Waste not

December 01, 1999

Anyone who has ever lived on a boat or served aboard a Navy ship knows about the problem of handling wastewater. As the operator of the largest fleet of vessels in the world, the U.S. Navy is in need of an economical and environmentally friendly way of handling non-oily wastewater from its showers, laundries, galleys and heads. The Aerated Non-Oily Wastewater Membrane Treatment System (AMTS) may be just the solution to the Navy's oldest problem. AMTS is designed to treat shipboard graywater and vacuum-collected sewage. Developed under ONR sponsorship by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division and ZENON Environmental Systems of Canada, the system is currently undergoing a demonstration and evaluation at the Norfolk Naval Station. The prototype consists of a bioreactor, hollow fiber ultrafiltration membranes, and an ultraviolet disinfection system. It is designed to treat the non-oily wastewater from a crew of 75 and produces 2.3 gallons per minute of effluent.

If implemented, AMTS will eliminate costs associated with discharging non-oily wastewater to port handling facilities and eliminate fines associated with noncompliance. As an operational benefit, the system will allow ships to remain on their stations longer instead of leaving to discharge liquid waste at portside or at sea beyond 12 nautical miles. This project supports Department of Defense objectives of affordable environmental compliance and unrestricted access by DoD vessels to all navigable waters. After a successful demonstration of the technology, Naval Sea Systems Command's Shipboard Environmental Protection Program will develop a model for shipboard evaluation and acquisition. Zenon is actively developing a market for the AMTS in the vacation cruise line industry.

Office of Naval Research

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