From DVIDS (Nov 20): Water purification system provides much needed resource
Members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force dispense water from a tactical water purification system at MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park Nov. 21 during Operation Damayan. Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on Nov. 7 with estimated sustained winds near 200 mph and gusts near 230 mph. Nearly 1,800 tons of relief supplies have been delivered and more that 17,500 people have been evacuated from the impacted provinces during the operation.
TACLOBAN, LEYTE, Republic of the Philippines – Fresh water is one of the most important resources people need to survive. It is something people use every day for cooking, staying hydrated and fulfilling basic sanitation needs; Operation Damayan is enabling hundreds of thousands of people affected by Typhoon Haiyan to use this essential resource once again.
At MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park, near Tacloban, Leyte, one of the areas hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan, Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 4 set up two tactical water purification systems Nov. 19 to spearhead the U.S. military effort to provide easily transported potable water where it is needed most.
Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines Nov. 7 with estimated sustained winds near 200 mph and wind gusts eclipsing 220 mph. The Government of the Philippines and Armed Forces of the Philippines are leading recovery efforts with the assistance of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade in support Joint Task Force 505, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development. Members of each organization were on hand to help distribute the vital resource.
“This will be a really big help to the people here who are craving water,” said Eddie Eacaldo, a social worker with the DSWD. “Their water system (had) been destroyed by the typhoon.”
The TWPS systems uses state-of-the art reverse osmosis technology to produce potable water. The system produces approximately 1,500 gallons per hour and each storage bladder holds 20,000 gallons of water, according to Lance Cpl. Jarrett Soto, a water support technician with 9th Engineer Support Battalion, currently assigned to 3rd MEB in support of JTF-505.
“The main water source here is seawater,” said Jarrett. “We are using our TWPS to purify 20 gallons of seawater per minute.”
With potable water, residents can not only hydrate, they can cook, bathe and wash their clothes, all of which improves quality of life and helps maintain proper sanitary measures.
USAID provided boxes of plastic containers for the purified water to be stored and distributed by the AFP and DSWD.
“Our purpose here is to move supplies coming from Manila to our central warehouse where it waits to be dropped off at specific points,” said Wayne Belizar, a social worker with DSWD.
The AFP’s continuing efforts help manage the distribution efforts and make improvements in the lives of every day Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan, according to Belizar.
“(The improvement comes from) the coordination and help coming from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and also the (U.S.) forces,” said Belizar.