Iraqis to assume control of water treatment facility

Iraqi authorities in Dhi Qar province will assume control of the $277 million Nasiriyah water treatment plant Dec. 10 when the oversight phase of the project is scheduled for completion. On Sept. 11, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and contractor Fluor-Amec signed contract completion documents certifying that all work had been inspected and was accepted as being in accordance with contractual requirements. The turnover was signed Oct. 21, with the stipulation that the contractor...

By Mohammed Aliwi, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
AN NASIRIYAH, Iraq, Nov. 5, 2007 -- Iraqi authorities in Dhi Qar province will assume control of the $277 million Nasiriyah water treatment plant Dec. 10 when the oversight phase of the project is scheduled for completion.

On Sept. 11, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and contractor Fluor-Amec signed contract completion documents certifying that all work had been inspected and was accepted as being in accordance with contractual requirements. The turnover was signed Oct. 21, with the stipulation that the contractor complete the project's oversight phase.

Under the agreement, the contractor will remain at the treatment plant ensuring that Iraqi plant maintenance personnel can operate the main facility, the booster pump stations and the elevated storage tanks.

The largest project of its kind in Iraq, the facility provided employment for more than 1,000 Iraqi workers during construction and will supply drinking water for an estimated half a million people in Dhi Qar. The facility is capable of producing 10,000 cubic meters per hour of potable water. It provides a water supply for five communities in Dhi Qar: Nasiriyah, Suq Ash Sheuk, Al Diwaya, Al Shatra and Al Gharraf. The facility will provide permanent employment for over 120 plant personnel and 100 security personnel.

The project, which began in 2004, called for the construction of a water treatment facility with 10 clarifiers and sand filters, three booster pump stations, five elevated storage tanks of varying size, and over 110 km of pipeline to make it complete, according Navy Lt. Cmdr. Mike Lang, Corps area engineer in southern Iraq. Safe drinking water will assist in preventing spread of disease and provide higher quality of life for residents, he added.

The project's completion and the settling of final details, including setting a date for the contractor to depart the site, underscores "a huge success story," said Col. Steve Hill, the Corps' southern district commander in Iraq.

The Dhi Qar province has suffered from the lack of clean drinking water, which has contributed to the spread of disease and the high mortality rate for infants and young children. The province also has had critical drinking water problems because of high salinity levels, lack of water treatment facilities and lack of funding during the former regime.

The Corps provides a wide variety of projects for Iraq's nine southern provinces, an area covering more than 65,000 square miles. In the southern provinces alone, the Corps has managed more than 1,500 projects valued at nearly $3.5 billion, of which 209 valued at over $800 million remain active.

For more information on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq, visit: http://www.grd.usace.army.mil/

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