The teams at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground's water treatments plants are responsible for monitoring the filtration system and taking water samples to check levels. Project Manager James Pacheco shows how he monitors the filtration system at the main treatment plant.
The teams at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground's water treatments plants are responsible for monitoring the filtration system and taking water samples to check levels. Project Manager James Pacheco shows how he monitors the filtration system at the main treatment plant. (Photo Credit: Ana Henderson) VIEW ORIGINAL

Many people might not realize that U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) is similar to a small town.

The installation has an elementary school, daycare, gym, commissary, library, hotel, police and fire departments and many other amenities a small town would have. YPG even has its own water treatment plants. There are three plants, one located on both the Howard and Walker Cantonment areas and one on the Kofa Firing Range. Those plants provide drinking water and non-potable water for the water hydrants and irrigation.

This month Eagle Harbor, a sister company to Shearwater Mission Support (SMS), and EMI Services took over the management of the plants at the local level. Jaysen Lockett is the Regional Manager and James Pacheco is the local Project Manager.

Daniel McDaniel, Safety Manager with SMS and Pacheco explain how the plants work. All three water treatment facilities have a filter system with the biggest on Main Post that produces 400 gallons a minute. The water is well water that comes from deep beneath the ground.

“The water from the aquifers is cleaner because of the natural filters and it gets fed into the tanks and then it goes through the filter process,” explains McDaniel.

Pacheco says, “Our raw water tank is fed by two wells (that are the responsibility of SMS) it flows and splits into two streams. One is for irrigation and the other is for the plant. The water treatment takes place in here and that water is pumped into a product tank and that’s a 50-thousand gallon tank. From there is pumped into remote tanks and we have 750-thousand gallon storage capacity there.”

The plant warehouse is full of filters, tubes and drains plus the machines that monitor them. The team there is responsible for monitoring the systems and taking water samples to check levels for process control testing. From there they know if they have to make adjustments or replace parts etc.

Pacheco explains, “We are operators. The science behind the machines originates at General Electric who make the machines.”

The well water comes out very salty from the ground with high total dissolve solids and that’s what needs to be filtered out. The large stacks are what filter out that salt. They are made up of thousands of layers of filters and those filters go through a cleaning process every 200 hours of run time to ensure the water is always at its purest.

The installation’s yearly demand is only 30-40% capacity of what the facility is capable of producing, meaning the YPG community is not exceeding the water available yet conserving water is always encouraged.

Pacheco reminds the community to report leaky valves to the SMS service desk by calling extension 3005 and not to leave faucets running.