Treatment specialists keep water clean for Golden Cargo
July 23, 2012
TOOELE ARMY DEPOT, Utah (July 23, 2012) -- Despite the summer heat in Utah, Soldiers didn't go thirsty during Operation Golden Cargo 2012 thanks to a team of water treatment specialists.
During the two-week exercise, Soldiers of Task Force Thunderbolt in Tooele Army Depot, Utah will rely on Pvt. Nicole K. West with Alpha Company 158th Base Supply Battalion, and the team of water treatment specialists tasked with providing clean water for the duration of the exercise.
Water treatment specialists are responsible for finding a source of water and cleaning it to produce palatable water for Soldiers to use and consume.
The main source of water used by the Tactical Water Purification System at Tooele comes from a fire hydrant located just outside of the Soldiers' barracks.
A hose is used to run the water from the hydrant into a 1,000-gallon main feed (MF) tank. From there, a second hose is used to run the water through the TWPS and is cleaned with sodium bisulfite and calcium carbonate. After the water is filtrated, chlorine is added and the purified water is distributed to product tanks. The product water has to pass a quality analysis before it is served to Soldiers.
West assures the quality of the water produced by the Tactical Water Purification System or TWPS is cleaner than store-bought bottled water.
"The standards we have are higher than most bottled water manufacturers so the process we do cleans the water more thoroughly," said West.
The water treatment specialists are confident they can supply enough clean water for every Soldier using TWPS which is capable of filling thousand-gallon tanks in a matter of minutes.
"We only have two 1,000 gallon tanks set up; we've got five more bags here. So we could essentially produce 7,000 gallons," said Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Leblanc also of the 158th.
Soldiers can get their water from the MF tanks directly through nozzles that can be attached to the tanks, said Leblanc. Soldiers can then fill up personal canteens or CamelBak hydration systems with the purified water. The water can also be used to fill tankers and hauled downrange to ammunition loading sites during Golden Cargo, he added.
Golden Cargo allowed West and other junior-enlisted soldiers to get real mission practice in their Military Occupational Specialty.
"I get to practice working on the TWPS which I haven't got to do in a while," said West.
A key aspect of overall mission success is the safety of Soldiers. The water treatment specialists play a key role in helping the Soldiers avoid casualties caused by dehydration, and consumption of dirty water during training exercises and actual missions.