YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea (Jan. 24, 201) -- U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan took a big step forward to save tax payers' dollars by replacing deteriorated in-line pumps at the well water intake station to brand new efficient pump. The garrison expects to save over $1.3 million by not purchasing City Water.

USAG Yongsan relied on two sources of water: The primary source of water is the wells and the Seoul City Water as an Emergency backup. However, the garrison depended more on the City Water because they constantly lost water with the deteriorated pumps and the pumps couldn't meet the hydraulic needs of the community.

Calvin Cobbs, chief of Plant Operations and Sanitation Branch for USAG Yongsan's Directorate of Public Works, through his personal investigation, made a decision that the garrison could be saving more money by implementing the new system at the wells even if they can operate it for only few years.

The original pumps produced water at an efficiency rate of less than 20 percent per each pump, which indicated that the pumps had passed their life cycle and needed to be replaced.

"The garrison was using on or about 40 percent city water and 60 percent well water to service water to the community," Cobbs said. "We are now using 100 percent well water and have ordered all city water lines closed."

Economic matter was not the only reason the project was planned. Cobbs was also concerned about the risk of losing water from the defected pipe and the possible outcome of it.

"Losing water in the pipeline may have caused sink hole which can lead to an unfortunate accident from subsurface erosion and cause a serious damage to the host nation main arterial," Cobbs said.

The cost to replace the intake pumps at the Han River well was $405,977. The work was done through the Energy Savings Contract Program by Johnson Controls.

This is one of many on-going energy saving projects at Yongsan garrison. By saving energy, Yongsan supports the Department of the Defense's budget.

"Now that we will realize a return on the investment on or about six months from now as a result of the $1.3 million savings," Cobbs said. "I have turned my attention to the waste water system to determine similar cost savings were we can reduce the cost of waste water charges paid to the host nation."