Author Topic: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...  (Read 2340 times)

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Offline dapaterson

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New toilets on the Navy’s two newest aircraft carriers clog so frequently that the ships’ sewage systems must be cleaned periodically with specialized acids costing about $400,000 a flush, according to a new congressional audit outlining $130 billion in underestimated long-term maintenance costs.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-24/unclogging-toilets-at-400-000-a-flush-among-navy-cost-overruns
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Offline FSTO

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Re: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2020, 09:33:47 »

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2020, 09:52:04 »
http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com/2020/03/transformed-our-way-out-of-functional.html

Love the Christmas Vacation picture in the Cdr's post.

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Proactively “From the Sea”; an agent of change leveraging the littoral best practices for a paradigm breaking six-sigma best business case to synergize a consistent design in the global commons, rightsizing the core values supporting our mission statement via the 5-vector model through cultural diversity

So many buzz words it could be Canadian.
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Offline Dimsum

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Re: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2020, 11:24:40 »
So many buzz words it could be Canadian.

I'm pretty sure we learned that lesson from them, not the other way around.
“If you run into an a-hole in the morning, you ran into an a-hole. If you run into a-holes all day, you're the a-hole.”

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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2020, 12:20:53 »
I'm pretty sure we learned that lesson from them, not the other way around.

You're probably right.

I'm guessing our thought leaders decided we should unpack the industry, deep dive some ideas and future proof them to re-contextualize our efforts in a re-imagined future. By vertically integrating the curve we'll skate to where the puck is going to be and introduce high level learning resulting in a robust horizontal management structure  ;D

Also maybe the US Aircraft carriers should use bigger pipes.
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Online Blackadder1916

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Re: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2020, 12:53:43 »

Also maybe the US Aircraft carriers should use bigger pipes.

Or maybe the sailors can eat less fiber.
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Offline Dimsum

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Re: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2020, 12:56:45 »
Or maybe the sailors can eat less fiber.

Seeing how the typical American (military or otherwise) eats, I don't think fibre is the problem. 
“If you run into an a-hole in the morning, you ran into an a-hole. If you run into a-holes all day, you're the a-hole.”

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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2020, 13:25:42 »
I am willing to bet there was a case of whiskey on that "From the sea" missive.  Most buzz words wins.
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Offline Dimsum

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Re: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2020, 13:29:44 »
I am willing to bet there was a case of whiskey on that "From the sea" missive.  Most buzz words wins.

You can even get Buzzword Bingo on a mug.

https://www.zazzle.ca/buzzword_bingo_mug-168736844709319448
“If you run into an a-hole in the morning, you ran into an a-hole. If you run into a-holes all day, you're the a-hole.”

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Re: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2020, 15:06:08 »
New toilets on the Navy’s two newest aircraft carriers clog so frequently that the ships’ sewage systems must be cleaned periodically with specialized acids costing about $400,000 a flush, according to a new congressional audit outlining $130 billion in underestimated long-term maintenance costs.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-24/unclogging-toilets-at-400-000-a-flush-among-navy-cost-overruns

For context, the acid flush procedure is pretty common 24 monthly routine, but is really invasive as you need to actually open up access points to the pipe and run an acid solution through to strip off a buildup inside the pipe.  Weirdly, a vacuum system stops working when you do that, so the whole section is down while it's done.  Also usually find out if you have thin spots in the pipe (when they burst or leak when you remove the reinforcing layer of old poop). It's a legitimately sh!tty job that no one enjoys doing more then you need to.

About 8 years ago, we had a proposal from a yard in St. Catherines to use some kind of biogester instead that is common on cruise ships where you basically just pour in a cap as part of your normal cleaning routine, and it eats the stuff on the side of the pipe as it slowly moves through the system. Not sure why, but we never adopted it.  Big maintenance saving though; all you really need to do is hit each toilet and flush.

Crazy they didn't anticipate this, not rocket science that you have a big surge before each shift, and would expect intermediate holding tanks with extra vacuum pumps on a ship this big. Also, urinals make a massive difference as they don't have the same suction requirements.

Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2020, 18:43:30 »
About 8 years ago, we had a proposal from a yard in St. Catherines to use some kind of biogester instead that is common on cruise ships where you basically just pour in a cap as part of your normal cleaning routine, and it eats the stuff on the side of the pipe as it slowly moves through the system. Not sure why, but we never adopted it.

Gamazyme? Or something else?

We have a bio-treatment system, liquid gamazyme gets used as a cleaner in all the toilets plus every couple of weeks we mix up a couple of buckets of powder gamazyme and dump that down a few toilets on each deck as well.

It's not particularly effective against "piss rock" which in turn is our biggest cause of clogs, and still requires an acid flush to deal with.

Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2020, 18:58:03 »
What the hell is “piss rock”?

Small words, short sentences please.

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Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2020, 19:09:28 »
Piss rock is the short version.

It's a whiteish scale that builds up in the pipes, mostly from dissolved solids in urine.

It's as hard as a rock. Periodically chunks will even brake free and rattle around in the macerater pumps/settle in the holding tank, like small stinky pebbles.

Flushing the pipes with acid dissolves the scale.

Edit: I should add, Navy Pete may be talking about something else, as he mentioned "pour in a cap as part of your normal cleaning routine"... Gamazyme *is* the cleaner we use and the only cleaner we use, anything else will cause problems with the system.

Its biologically active to treat the waste, but it's like $40 for a 2L bottle.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 19:16:33 by Not a Sig Op »

Online Navy_Pete

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Re: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2020, 20:35:35 »
Gamazyme? Or something else?

We have a bio-treatment system, liquid gamazyme gets used as a cleaner in all the toilets plus every couple of weeks we mix up a couple of buckets of powder gamazyme and dump that down a few toilets on each deck as well.

It's not particularly effective against "piss rock" which in turn is our biggest cause of clogs, and still requires an acid flush to deal with.

I can't remember the name of the product; it was something that I glanced at and passed on the the SME for the system.  Probably the same idea though; just remembered that it was something added daily to the toilets as part of the cleaning routine, with ( I think) a bigger shot at the start with a dwell time, so believe it was a kind of biologically active cleaner, but not 100%.

Don't think it would have fixed a lot of our clogs either, but sounded like it was worth a go. Of course, nothing is going to get some of the really odd ones (like a stubby screwdriver or kebab sticks), but flushable wipes, tampons and the brown paper towels seemed to be the biggest culprits. Sure there were parts of the pipe that were down pretty small with the 'piss rock' buildup though, which probably made it worse ( but also gave some of the sections structural integrity).

Was weird to me though how jury rigged the acid flush always was though; you think it would be easy enough to design a couple of easy connection points with a capped flange or one of the standard quick connects. Seemed silly to have to break pipe connections to hook it up, run a flush, then shift to another section to get the whole system. Most of the work was with getting everything all set up and after that it was just watching for leaks with the hoses running everywhere inside the ship, vice a few fixed pipes with exterior connection points ( or easily accessible internal ones).

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Re: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2020, 22:00:19 »
You can't expect Naval Architects to think like plumbers......

Offline CloudCover

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Re: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2020, 23:47:21 »
You can't expect Naval Architects to think like plumbers......

Correct. For that you need a navel architect.
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Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2020, 05:45:53 »
Quote
Don't think it would have fixed a lot of our clogs either, but sounded like it was worth a go. Of course, nothing is going to get some of the really odd ones (like a stubby screwdriver or kebab sticks), but flushable wipes, tampons and the brown paper towels seemed to be the biggest culprits.

Gamazyme doesn't help with any of those clogs either...

One of our engineers talks about finding a complete fish stuck in the sewage system on a dragger one day... apparently the on board fisheries observer had taken it to their cabin to identify and then decided to flush it down to toilet.


Quote
Was weird to me though how jury rigged the acid flush always was though; you think it would be easy enough to design a couple of easy connection points with a capped flange or one of the standard quick connects.

It is easy enough, just depends on the designer and customer.

Vessel I'm on now has all stainless piping for its sewage and domestic drains, and has accessible clean outs/points for flushing on each deck.

Still need to run hoses through the boat though as it's done by a truck on the wharf.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: New US aircraft carriers - $400K per flush of the toilets...
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2020, 20:34:13 »
You're probably right.

I'm guessing our thought leaders decided we should unpack the industry, deep dive some ideas and future proof them to re-contextualize our efforts in a re-imagined future. By vertically integrating the curve we'll skate to where the puck is going to be and introduce high level learning resulting in a robust horizontal management structure  ;D

Also maybe the US Aircraft carriers should use bigger pipes.

Be careful. A headhunter for a big consulting firm might get in touch :)
“To stand on the firing parapet and expose yourself to danger; to stand and fight a thousand miles from home when you're all alone and outnumbered and probably beaten; to spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary.”
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