BAGHDAD - Multi-National Division-Baghdad and Iraqi leaders recently completed a refurbishment project at the al-Zawiyah pump station in the Ghazaliyah district of Baghdad.

The local Iraqi District Advisory Council in Ghazaliyah and the Ministry of Electricity and the Beladiyah, which runs essential services in northwest Baghdad, first proposed the project to leaders of 5th Squadron "Longknife," 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, late in 2008.

"The most important part of this project was to provide a transformer that would allow the pump station to operate on a continuous 24-hour basis, thus making the Ghazaliyah sewer system more efficient and literally cleaning up the streets of Baghdad," said Maj. David Morgan, Joint Project Purchasing Manager. "This project not only helped sanitize the streets, but it provided local workers with a job and stimulated the local economy."

According to Morgan, the project pumped over $30,000 into the local economy and employed 40 workers through a local Iraqi company.

Iraqi officials addressed the health issues caused by an inefficient sewage system by increasing the operating hours and efficiency of the key sewage pump station.

According to Col. Joseph Martin, the brigade's commander, after the proposal came to Coalition Forces, the Longknife Squadron leadership saw an opportunity to work with local Iraqis in Ghazaliyah, as well as build on the strong relationship shared amongst the Iraqi Government, CF and local nationals.

The contractors additionally repaired the sewage station building, to include the walls and windows, removed the trash that surrounded it, leveled the ground outside and eliminated the sewage back-up problems by upgrading the pump.