Waste water

An update from Suzanne O'Connell
A sink aboard the ship
A sink aboard the ship.

Sagas of sea voyages commonly focus on the crucial need for an ongoing supply of fresh water, but very few acknowledge an equal technological challenge: the environmentally-safe disposal of the resulting waste. After all, very little of the 15,500 gallons of water used aboard the Resolution each day is actually consumed. Most gets used for activities such as showering and laundry, after which the water—no longer pure and fresh—must be disposed of as waste.

Fresh Water Use : Laundry
There is always too much laundry to do.

Laundry uses a LOT of water. Three thirty-five pound washing machines work 24 hours every day. A continuous stream of greasy coveralls and personal laundry are added to the 200 towels and 33 sheets of the daily wash. Laundry water and shower water are considered "gray water"; they go into a holding tank and then to the sea.

The rest of the water goes through a macerator where particles are chopped into half-inch long pieces. Water and particles flow into a tank where they are mixed with seawater. An electro-catalytic cell uses electrolysis to convert seawater to sodium hyper chlorite. The sodium hyper chlorite kills any bacteria and then the sterilized mixture is returned to the sea.