Thursday, 04 December 2008 By Kendal Smith
Gulf Region Central District
BAGHDAD — “I am very happy for the 2 million people of Sadr City,” said Iraqi Engineer Aqeel Lami of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“I have been working here at the R-3 Water Treatment Plant for more than three years, since the start of the project. It’s the first in Iraq, fully automatic and with American standards of best quality,” Lami continued.
“We meet the people in the streets of Sadr City and they are very happy. They feel that we are interested in them and their health. We are very proud of the success of this project.”
The $27 million Sadr City R-3 Water Treatment Plant construction originally began in 2005 as a USAID contract. It was handed over to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Gulf Region Division in July 2007 to finish the remaining 15 percent.
“The plant location came as a result of a government study on water pressure and supply,” said USACE water expert, Simeon Francis, who has been with the plant as a technical expert from its beginning with USAID. “There is simply not enough water to Sadr City from the Kharkh and Shark-Dijilih Water Treatment Plants for the area.” Experts decided to add a plant on the northern fringe of Sadr City to remedy that, he said.
The plant began operation in mid-June with some interruptions due to power restrictions, but today, R-3 produces 4,000 cubic meters of treated water per hour into the distribution system through a 1.2 meter outlet line.
It is currently providing 27 sectors in Sadr City with clean potable water - sectors that historically have had no centrally distributed water. With the plant at full capacity as of Sept. 27, a performance test in October confirmed the quality of the daily output of 96,000 cubic meters per day (about 25 million gallons per day). That output equates to clean, quality water for a total of 1.5 million people in Sadr City and Baghdad, Francis said....
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