reconnaissance may disclose changes not shown on maps. The team should note routes of
communication, cover, concealment, and protection from encirclement, infiltration, or attack. If the
proposed sites are within secured areas, you may conduct the air and ground reconnaissance at the same
time. Air reconnaissance is limited by bad weather, available aircraft, and security problems.
Ground Reconnaissance. Ground observation is the only sure way to get accurate data for selection of a
water point or storage and distribution site. You should always remember that detailed information is
the most important factor for a potential site. The decision to use the proposed water source is going to
be based on the accuracy of the information recorded on the water reconnaissance report. The person
that will be making the decision probably has never seen the water source so you must provide enough
information describing what is at the proposed water point. A sketch of the site made during the ground
reconnaissance and keyed to a map can be invaluable. Ensure the team takes detailed notes and when
possible, complete DA Form 1712-R while still at the site.
PART B - PURIFICATION SITE CONSIDERATIONS
Water Quantity, Quality, and Accessibility. Water quantity, quality, accessibility, and site conditions
are important requirements for a purification site. Since most reconnaissance teams do not have
measuring devices, you should ensure the team knows the improvised methods to collect data on water
flow. The field method consists of measuring average cross-sectional area and average velocity of the
stream. During the winter in Arctic regions, teams should use augers to determine the ice thickness.
The team should also measure the depth at several spots to ensure an adequate quantity is available.
Quantity of water is a very important factor in determining a water source. You must ensure that the
water source has a sufficient amount of water to sustain operations. Quantity is important in
determining how many pieces of purification equipment can be put into operation at a time. The volume
of water in a flowing source can easily be computed by using the formula Q =6.4 X A X V
Q = Quantity of water in gallons per minute.
6.4 = Constant
A = Area of the stream in square feet
V = Velocity of the stream in feet per minute.
The velocity is measured by placing a twig in the water and noting how far it travels in a prescribed
time. The portion of the stream where the twig travels must have about the same area throughout the
timed portion. You must use good judgment for accurate results.
The key to successful water support missions is innovative and flexible planning. Water quality should
meet raw war standards in TB MED 577. Check the proposed site for a distance of 2 miles upstream or
include landfill, agricultural and livestock waste, industrial and domestic sewage discharges, and fuel oil
storage sites. Evidence of contamination includes dead fish or vegetation, excessive algae growth, oil
slicks, and sludge deposits. Ensure your team does not choose purification sites near these areas.
You must consider the accessibility to vehicles and personnel when establishing a water point. It should
have a good road net with turnarounds, cover and concealment, and an adequate parking and staging
area. The roads should be able to support the heaviest vehicles using the point and should hold up to all
types of weather conditions. The purification site should be on a through road when possible, but not on
the main supply route MSR.