Representatives from Fort Polk command, Fort Polk Directorate of Public Works and American Water cut the ribbon on the South Fort Green Sand Filtration System March 7.
Representatives from Fort Polk command, Fort Polk Directorate of Public Works and American Water cut the ribbon on the South Fort Green Sand Filtration System March 7. (Photo Credit: Angie Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the South Fort green sand filtration system was held March 7 in Fort Polk’s Dogwood Terrace neighborhood.

The filtration system’s purpose is to filter out the high levels of iron and manganese found in the installation aquifers, which made the water brown.

Discolored water is an issue Fort Polk has been dealing with since 1941, said John Williams, American Water general manager.

“In September of 2014, American Water, a privatized partner, was asked to design and construct three green sand filtration systems to remove these compounds in the South Fort cantonment and housing water system and North Fort cantonment area. These water system upgrades demonstrate Fort Polk’s commitment to the quality of life for our Soldiers and Families,” he said.

Col. Sam Smith, Fort Polk garrison commander, said the Green Sand Filtration System was an important addition to Fort Polk’s quality of life.

“Although the discoloration impacted the aesthetics of our water, it was safe to use and consume. Fort Polk has been invested in testing to confirm this,” he said.

Smith said in June of 2019 Fort Polk was approved to install the green sand filtration water treatment plant.

“We secured $12.8 million for the project. It became operational Jan. 24 and has been removing iron and manganese from the well water before it reaches our residents’ taps,” he said.

Smith said projects like the Green Sand Filtration System take clear vision and a lot of hard work to complete and thanked American Water and DPW for getting the job done.

“We also want to thank the community for their patience on this project,” he said.

Smith said the North Fort Green Sand Filtration System construction is currently underway. “This $6.8 million project is expected to open in November of 2022,” he said.

Bob Dohoney, American Water regional director, said, “This filtration system is a game changer for water quality on Fort Polk. Soldiers, Families and government employees benefit from this huge advance in quality of life.”