Fort McCoy News Oct. 14, 2016

Post staff provides quick response to water outage

The recent water outage at Fort McCoy resulted from water-system valve-maintenance issues, said Directorate of Public Works (DPW) Operations and Maintenance Division Chief Nate Sobojinski.

Low water pressure in the cantonment area was discovered Sept. 26. Soon afterward, water distribution ceased completely. Immediate action was taken to troubleshoot the problem and get the system back up and running within 24 hours, Sobojinski said.

Fort McCoy's emergency-management team responded to the situation quickly and convened at the Installation Emergency Operations Center. The team includes garrison leadership, emergency planning representatives from each directorate and special staff office, and selected tenant partners.

Kelly Tilbury (left) with the Logistic Readiness Center Subsistence Supply Management Office helps Larry Sharp with the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security load cases of water into a truck at building 490 at Fort McCoy Sept. 29.
Kelly Tilbury (left) with the Logistic Readiness Center Subsistence
Supply Management Office helps Larry Sharp with the Directorate of
Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security load cases of water into a
truck at building 490 at Fort McCoy Sept. 29. Water was distributed at
Fort McCoy Sept. 27-29 as an emergency-management measure during
a water outage.
Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

Among the actions taken by the emergency-management team were distributing portable toilets to buildings with overnight residents, consolidating all dining facility operations in building 1362 at Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy complex; closing post restaurant facilities; closing the Child, Youth and School Services facilities and notifying parents of the closures; and organizing distribution of bottled water to post agencies. Full distribution of bottled water began Sept. 27 and continued to Sept. 29, said Subsistence Supply Management Office Manager Kelly Tilbury with the Logistics Readiness Center (LRC). The LRC distributed a total of 1,362 cases (32,688 bottles) of water.

"We initially had to work out a distribution plan for the water," Tilbury said. "After that, it was smooth operations."
The post water system was flushed and returned to nonpotable water (handwashing, toilet flushing, and showering) service Sept. 27.

"Because the system was flushed, water tests were required by law to determine whether the water was potable," Sobojinski said.

Testing continued through Sept. 29, when water-test results were approved and all water operations were returned to normal. Throughout the water outage, the Fort McCoy community was informed through emails as well as updates on Fort McCoy Facebook and Twitter pages.

DPTMS Director Brad Stewart said the post response during the outage went very well.

"This was a great example of our team coming together across the board to respond to an emergency-management situation while at the same time ensuring day-to-day operations continued," Stewart said.

DPW continues to monitor the water system to ensure no further problems arise, Sobojinski said.

   (Article prepared by the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office.)