8th CES keeps the Pack watered

by Senior Airman Ashley L. Gardner
8th Fighter Wing PAO

Kunsan Air Base , Republic of Korea — Access to potable water is a privilege in some parts of the world, but with the help of Wolf Pack’s 8th Civil Engineer Squadron water treatment team, Kunsan Airmen receive a clean, steady water supply.

In accordance with Korean Environmental Governing Standards and Environmental Protection Agency guidelines, 8th CES Airmen ensure potable water is available to the base. This is accomplished through hourly and bi-hourly water quality checks, chemically treating water if necessary, maintaining an emergency supply of water if all other sources are cut off, and monitoring and maintaining sewage lift stations.

Kunsan has two main sources of water. The primary source is the Okgu Reservoir. At the reservoir there is a pump station that brings raw water to the water treatment plant, which is managed and maintained by 8th CES Airmen. The water goes through a multi-step cleaning and filtration process where it is stored and distributed to the base.

The secondary source of water is through a connection to the city water system. This is used during periods when the water plant is down for maintenance and other emergency situations. 8th CES Airmen monitor city water on a bi-hourly basis and add additional chlorine to the water to ensure every facility on base has water that is safe to drink.

“We affect every building that has plumbing services,” Senior Airman Jeremy Robinson, 8th CES Water and Fuels system technician. “We directly maintain 14 water treatment facilities and 24 lift stations throughout the base.”

The plant started out as a filtration building in 1955. In 1969, the plant went from a filtration building to an actual water plant and began drawing water from Okgu Reservoir. Two other major renovations took place in 1985 and 2012. The last upgrade increased the plant’s overall capacity to 2.5 million gallons per day, doubling its capability.

The 8th CES team is also finding innovative ways to eliminate causes of maintenance issues to minimize downtime.

Minor repair projects take anywhere from one to six months to complete. Major projects like the last renovation can take five to eight years from planning to completion.

While there are other options to supply water throughout the entire installation, 8th CES uses a process that is more cost effective.

“We save the Air Force an average of $60,000 per month by producing potable water versus purchasing water from the city,” said Tech Sgt. Jeffrey Sheets, 8th CES Water Treatment Plant noncommissioned officer in charge.

The goal is to continue “watering the Pack” with the highest quality water possible. Members of 8th CES continually strive to identify possible bottlenecks in the water treatment process and eliminate them so that the Wolf Pack can continue to Defend the Base, Accept Follow-On Forces and Take the Fight North!

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