Ground Reconnaissance. Ground reconnaissance is the only sure way to get accurate data for
selection of a water point. A sketch of the site made during the ground reconnaissance and keyed to a map
can be invaluable. Memory is not enough. Take notes. Whenever possible, complete DA Form 1712-R
while the reconnaissance team is still at the site. Detailed information on potential sites is the most important
Purification Site Reconnaissance. Water quantity, water quality, accessibility, and site conditions
are important requirements for a purification site.
Water Quantity. Ignore seasonal changes in water quantity unless the information is readily available
from native sources or contained in the water resources data base available through the Corps of
Engineers. Since reconnaissance teams do not have flow gauges, meters, and measuring devices, they
us an improvised method to collect data on water flow. The field method is to measure the average
cross-sectional area and average velocity of the stream.
Water Quality. Water should be of such quality that it can be approved by medical personnel as
meeting raw water standards and at the same time be readily purified with assigned water purification
equipment. Take four or five principle analysis tests of water (temperature, turbidity, TDS, pH) for each
proposed water purification site. To be considered as a potential water purification site, the raw water
must meet the minimum requirements established. Additionally, check the water source for a distance of
purification operations near areas where:
Sources of pollution exist, such as landfills, agricultural and livestock wastes, industrial and domestic
sewage discharges, and POL storage or distribution sites.
Evidence of contamination exists, such as dead fish or vegetation, excessive algae growth, oil slicks,
and sludge deposits.
Accessibility. A water point must be accessible to vehicles and personnel. It should have a good road
net with turnarounds, cover and concealment at the water source and distribution area, and an adequate
parking/staging area. The roads should be able to withstand, under all weather conditions, the heaviest
vehicles using the water point. The purification site should be on a through road when possible, but it
should not be on the MSR.
Site Conditions. Where competing potential purification sites meet all the requirements noted above,
base your selection of the actual location on the condition of the sites. Consider drainage, security, and
adequacy of the bivouac area in that order of importance.
Drainage. The site should be on high, porous ground. Establish the potential for seasonal flooding.
The area proposed for the purification equipment must be level. The slope must allow for drainage
away from operations, but the distance and degree of slope must be within the raw water pump's
capability to provide sufficient flow to the purifiers.
Security. The site should provide cover and concealment. It should be a safe distance from prime
artillery and aerial targets. The site should provide security against ground attack and sabotage.
Support required. Water point personnel and security forces need a bivouac area. Factors, in site
selection are security, facilities, sanitation, and comfort of the troops. The reconnaissance team may
not be able to find a site that meets all of these needs. The bivouac area must be at least 100 feet
downstream from water purification operations. When practical, water treatment personnel should
bivouac as near the water point as possible. This would ensure their availability for work or
Storage and Distribution Site Reconnaissance. The reconnaissance for a PWS/DS must
consider cover and concealment, road nets, dispersion factors, terrain, and site preparation needs. The site
must be suitable for the PWS/DS layout. You may be assigned an area of operation, but you must choose
the PWS/DS site within that area. You should locate the PWS/DS as close to supported units as dispersion
factors, sources of supply, and the tactical situation permit. Use vacated forward sites or existing facilities
when you can.
Terrain. The site you choose should be reasonably level and well drained to prevent water from
impeding resupply operations. Look for a tank site without slopes, if possible. A large slope may cause
filled tanks to roll sideways, backwards, or forward. Put the pumps and hypochlorinators on level ground.
Try to place discharge pumps at a lower level than the collapsible tanks to have good suction to the