Oasis International Waters facilities hydrate Iraq

Story and photos by Pfc. Lisa A. Cope
139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION ADDER, Iraq — The Oasis International Waters water purification facility at Contingency Operating Location Adder, Iraq, is one of six such facilities providing clean drinking water to service members, civilians and contractors working throughout the country.

Each facility is tasked with supplying a specific region of Iraq with drinking water, at the rate of four bottles per person per day. The number rises to six bottles per person per day in July and August, when the temperature typically gets the warmest, said Maj. Jerald Dougherty, the officer in charge of subsistence with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).

The Oasis facility at Adder is contractually permitted to produce up to 17,500 cases, or 210,000 bottles, per day, but follows the direction of Dougherty, an Ellensburg, Wash., native, to determine the production amount necessary to sustain operations in Iraq.

Dougherty said the 13th SC(E) receives a daily headcount of personnel at each base, which helps estimate monthly production needs.

"Bottled water is the one thing that everybody has access to, so it's a pretty big number," he said. "Right now we are ordering water for … 270,000 (people)."

The Adder facility is responsible for providing water to all of the bases south of Baghdad, said Dougherty.

James G. Lalonde, the site manager for the Adder facility and a Clio, Mich., native, said the site's purification system is equal to or better than any system used in the United States, and is comparable to the system used by Aquafina.

"We supply a very high-quality product," he said. "We are held to the same standards as purified water in the states."

For quality assurance, the water processed at any of the six facilities in Iraq is tested on site, at its destination and in the dining facilities where it is served. Samples are also sent to be tested in the United States.

"It's tested a lot, so if there (are) any problems we would know about it pretty quickly, but we have had zero issues here," said Lalonde. "I am pretty proud of the product that we make."

 

news photo
James G. Lalonde, the site manager for the Oasis International Waters water purification facility at Contingency Operating Location Adder, Iraq, and a Clio, Mich., native, demonstrates the system used to purify water, Nov. 11 in the Oasis facility at COL Adder.