Fort Hood, Texas
...The Great Place
Hood Men Must Be Clean — Electric, Sewage Conservation Needed
Editor's note: One of the most pressing challenges of building the camp was infrastructure. This article ran in the Hood Panther January 21, 1943
If "cleanliness is next to godliness," the men of Camp Hood must not be too badly behaved. For if the amount of waters they use daily can be taken as any token, they are cleanly.
Lt. Col. Homer G. Olmstead, post engineer, estimates that a daily average of approximately 2,000,000 gallons of water is used by Camp Hood. The water department of the post engineer's office has the job of maintaining 80 miles of water lines, which during the period of October, November and December carried 152 million gallons of water to the men of Camp Hood.
$300,000 per year
As gigantic as this task seems, it is far from all the post engineers have to do. The electrical department, for instances, takes care of a distribution system of 250 miles of electric lines and services 210,000 electric devices, including 600 electric refrigerators. Estimated bill for electricity is expected to reach a total of $300,000 per year soon.
Each man in camp could help relieve the load on the line system if they would cooperate in conserving electricity, especially during the peak hours of use, the engineers point out. Peak periods are from 6:15 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 6:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Sewage Lines Long
More than 60 miles of sewage lines handling an average of more than one million gallons per day are included in the sanitary sewage system operated by the engineers. A total of 94 million gallons of sewage was treated during a recent three-month period by the disposal plant.
The roads and grounds department during the three month period ending December 31, rebuilt 14 bridges, repaired 18, repaired five miles of fence, salvaged approximately 400,000 feet of lumber. It has maintained 150 miles of gravel and stabilized roadways and hauled 2,500 tons of trash, about 160 tons per day.
Soil Program Theirs
The huge task of landscaping the camp and preventing soil erosion falls on the hand of the post engineers also. In their program they have sodded 96,374 yards, strip sodded 8,311 square yards, space sodded 103 acres, planted 45 acres with grass seeds and completed 21,313 cubic yards of excavation work. More than 180 cubic yards of masonry work has been completed and drainage ditches and fire lanes constructed.
The fire department, a function of the post engineers, has visited 27 fires during the quarter. Damage amounting to only $220 resulted due to quick work of the department.
Building Program Forge
During the period 42 buildings were remodeled and 30 company mess halls, seven post exchanges, nine officers clubs and seven battalion houses were constructed in the range area, and 16 buildings were constructed while 72 were piped for gas and heat installations were completed.
In the meantime, carpenter and cabinet shops were busy constructing 28 iceboxes, 3,408 packing boxes, repairing 1,800 widows and 807 doors.
The sign shop built and painted a total for 4,161 signs.
The gas, plumbing and steam departments were all busy with maintenance calls of more than a 1,000 each during the period.
Aim of the post engineer organization is to operate all utilities as efficiently and effectively as possible and to maintain them so that there will be no interruption in service.
Members of the organization face the same problems in servicing the camp that a utility system does in caring for a city of 100,000 people.
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