The U.S. Navy is making changes at its shore bases to conserve resources, cut fossil fuel use and better protect the environment, though how fast it might continue will depend on the mood of Congress. That is according to Navy public works officials who recently outlined a number of projects. A sampling:
Pier replacement: In the last decade, the Navy has replaced 3,000 to 4,000 chemically treated wood pilings with plastic or fiberglass, with an eye toward cleaning San Diego Bay. Replacement pilings typically cost $43 to $56 per foot. Vendors are as near as the Inland Empire and as far away as Maine.
“Cold iron”: Ships in port rely on electricity from shore rather than their own systems. The same goes for other utilities.
Water savings: Crews replaced 6,000 shower heads and 3,000 faucet aerators in bachelor quarters. They also installed waterless urinals, and laid 8 acres of artificial turf, replacing natural turf. Said one former commanding officer, “We’re not a park.”
Lighting: Workers replaced antiquated fixtures with energy-efficient models, cutting electricity use by 50 percent or more.
Water treatment: Engineers design new piers with pipes that route storm water to a treatment system. The pending Pier 12 replacement project at Naval Base San Diego will have such a system.
— Brad Graves