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A ship's bilge is the lowest interior area of the vessel. Bilge may also refer to the turn of the bilge, the meeting of side and bottom shells. In a single bottom ship, the bilge will be the area between frames. A raised flooring with removable grates is often fitted overtop of the bilge to provide for movement about the compartment. In double-bottom ships, a couple bilge wells will be fitted to each compartment. In this use, the bilge serves as a collection for leaks, condensate, water on decks, and minor spillage.

  • Bilge water can represent an environmental concern, and should not be pumped overboard without sufficient treatment.
  • Bilge pumps can be used in an emergency to control flooding.

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