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PCU Bush to Operate New Water Treatment System

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080613-09
Release Date: 6/13/2008 3:04:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Aidan P. Campbell, Pre-Commissioning Unit George H.W. Bush Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va (NNS) -- When aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) joins the fleet, it will operate an environmentally friendly wastewater treatment system that is the first of its kind for U.S. Navy vessels.

The Vacuum Collection Marine Sanitation Device (VC/MSD) has replaced the conventional Collection Holding and Transfer (CHT) systems found in other Navy ships. The VC/MSD is capable of treating non-oily wastewater generated by the ship rather than storing it as the CHT system does, according to Hull Technician 1st Class (SW) Nicolas M. Brunney.

"The VC/MSD collects and processes sewage and other wastewater from toilets, sculleries and showers," said Hull Technician 3rd Class Luke S. Fontenot, a Sailor in the engineering R-division.

The VC/MSD processes wastewater by breaking down solid wastes with bacteria. Then, the processed solids are sterilized using ultraviolet light before being discharged.

Technology similar to the VC/MSD has been in use on civilian ships for many years and is now being implemented onto Navy vessels to make ships more environmentally friendly. As a bonus, VC/MSD reduces costs and security concerns associated with having to acquire barges for sewage disposal.

The flexibility of the VC/MSD also adds to the mission readiness of the ship. The VC/MSD can be operated near shore and is safe for local environments due to its release of only sterile discharge from the ship, unlike the CHT systems that are connected to shore sewage facilities when the ship is in port.

Some parts of the VC/MSD will require regular cleaning and maintenance, such as ultraviolet lights and vacuum pumps.

"It is a far more complicated system that will require a substantial amount of preventive maintenance in comparison," said Brunney, leading petty officer of engineering pipe shop.

Since the beginning of operation of the aft VC/MSD plant in 2006, the R-division has encountered no major problems, but they still consider the system in a troubleshooting stage, meaning the system is operational, but Sailors are fine tuning it to ensure maximum efficiency.

For more news from Pre-Commissioning Unit George H.W. Bush, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn77/.

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