By U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Public AffairsSeptember 14, 2006
NEAH BAY, Wash. (Army News Service, September 13, 2006) - Engineers from the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center began supplying water Sept. 11 to residents of Neah Bay's Makah Indian Reservation, which has run nearly dry.The engineers are joined by members of the Navy and Department of Interior, and are using an Expeditionary Unit Water Purifier (EUWP), a diesel powered desalination system, to turn seawater into drinking water for the reservation's 1,800 residents.A state of emergency was declared Aug. 29, putting residents on water restrictions.The Indian Health Service contacted the Army after learning of TARDEC's role during the Hurricane Katrina relief effort."Using the EUWP technology to aid in state-side humanitarian relief not only supports the near term needs of our citizens, but allows the Army to see how the technology works in real world scenarios. It gives us an opportunity to validate years of R&D desalination efforts," said Col. Bryan McVeigh, TARDEC military deputy.The EUWP is capable of supplying potable water from virtually any water source, including nuclear, biological and chemical contaminated sources. Originally designed to support large military units during deployment and sustainment operations, the EUWP is now being used for disaster relief. A single EUWP can produce up to 100,000 gallons of potable water per day from seawater or 200,000 gallons of potable water from freshwater.The unit consists of two separate ISO configured platforms that are compatible with the military's Palletized Load System trucks and most commercial line haul transports. The system uses ultra-filtration to process freshwater and reverse osmosis technology to filter seawater.TARDEC is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), and headquartered at Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Mich. It is the nation's laboratory for advanced military automotive technology.TARDEC's mission is to research, develop, engineer, leverage and integrate advanced technology into ground systems and support equipment throughout the life cycle. Its technical staff leads research in ground vehicle survivability, mobility, intelligent systems, and maneuver support and sustainment.