- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Two of the Navy’s newest aircraft carriers require a unique system to keep the toilets unclogged and cost $400,000 to fix each clog, a government watchdog said in a report released Tuesday.

The USS Gerald R. Ford and USS George H.W. Bush, both based in Virginia, were constructed with a toilet system similar to those used on a commercial plane. But with 4,000 people on board the ship, the toilets require an acid flush of the system.

“While each acid flush costs about $400,000, the Navy has yet to determine how often and for how many ships this action will need to be repeated, making the full cost impact difficult to quantify,” the congressionally-mandated report by the Government Accountability Office said.

The frequent use of the particular flushing system on the carrier was an “unplanned maintenance action” for the service life of the ship, the GAO explained.

There were 150 examples of maintenance problems throughout the fleet identified by the report — which was mandated under the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act — and could cost the Navy at least $130 billion more than planned. But the GAO said the true cost will be “likely higher.”

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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