Army Water Makes Debut in Balad, Baghdad

The 3rd Corps Support Command has opened a water purification and bottling plant in Iraq. The plant will help hydrate service members and keep soldiers and civilian truckers safer.

Currently, bottled water - the preferred drink in Iraq - comes in by truck from Kuwait, Jordan or Turkey. Water is bulky and takes up a lot of logistical space. Drivers run the risk of hitting improvised explosive devices, car bombs or small arms fire. Bottling the water in Iraq takes that many military and civilian truckers off the road, officials said.

"The water comes from the Euphrates (River) to a canal to our intake pipes," said Army Lt. Col. James G. Hay, the chief of contracting oversight for the 3rd Corps Support Command.

The plant has a capacity of 220,000 liters of pure drinking water. The plant uses a reverse osmosis processing unit and a "hyperpurifier" before bottling the water in 1-liter containers.

There are no labels on the containers, but each bottle is etched with the date and time the water was bottled, Hay said. Army medical officials constantly monitor water purity. The plant will supply the bottled water needs of Camp Victory, Taji and Balad. Officials plan to open an even larger plant in Camp Victory and four others around Iraq, according to Hay.

Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service

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