Each column stabilized mobile offshore drilling unit must have—
(i) An emergency bilge suction in each hull; and
(ii) A remote control for the emergency pump and associated valves that can be operated from the ballast control room.
(g) Each individual bilge suction shall be fitted with a suitable bilge strainer having an open area of not less than three times at of the suction pipe. In addition a mud box or basket strainer shall be fitted in an accessible position between the bilge suction manifold and the pump.
(h) Pipes for draining cargo holds or machinery spaces must be separate from pipes which are used for filling or emptying tanks where water or oil is carried. Bilge and ballast piping systems must be so arranged as to prevent oil or water from the sea or ballast spaces from passing into cargo holds or machinery spaces, or from passing from one compartment to another, whether from the sea, water ballast, or oil tanks, by the appropriate installation of stop and non-return valves. The bilge and ballast mains must be fitted with separate control valves at the pumps. Except as allowed by paragraph (c)(4)(vii) of this section, piping for draining a cargo hold or machinery space must be separate from piping used for filling or emptying any tank where water or oil is carried. Piping for bilge and ballast must be arranged so as to prevent, by the appropriate installation of stop and non-return valves, oil or water from the sea or ballast spaces from passing into a cargo hold or machinery space, or from passing from one compartment to another, regardless of the source. The bilge and ballast mains must be fitted with separate control valves at the pumps.
(i) Ballast piping shall not be installed to any hull compartment of a wood vessel. Where the carriage of liquid ballast in such vessels is necessary, suitable ballast tanks, structurally independent of the hull, shall be provided.
(j) When dry cargo is to be carried in deep tanks, arrangement shall be made for disconnecting or blanking-off the oil and ballast lines, and the bilge suctions shall be disconnected or blanked-off when oil or ballast is carried. Blind flanges or reversible pipe fittings may be employed for this purpose.
(k) Where bilge and ballast piping is led through tanks, except ballast piping in ballast tanks, means must be provided to minimize the risk of flooding of other spaces due to pipe failure within the tanks. In this regard, such piping may be in an oiltight or watertight pipe tunnel, or the piping may be of Schedule 80 pipe wall thickness, fitted with expansion bends, and all joints within the tanks are welded. Alternative designs may be installed as approved by the Marine Safety Center. Where a pipe tunnel is installed, the watertight integrity of the bulkheads must be maintained. No valve or fitting may be located within the tunnel if the pipe tunnel is not of sufficient size to afford easy access. These requirements need not be met provided the contents of the tank and piping system are chemically compatible and strength and stability calculations are submitted showing that crossflooding resulting from a pipe, the tank, and the spaces through which the piping passes will not seriously affect the safety of the ship, including the launching of lifeboats due to the ship's listing. Bilge lines led through tanks without a pipe tunnel must be fitted with nonreturn valves at the bilge suctions.
(l) When bilge pumps are utilized for other services, the piping shall be so arranged that under any condition at least one pump will be available for drainage of the vessel through an overboard discharge, while the other pump(s) are being used for a different service.
(m) All bilge pipes used in or under fuel storage tanks or in the boiler or machinery space, including spaces in which oil settling tanks or oil pumping units are located, shall be of steel or other acceptable material.
(n) Oil pollution prevention requirements for bilge and ballast systems are contained in subpart B of part 155, title 33, Code of Federal Regulations.
Note: For the purposes of this section, a pumproom is a machinery space on a column stabilized mobile offshore drilling unit.
[CGFR 68-82, 33 FR 18843, Dec. 18, 1968, as amended by CGFR 69-127, 35 FR 9979, June 17, 1970; CGD 73-58R, 39 FR 18767, May 30, 1974; 79-165a, 45 FR 64188, Sept. 29, 1980; CGD 77-140, 54 FR 40608, Oct. 2, 1989; 55 FR 39968, Oct. 1, 1990; CGD 83-043, 60 FR 24772, May 10, 1995; CGD 95-028, 62 FR 51201, Sept. 30, 1997]