According to information released by BAE Systems, the British Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen is equipped with the latest generation of wastewater treatment systems. The Elizabeth entered service with the Royal Navy in December 2017. The ship went above and beyond regulatory compliance, with an additional commitment to environmental protection demonstrated by the installation of a capable processing plant. to collect and treat all wastewater before storage or discharge.
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LASTING FRIENDSHIP EXERCISE Pictured: Left to right, HMS Queen Elizabeth, RNOV Seeb, HMS Diamond. (Image source British Navy)
The Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers are the largest warships ever built in the UK and were delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a unique partnership relationship between BAE Systems, Babcock, Thales and the UK Department of defense.
The initial outline design was developed through a competition and detailed system design was undertaken within the alliance. The class consists of two ships, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. Three times the size of the Invincible-class aircraft carriers, these massive ships use the latest technology and equipment, allowing them to operate with a streamlined crew of 679, roughly the same unmanned workforce as aircraft carriers. previous ones. The intention of the design was to use technology wherever possible to improve operability, reduce life cycle cost, and reduce labor load throughout life.
Wastewater can be divided into two categories; black water and gray water. Black water is waste generated by the toilets, as well as the drainage of the medical dispensary and the infirmary via sinks and washing tubs. It can contain pollutants, including nutrients, metals, toxins and pathogens, which can adversely affect the quality of seawater and aquatic ecosystems, as well as pose risks to human health.
In addition, kitchen waste (ship’s kitchens) is collected independently and separated into food waste (then dried), grease (then stored before further treatment) and residual gray water which passes into the gray water system.
Gray water includes wastewater from showers, sinks, and laundry, which can contain nitrates, phosphates, antibiotics, and other chemicals. Like black water, discharges of gray water into the sea can contribute to marine pollution and deprive the water of oxygen, making the survival of marine organisms in these areas extremely difficult.
Most legislation focuses on the treatment of black water and, with a few exceptions, gray water is not yet covered by the legislation. Besides being the right thing to do, HMS Queen Elizabeth’s gray water treatment system safeguards the vessel from any future changes in environmental gray water regulations and therefore ensures that it maintains access to subject areas. with restrictions now and in the future.
By incorporating a treatment plant that can treat both gray and black water, HMS Queen Elizabeth not only demonstrates compliance with international maritime law, but has also been granted an optional Lloyds Register Notation Gray Water (G), which demonstrates improved environmental protection for anywhere operations. around the world.
While it was difficult to route the drains through the vessel from multiple sources and ensure that oil and grease contaminations would not affect the performance of the integrated treatment plant, this challenge was raised by a talented design team. Both gray and black water systems have achieved performance and acceptance characteristics.
What are the other advantages of this treatment system? Treating gray water on the vessel prior to discharge reduces adverse effects on marine life and water quality. It eliminates harmful pathogens introduced into the ocean and fisheries. As other ships adopt this type of system, it should also help improve the visual quality of the coasts, which in turn could have a positive impact on visitor enjoyment and tourism.