Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Camp Bastion Water Bottling Plant Saving Lives

The temperatures are now creepy up massively here at Camp Bastion; it is averaging 35 degrees at the moment. It is predicted that by the height of the summer the thermometer will soar past 50 degrees. So it is recommended that soldiers drink upto 10 litres of water if they are in body armour and helmet out in those conditions.

Given there is a huge demand for water, it is fortunate that the camp can provide its own supplies. Two and a half years ago, army engineers bored down 150 metres to tap into water that naturally springs under the desert. Over 22 million litres have been extracted and yet levels are naturally renewed with water that runs off from the imposing mountains surrounding the area.

The man in charge of extracting and processing the water is Mr Colin Howell, the Camp Bastion Bottling Plant Manager.

“We have to be scrupulously clean here. If the water gets contaminated then it affects every single person in camp. Our quality control is second to none and we sample and test the water every 20 minutes”.

So hair covers, beard covers, white coats and plastic overboots are de rigeur within the plant.

Even plastic bottles are manufactured on site. So instead of having to transport water by land, Bastion’s DIY water process saves transportation tenfold and more importantly, lives.

Colin noted, “If we had transported 22 million bottles of water, we would have needed 3,500 container lorries to bring in supplies. Imagine the risks by doing that; we are very proud that we are reducing the carbon footprint and reducing the chances of people getting killed too”.

Picture credit: Corporal Lynny Cash, RAF
Story credit: Squadron Leader Dee Taylor, RAF


  1. I was wondering where all those bottles of water came from.

  2. Hope this job is never 'out sourced' especially as our troops depend on You - can't risk anybody adding anything to the water!.

  3. is this water bottling facility owned and operated by the military or this is outsources where private sector owns it and operates it?

  4. ı drank that brand of water in Helmand,these guys are doin a great job.You don t know what that means in da middle of the desert.Getting the fresh filled water right out of the factory for free.