COS KALSU, Iraq - Iraqi leaders joined Soldiers of 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, April 19 to view completed updates to the Hashimiyah, Iraq, water treatment facility.

The project, led by 1st Lt. Gerardo Aquino, a member of the 1411th Civil Affairs Company from Edison, N.J. currently attached to the 3rd HBCT, has improved efficiency and water quality for the over 500,000 Iraqis served by the facility.

"Before the improvements, there was an outbreak of cholera in the area due to the poor quality of water," Aquino said. "The old system was operating at less than 70 percent efficiency."

Improvements to the facility included replacing the sand, a medium used for filtering, and installing a new chlorine-metering system, as well as other upgrades, he said.

"It is an existing plant, an old plant," said Aquino. "What we did was improve the efficiency and quality of the plant while the Government of Iraq finishes a new, larger facility in the area."

Aquino added that the station is now operating at approximately 90 percent efficiency and providing good, clean water to local residents.