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IRAQ: Halliburton Gave Troops Foul Water, Workers Say

Reuters
January 23rd, 2006

A Halliburton Co. subsidiary provided water to U.S. troops at a camp in Iraq that was twice as contaminated as water from the Euphrates River, former employees of the company said on Monday.

The subsidiary, Kellogg Brown and Root, also blocked employees' attempts to inform the U.S. military at Camp Junction City in Ramadi that the water was foul or tell them that water tanks should immediately be chlorinated, the workers said.

They cited KBR's failure to test or treat the water in the latest in a series of hearings Senate Democrats have held on Halliburton, which was once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney and has huge contracts to provide services to the U.S. military in Iraq.

Halliburton said in a statement it had found ``no evidence to substantiate allegations made by these former employees.''

While bottled water was provided for drinking and cooking, the soldiers at the camp used the contaminated water for bathing, shaving and laundry.

``We exposed a base camp populationto a water source that was not treated,'' said an internal e-mail from Will Granger, who was KBR's water quality manager for all of Iraq and Kuwait.

``The level of contamination was roughly 2x the normal contamination of untreated water from the Euphrates River,'' continued the e-mail dated July 15 of last year and released at the hearing. It said the exposure lasted for up to a year.

POLLUTED WITH SEWAGE

Ben Carter, a water purification specialist who worked for KBR at Junction City, told Senate Democrats that KBR officials had assured him the water was being treated.

But after Carter discovered a problem, he started tests and learned that the water drawn from the Euphrates and polluted with sewage and other contaminates, was not being chlorinated.

He said he treated the water tanks for KBR employees, and told company managers the military should be alerted to treat its tanks as well. ``I was ordered to concern myself only with the health and safety of KBR personnel,'' Carter said.

Carter said KBR was supposed to test the water three times a day to confirm the presence of chlorine, but ``To my knowledge, such testing never occurred.''

Carter said he learned from Granger that similar problems existed throughout Iraq.

He said Granger told him the Junction City water was doubly polluted because the military, which operated the purification system at that time, apparently was taking waste water from the purification process and using it in the non-portable supply instead of dumping it back in the river.

KBR now operates the purification system.

Rebutting the accusations, Halliburton said the military's own records showed the water was suitable for nondrinking uses, and that there was no documented case of unusual illnesses or health problems from the site.

Carter and another former KBR employee, Ken May, said they have suffered from persistent gastrointestinal problems and that many other people at the camp complained of diarrhea and other health problems.


Comments

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  1. Comment by james vanroth, Nov 23rd, 2007 1:49pm

    If halliburton provided foul water the president of this country did also.


  2. Comment by james vanroth, Nov 23rd, 2007 1:47pm

    If halliburton provided foul water the president of this country did also.


  3. Comment by Water God, Mar 17th, 2006 1:33am

    Water Dawg is correct about targeting the problem and than fixing it. But in this case Mr. Carter was 100% correct in the actions he took to inform the client and KBR. I arrived at this base, shortly after thia incident occured, to install the purification units for KBR. At the time of the problem the military was running the water operations at Ar Ramadi and no civilians were allowed to inspect their operation, this was a directive that the seargent controlling the ROWPU's had issued. I'm not defending KBR for their actions because they still have not gotten any of their water operations in compliance with Federal Regulations let alone Military TB Med regulations. the root cause of KBR's shortfalls lie within the inability of the upper management to support the needs of one of the most mission critical processes for support of the soldiers. I have traveled throughout Iraq for KBR and I have seen first hand the lack of experience needed to effectivly operate a program of this magnitude. There are quite a few strong operators out there, but for every 1 good operater there are at least 2 nonqualified water plant foremans or supervisors. You know that this is the truth and it is undeniable. I'm Sorry if you are offended, but KBR is not the contractor I would want managing my Life Support systems.






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