distiIlation/reverse osmosis. However, progress is being made with the development of
new equipment for use by the engineer units. The use of seawater as a source of water
supply should be considered only after an adequate supply of surface and ground water
are not present.
(4) Rain, snow, and ice are not considered reliable for military purposes
because of the unpredictability of the weather and the lack of suitable collection and
storage facilities. It may be all right for small units to use for a short duration. Ice
should be used rather than snow since it yields more water. Rain, snow, or ice are
theoretically a pure source of distilled water; by the time it passes through the
atmosphere and collects (thereby coming in contact with surfaces which mayor may not
be clean), it becomes contaminated and needs to be treated as surface water would be.
c. Selection of a Water Source. Considering the advantages and
disadvantages of each possible source, the surface water source usually best meets
our requirements because of its quantity and accessibiIity. Although the quality is
generally poorer than that of a ground water source, we can make the quality of water
acceptable by treating it. The selection of a water supply source for a miIitary unit
depends upon several factors:
(1) Site conditions. Drainage, security, and adequacy of location are
important factors to consider when selecting a site. The area should be checked for
dead fish, frogs, and other animals; the condition of vegetation around the water's edge;
and previous chemical or other agent use.
(2) Quantity. Because of the variances in the beds of streams, rivers, and
lakes, the depth should be checked in several spots to make sure that sufficient water is
present for the number of military involved and the duration of the operation. In colder
regions, check the depth of water under the ice.
(3) Accessibility. The water must be accessible to personnel and vehicles.
A good road network is needed along with parking to withstand all weather conditions.
The water source should not be on the main supply route.
(4) Quality. The selected source of water should be of a quality that can be
approved and readily purified with normal equipment in a specified amount of time. The
water should be checked for turbidity, odor, taste, and color.
(5) Ease of treatment with available facilities. The capabilities of the
available water purification equipment and facilities need to be considered and may be
a determining factor if more that one water source is considered.