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New Purification System Brings Water, Hope to Samarra

American Forces Press Service

FORWARD OPERATING BASE BRASSFIELD-MORA, Iraq, March 9, 2009 – The Iraqi government has completed installation of a new water purification system on the Rassassi Canal, bringing clean drinking water and optimism to hundreds of families in the area.

"Success is everywhere, and the insurgents know it," Farhan Raad Thamer, a Samarra resident, said. "The Golden Mosque [in Samarra] is being rebuilt, the pilgrims are visiting, the water and power systems are being repaired, the farmers are farming -- the government is beginning to take care of

us.”

Muhammad Maged Soluman, director general of water for Samarra, oversaw a team of Iraqi contractors who performed maintenance work on an existing water purification system and the construction of a new one.

"This project has been a great success," Soluman said, "but it is only the beginning. We will continue our efforts until all the people of Samarra have the water they need."

U.S. soldiers with the 25th Infantry Division’s 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, helped to coordinate funding for the project from the Commander's Emergency Relief Program. The purification system comprises two water pumps, a generator, two aluminum sulfate clarifiers and two sand filters.

The new system will provide an additional 200 cubic liters of clean drinking water per hour for eastern Samarra, where there is a shortage of clean water, officials said. Both water units connect via a 300 mm pipe that travels more than four miles to four neighborhoods in the area.

While the purification system is good news for residents, much work remains to repair the destruction caused over the last six years, officials said. Samarra currently receives only 2,000 cubic liters of water per hour. Nearly double that amount is required to bring clean water reliably to the entire city.

As construction of the nearby Jalisia power station nears completion, the electrical grid in eastern Samarra will be dramatically improved, making continued operation of the water units more reliable, and the installation of new units a possibility.

"The people in Samarra are very excited about all the

improvements being made," local resident Munther Jasim al-Abasi said. "The security is good and the children are going to school without fear."

(From a Multinational Corps Iraq news release.)

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