Ships carry a lot of water. According to one estimate, AIDA Cruises’ AIDAsol requires one million litres – more than 264,172 gallons – of fresh water every day for its 1,000 passengers and crew. This potable water is used in kitchens and laundries, for swimming pools, and for bathrooms and restrooms throughout the liner.
On larger ships, such as those carrying 5,000 to 6,000 passengers and crew members, the amount of water used per day can jump up to about 500,000 gallons. These are huge volumes of water, and water costs money in many different ways. Not only is there the actual cost of the water, but because water is heavy it adds considerable weight to the ship, which can increase fuel costs while the ship is at sea.
A gallon of water weighs slightly more than eight pounds. That means that a larger ship needs to carry as much as four million pounds of water to meet the needs of the ship and its passengers for just one day. And that’s not the end. Water that is flushed from a toilet or urinal typically goes into a blackwater holding tank, where it is stored until the ship docks. In most cases, emptying the blackwater tanks is also quite expensive, especially because those costs have steadily risen in the last decade. Ports outside the US see it as a revenue stream.
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