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The first of 27 new compact water treatment units officially opened in Sadr City, Iraq on July 19. "The compact water units bring needed water to the residents while the expanded water system for Sadr City continues to develop," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Gary Luck, commander of 3rd Battalion 15th Infantry, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, the coalition unit which works with Sadr City.
Each water unit produces 15,000 liters of clean potable water a day. "A total of 405,000 liters per day will be produced once all the of units are installed and operational," said Luck, who is from Salina, Kan.
A compact water unit is a small water treatment facility, using well water or city water as a source of supply. The water is fully treated and ready for drinking.
The program was coordinated with the Ministry of Education and Water, the Amanat and the local city government. Sheik Jabar Nashour Jasim, who is a member of the Sadr City District Advisory Council, took part in the opening ceremony and drank water from the tap along with U.S. Army officials and local residents. Jabar took the opportunity to thank the Army.
"I want to thank the coalition forces for helping to bring this project to completion,” he said through a translator. “The people of Sadr City will benefit from having clean water readily available to them."
Most of the compact water units will be located in schools, according to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team Essential Services Team. This is because children are the ones who suffer the most from waterborne disease, they said. To make things easier for local residents in the community, water spouts are available outside the school walls as well. Members of the community flocked to the opening and many were quick to enjoy a cup of water with their Army friends.
“After 35 years of neglect, it is good to see projects coming to fruition here,” Luck said.
The Amanat has designs to rehabilitate the drinking water network for all of Sadr City, sector by sector. Sectors 10, 11, 12, 14 and 14 have already been completed and the next sectors include 18 more along al Kair St., al Jwader St., and al Dakheel St., according to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team Essential Services Team.
Additional water programs benefiting Sadr City include the recently expanded Shark Dijlah Water Treatment Plant, which is now providing 190 million more liters of water per day to Baghdad.
A new main water line is being constructed to connect the Shark Dijlah to the northern Sadr City water network. Also, a new Sadr City Water Treatment Plant is being built which will provide about 190 million liters per day of water directly to northern Sadr City, according to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team Essential Services Team. The water was checked and verified safe by a U.S. Army preventive health team.