Under peacetime conditions, environmental considerations must be addressed in the planning stages.
The U.S. EPA or a state may require a discharge permit for field water purification units. Commanders
with field water purification units participating in field training exercises in the United States or its
possessions will coordinate with the installation facility engineer's environmental officer to determine
how to dispose of wastewater. An existing permit may be in effect for sources frequently used. The
environmental officer can assist the commander in securing a discharge permit if required. Outside the
continental United States, the commander will coordinate with the appropriate environmental agency in
the host country for requirements.
The S3 is primarily responsible for water reconnaissance but coordination with the S2 is necessary. The
S3 directs the water supervisor to seek potential water points. The S2 can give you information about
ground/air reconnaissance and surveillance, imagery (photos), human intelligence from interrogations of
enemy prisoners of war, and other sources of terrain and technical intelligence. The S2 can give you
fallout predictions from enemy-employed nuclear weapons and requirements for weather and terrain
surveys with the chemical section.
Organization of the reconnaissance team is important in gathering the proper data on the survey mission.
The team consists of three to five members with you, the water team leader (MOS 77W, Water
Treatment Specialist), as the team supervisor. A representative of the command surgeon should be
present on the reconnaissance, if possible. This can usually be done by coordinating with the installation
Preventative Medicine Section. A water detection team from the Corps of Engineers can provide you
detailed surface and ground hydrologic information for selected areas of the world. This valuable
information can help you identify a feasible location for your water site.
Equipment for the reconnaissance will vary depending on mission requirement. Some typical equipment
is the Water Quality Analysis Set Purification (WQAS-P); Water Quality Analysis Set Engineer
(WQAS-E); nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) test kits to include radiation detection devices such
as the AN/PDR 27 radiacmeter; M272 detector kit for chemical agents in water. Also included are
topographic maps and compasses and DA Form 1712-R. Your team must be able to analyze raw water
for turbidity, TDS, pH, and temperature if you are conducting a reconnaissance for a purification site.
However, if you are conducting a reconnaissance for a storage and distribution site, you do not need any
specific equipment. You will need to know the size of, and level requirements for the PWS/DS. Look
for field reports from previous missions to include aerial photographs. Look at the water resource data
base and search for historical water operations data. When operating in a foreign county, check with the
G5 office for host nation support information. The GS office works with the local populace and has
information on the local area.
The most important and reliable source of information on water resources in an area are field reports.
These contain summaries of recent observations. Maps and aerial photographs should be studied before
the actual ground reconnaissance. Military maps are frequently incomplete and outdated. You should
always conduct a ground reconnaissance. Maps will provide you information such as locations of
surface water sources, human habitations, and road nets. Before conducting the ground reconnaissance,
you should prepare a route and time schedule. The time schedule should consider the travel to and from
the possible sites, water testing, unforeseen events, and the final submission of your report.
Air Reconnaissance. You should plan for an air reconnaissance before conducting a ground
reconnaissance, if time and equipment permit. It may be done with any type aircraft, but it is preferable
to use a helicopter so the ground reconnaissance may be done simultaneously. It is an effective and
reliable means to get data quickly on sources over a large area. An aerial