The Canadian Coast Guard says its new on-board wastewater electrochemical treatment technology system (WETT-S) eliminates about 75% more suspended solids, including heavy metals and other harmful particles that can pollute oceans and waterways.
The WETT-S system was developed under the Coast Guard’s fleet renewal plan and nearly 10 years of research and engineering with Montréal-based cleantech company Terragon Environmental Technologies. It has also been containerized for evaluation by the U.S. Army for highly contaminated sewage on forward operating bases.
The wastewater system utilizes electrocoagulation with the ability to self-clean, performing “automated contaminant coagulation, flocculation, flotation, separation and removal in a single enclosed reactor,” Terragon explains on its product site. No polymer addition, settling or flotation tanks, or filters are required.
The system also reduces more chemical oxygen demand, and completely eliminates phosphorus in the wastewater.
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“Doing everything we can to ensure we have cleaner coastlines is the right thing to do for our ecosystems, our communities and future generations,” announced Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, in a statement. “I am proud of this important step taken today to adopt a greener water treatment technology on the CCGS Earl Grey and look forward to a wider use of ground-breaking clean technologies on our Coast Guard vessels,” Murray added.
While the WETT-S technology will debut on the Earl Grey, a medium endurance multi-tasked vessel based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, the Coast Guard has been testing greener wastewater technology since 2019. It has utilized Terragon’s WETT-O system on two vessels, including Earl Grey. The technology treats oily emulsions contained in bilge water and produces an effluent with less than 5 ppm of oil.
Launched in 1985, the Earl Grey is equipped with a large crane. It performs ice-breaking operations in the winter and is also capable of search and rescue functions.
“With consistent support from the Canadian Government, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard, Terragon has developed world leading technologies for the on-site conversion of waste to resources, which enable a Zero Waste Ship,” announced Terragon President and CEO, Peter Tsantrizos, in a statement. “We greatly appreciate the Canadian Coast Guard’s initiative to install these technologies onboard their ships both to have greener operations and to accelerate the commercialization of Canadian cleantech,” he added.
In October 2022, the Canadian Coast Guard announced the start of a biodiesel testing project and the launch of the next phase in the construction of Canada’s first hybrid electric vessel.