C-17 delivery turns sea water into drinking water

A RAAF C-17A Globemaster has flown from Brisbane to Adelaide with a water purification and desalination system (WPDS) to supply drinking water to residents on Kangaroo Island.

CAPTION: No. 23 Squadron air movements personnel load an Australian Army 6th Engineer Support Regiment water purification system on to a C-17A Globemaster at RAAF Base Amberley, destined for Kangaroo Island off South Australia. Photo by Corporal Jessica de Rouw. Story by Flying Officer Evita Ryan

RELATED STORIES: Operation Bushfire Assist 19-20

The system was delivered to RAAF Base Edinburgh, north of Adelaide, for transportation by road and ferry to Kangaroo Island as part of Operation Bushfire Assist 19-20.

Capable of turning any water source into fresh drinking water, Australian Army water purification and desalination systems are normally used to supply drinking water during major ADF exercises and deployments.

The WPDS will help supplement drinking water supplies on Kangaroo Island where devastating bushfires have impacted water-storage levels.

Nine soldiers from 6th Engineer Support Regiment, based at RAAF Base Amberley, and two health-support staff from 2nd General Health Battalion, based at Gallipoli Barracks, have set up and are operating the system.

Lieutenant Mark Loneragan, of 6th Engineer Support Regiment, said the WPDS was capable of producing up to 100,000 litres of purified water a day from the sea.

“Once established and initial supply is achieved, the system can continue to produce water under supervision, with regular maintenance undertaken by a small support team,” Lieutenant Loneragan said.

“We’ll be staying on Kangaroo Island with the system to pump water from the ocean, remove the salt and purify it for consumption.

“The water will be tested by the health detachment to ensure purification before being distributed.”

Lieutenant Loneragan accompanied the WPDS on the journey to Kangaroo Island.

The C-17A Globemaster was just one of five aircraft dedicated to Operation Bushfire Assist 19-20.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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