It is reasonable to anticipate that there will be times when, for one reason or
another, water purification materials are not available to a small unit or to individuals in
the field. A knowledge of field expedient methods of water purification may be
extremely valuable in preventing disease due to contaminated water.
a. Boiling. Boiling, which was discussed in paragraph 6-3e, should be
considered a field expedient measure which may be used within the limitations
b. Commercial Household Bleaches. Many commercial household bleaches
contain approximately 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite by weight. These products
may be used to disinfect water. Instructions for this procedure are usually on the label.
The dosages, however, tend to be lower than recommended military dosages. For field
use, 6 drops of bleach are considered adequate for a canteen of water followed by 30
minutes contact time as when using the issue ampules.
c. Tincture of Iodine. Ordinary tincture of iodine may also be used to disinfect
water. A dosage of eight drops in a canteen of water will provide an iodine dosage
approximately equal to that of the issue iodine tablet. A 25-minute minimum contact
time is required as with the tablet.
Section II. FIELD WASTE DISPOSAL
The problem of waste disposal under field conditions differs from that of a
garrison situation in two principal ways. First, the installation engineer exercises overall
responsibility for all waste disposal facilities and services on the installation, whereas
the commander of each unit in the field is responsible for waste disposal activities within
his unit. The second major difference is that whereas installation waste disposal
systems are of a permanent type, those in use in the field are generally temporary and
improvised. It follows that units in the field cannot take waste disposal for granted as
they tend to do in garrison. A lack of attention to waste disposal activities in the field
can rapidly result in breakdown in sanitation.
MEDICAL IMPORTANCE OF WASTE DISPOSAL
The total weight of wastes of all kinds, including liquid wastes, produced under
field conditions approaches 100 pounds per man per day. If this material were not
removed promptly and thoroughly, a camp or bivouac would soon become a smelly,
filthy dump. Filthborne diseases such as dysentery (amoebic and bacillary), typhoid,