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Houghton — Technicians have used a vessel that hauls passengers to Isle Royale National Park for testing a refined treatment method to rid ships’ ballast water of invasive species.

Isle Royale Superintendent Phyllis Green says a marine engineering firm used the M/V Ranger III last weekend to try out prototype equipment for mixing chemicals that can kill organisms in ballast tanks. The equipment shortens the time needed to treat a ship.

Ballast water is a leading pathway for aquatic invaders to reach the Great Lakes. Oceangoing ships scoop up water with living organisms in foreign ports and release them into the lakes when taking on cargo.

Companies are trying to develop systems for sterilizing ballast water. The Ranger is equipped with an ultraviolet light and filtration system for the purpose.

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