Energy Efficiency US Navy will use Global Water Group's portable high efficiency wastewater treatment and recycling system

Published on March 18th, 2010 | by Tina Casey


U.S. Navy "Swabs the Decks" with Recycled Wastewater

March 18th, 2010 by  

US Navy will use Global Water Group's portable high efficiency wastewater treatment and recycling systemThe U.S. Navy is legendary for its kick-ass cleanliness, and now it’s tapping into recycled wastewater to use for maintenance and flushing toilets.  The Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal group based in San Diego has just purchased a self-contained, energy efficient portable treatment system from Global Water Group that is actually capable of bringing wastewater up to a level that exceeds U.S. EPA and World Health Organization standards for drinking water, though the Navy has no plans for drinking it (yet).


Even if you can’t quite wrap your mind around toilet-to-tap recycling, there are still plenty of opportunities to use treated wastewater for non-drinking uses, including irrigation.  And anyways, what’s the big deal about toilet-to-tap – as the saying goes, there’s no new water in the world, and even bottled water has to come from somewhere…

The U.S. Navy, Water Recycling, and Sustainability

The Navy is an old hand at water treatment.  After all, drinking desalinated seawater comes with the job.   The Navy recently upped the sustainability ante by developing a new high efficiency desalination system that uses about 65% less energy than conventional systems.  Like the Global Water unit, the new desalination system is portable, and an earlier model has been used in the  Navy’s humanitarian relief operations on land (more on that below).

Global Water Group and Wastewater Recycling

Global Water specializes in fast acting, high efficiency portable water treatment systems, with an eye toward military and humanitarian relief uses.  The basis of Global’s technology is tried-and-true extended aeration activated sludge, which means stimulating the growth of bacteria that digest organic matter.  The process was developed about 30 years ago and Global has come up with a couple of tweaks that speed it up.  The conventional process yields a sludge byproduct, which Global eliminated by designing the system to recycle sludge back for more digestion.  High tech filters remove parasites and chemicals, and instead of using chlorine as the primary disinfectant, the process kills off remaining bacteria and viruses with ultraviolet light.

The U.S. Military and Global Warming

Never mind that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Legislative Exchange Council are busily unloading their guns against climate science, the U.S. Department of Defense has put its money on the science and has determined that climate change is a significant national security issue in an official assessment issued earlier this year.  In fact, the The U.S. military has been pursuing sustainability measures for years, as illustrated by the Navy’s development of  solar power, hybrid-electric ships, biofuels, and new “green” coatings to keep barnacles and other biofilm off ships’ hulls (biofilm can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 40% so it’s a good thing to get rid of).

The U.S. Navy and Global Warming

Last year the Navy got a head start on the DoD and established Task Force Climate Change to prepare for the impact of rising sea levels.  In particular, the Navy anticipates an increase in its humanitarian relief role, which in turn will push the development of more efficient, portable water and wastewater treatment systems.   Memo to the Chamber of Commerce: Support Our Troops!

Image: Mopping by meddygarnet on 
Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.



About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

  • hulsey2

    I hope all government agencies follow the us navy’s example to protect the clean water supply from wastewater pollution. This is very innovative and impressive. I applaud the us navy’s wastewater treatment initative.

  • jman

    I hope all government agencies follow the us navy’s example to protect the clean water supply from wastewater pollution. This is very innovative and impressive. I applaud the us navy’s wastewater treatment imitative.

  • It’s very encouraging to see the U.S. war machine employ green measures as well as be innovators for sustainable technology. That’s what I call our tax dollars being put to good use.

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Low Voltage Electrification Event, April 25-27. Detroit, Michigan (US)
    Delve deep into the benefits and challenges associated with EV power supply.

    Offshore Wind Market Development USA, May 11-12, Boston, Massachusetts (US)
    Network and establish your business in one of North America’s largest energy industries.

    Energy Storage USA, June 15-16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

  • Search the IM Network