Innovatreat > Chesapeake Shipbuilding

Wastewater Treatment Plant For The American Melody Cruise Ship


Chesapeake Shipbuilding of Salisbury, MD was hired by American Cruise Lines of Guilford, CT to build the American Melody, a modern riverboat with capacity of 175 passengers for cruises on the Mississippi River, from New Orleans to Minneapolis and back. Treatment of wastewater on cruise ships presents a variety of engineering and operational challenges due to extreme diurnal variations in loading and limitations in space. Marine systems must be fully automated to operate unattended. These shipboard systems must be extremely robust and reliable to prevent disruptions in schedule if the vessel needs to stop and dock for repairs or maintenance and river cruise ships do not typically employ professional wastewater operators.

Client Chesapeake Shipbuilding

Date 2021


InnovaTreat partnered with Chesapeake Shipbuilding to develop and install our U.S Coast Guard approved miniMBR® system on the new American Melody, a 175-passenger luxury river cruise liner. The wastewater influent of 12,000 gallons per day consists of high loadings with 1,500 mg/L of BOD and 400 mg/L of TKN.  Our fully automated miniMBR® MARINE system with fine screening, biotreatment, ultrafiltration membranes, blowers, controls, and instrumentation were installed with minimal footprint in a space with eight-foot ceilings. Biotreatment reactors were integrated into the hull of the ship.


During its first 4 months of operation, the system has consistently met its target limits. It has produced effluent with less than 5 mg/L of BOD and nondetectable amounts of suspended solids and e Coli bacteria.  InnovaTreat’s miniSCADATM keeps the system running smoothly, with minimal maintenance intervention and is actively monitored and controlled remotely by InnovaTreat facilitating operational support from a distance.  After a successful 2021 sailing season, InnovaTreat received orders for additional systems from Chesapeake Shipbuilding.