Fort McCoy News August 08, 2014

McCoy's eco-friendly CVWF 'among best' in Army

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

The Fort McCoy Central Vehicle Wash Facility (CVWF) has 23 stations available for cleaning military tactical vehicles and heavy equipment, as well as the ability to reuse up to 98 percent of the water used to clean that equipment.

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Soldiers wash tactical vehicles at Fort McCoy's Central Vehicle Wash Facility, which has 23 stations for cleaning vehicles.

Built in 1994, the CVWF runs seven days a week from April 1 through Oct. 31 — a prime time of the year for training at Fort McCoy. It is a valuable asset for extending the life of training equipment.

"It's a great facility," said Logistics Readiness Center (LRC) Maintenance Division Chief Jeff Wessels. "When you compare it to other facilities across the Army, it's among the best. The capacity that it gives us to clean vehicles, particularly when many units are training on post, is incredible."

The LRC oversees the overall management and operation of the CVWF, and a team of operators maintains and keeps it running.

"We can have some very busy days here," said Jon Finch, CVWF operator. "When we have large exercise happening on post such as the Combat Support Training Exercise, we'll have every station going with vehicles getting washed. If a unit has 30 or 40 vehicles they need washed, they can come here and get the job done all in one shot."

Wessels said hundreds of vehicles easily can be cleaned each day when the facility is operating at maximum capacity and efficiency.
The 23 stations have dual-hose capacity and operate at a water pressure average of 60 pounds per square inch (PSI).

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Jon Finch, Fort McCoy Central Vehicle Wash Facility operator, checks the water pressure of the facility's water system.

"It's a highly efficient system," Finch said. "Users can adjust the water pressure right at the station they're using to accommodate the desired PSI needed for cleaning. This increases ease of use by the customer."

What may be most efficient about the CVWF is its environmentally encapsulated filtration system that allows for self-contained water usage. The facility has an 11-million gallon holding pond, with filtration methods used to remove sand and other remaining sediment from water.

When water is sprayed to clean vehicles, it drains into a sediment basin. Oil and fuel material then is skimmed off and loaded into oil containers. A contractor disposes of the oil containers in accordance with environmental hazardous waste regulations and procedures.

The filtrated water then goes to the holding pond where further filtration methods remove sand and other debris and sediment.

"The whole filtration process is a big circle," Finch said. "By reclaiming the water we're not only keeping a constant supply of clean water to wash the vehicles, but we are also conserving resources and saving the taxpayer money."

In the past year, the CVWF also has received an upgrade to its computerized operating system that included new control panels.
The system upgrade also included improvements to the lighting and ground protection systems.

"It allows for better management of the water-pressure levels as well as the filtration system," Finch said.

The upgrades also help improve safety. "Our customers are very good about following the standard operating procedures for facility usage, but anything we can do to lessen any potential risks is helpful as well," Finch said.

Finch, who worked at the CVWF since 2008, said customers value having the CVWF available, especially those who sign out and return vehicles to the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site or Equipment Concentration Site-67.

"We have many troops who use our facility and are amazed at how many spaces we have available," Finch said.

"They like how our systems are user-friendly and make doing their cleaning job that much easier before they turn their vehicles back in after use."

Wessels said the CVWF team works to provide excellent customer service every day. "They are very capable. They know everything about the operations of the facility, and they do a great job," he said.

Appointments or reservations of the facility are highly encouraged, Finch said. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 608-388-4241.