Polluted Water for the Troops in Iraq? Thanks KBR!

(what’s in your water… – promoted by pfiore8)

KBR Inc. may have supplied U.S. troops fighting in Iraq with tainted water according to a Pentagon inspector general’s report that was released today: Audit of Potable and Nonpotable Water in Iraq (PDF). KBR is a private contractor that, at the time they were supplying American bases in Iraq with polluted water, was owned by Halliburton.

According to the AP, Water makes U.S. troops in Iraq sick.

Soldiers experienced skin abscesses, cellulitis, skin infections, diarrhea and other illnesses after using discolored, smelly water for personal hygiene and laundry at five U.S. military sites in Iraq.

KBR’s water quality problems happened between January 2004 and December 2006.

It was impossible to link the dirty water definitively to all the illnesses, according to the report. But it said KBR’s water quality “was not maintained in accordance with field water sanitary standards” and the military-run sites “were not performing all required quality control tests.”

The water wasn’t used for drinking, but for washing, cleaning, and laundry. “Water used for hygiene and laundry must meet minimum safety standards under military regulations because of the potential for harmful exposure through the eyes, nose, mouth, cuts and wounds.”

According to the report, 45 percent of soldiers complained “hygiene water was discolored or had an unusual odor”, 10 percent reported their water quality concerns to command, and 4 percent of personnel claimed they had “water related medical problems”.

The Guardian reported that the “allegations of unsafe water supplies in Iraq first emerged during hearings held by Senate Democrats more than two years ago.” Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) requested an investigation be done by the inspector general.

Dorgon said, “I think it’s outrageous that KBR tried to deny that there was a problem, especially when it turned out that there were dozens of US troops reporting water-related illnesses.”

However, with all the problems the military contractors have caused, there still is no move to curtail or eliminate their use. Rather Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Congress would intensify their scrutiny of contractors. “If we are going to use contractors to perform this kind of activity in the future, we are going to have to do a much better job of supervising their activities,” Levin said.

Lovely. A promise of more and better Congressional oversight with no consequences in sight.

The water supply for U.S. civilians may not be much better. According to an AP probe, Drugs were found in America drinking water.

A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans…

In the course of a five-month inquiry, … discovered that drugs have been detected in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas — from Southern California to Northern New Jersey, from Detroit to Louisville, Ky.

Clean water is going to be harder and harder to find. Our next war may be over clean water, not oil.


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  1. Once we’re done fighting over oil, clean water is likely to be the next war. The water supply for U.S. civilians isn’t much better. According to an AP probe, Drugs were found in America drinking water. So, clean water is going to be harder and harder to get.

  2. We pay for the packaging! The Iraqi water is ify at best…who knows where it comes from!

  3. and connections in high places in the Administration, they can say anything they want with their no-bid contract.

    Gets me how anyone can still support these slugs.

  4. understand that tainted water is bad for you??  Doesn’t matter

    what it’s being used for.  Supply bad water – no check for

    you KBR!  Duh!

    And either I’m having a deja vu moment or this whole drugs in

    our water issue was in the news awhile ago…  Wonder

    why it wasn’t addressed then.

  5. A reader at eenrblog, planetclaire4, where I cross-posted this essay suggested I look at this past November’s Vanity Fair for a possible source of the contamination.

    This is what I read from an article by David Rose, The People vs. the Profiteers.

    It is not unheard of for trucks in a war zone to perform hearse duty. But both civilian and U.S.-military regulations state that once a trailer has been used to store corpses it can never again be loaded with food or drink intended for human consumption. According to the U.S. Army’s Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, “Contact with whole or part human remains carries potential risks associated with pathogenic microbiological organisms that may be present in human blood and tissue.” The diseases that may be communicated include aids, hepatitis, tuberculosis, septicemia, meningitis, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human variant of mad cow.

    But when Bud Conyers next caught sight of trailer R-89, about a month later, it was packed not with human casualties but with bags of ice-ice that was going into drinks served to American troops. He took photographs, showing the ice bags, the trailer number, and the wooden decking, which appeared to be stained red. Another former KBR employee, James Logsdon, who now works as a police officer near Enid, says he first saw R-89 about a week after Conyers’s grisly discovery. “You could still see a little bit of matter from the bodies, stuff that looked kind of pearly, and blood from the stomachs. It hadn’t even been hosed down. Afterwards, I saw that truck in the P.W.C.-the public warehouse center-several times. There’s nothing there except food and ice. It was backed up to a dock, being loaded.”

    As late as August 31, 11 weeks after trailer R-89 was emptied of the putrefying bodies, a KBR convoy commander named Jeff Allen filed a mission log stating that it had carried 5,000 pounds of ice that day. This ice, Allen wrote, was “bio-contaminated.” But to his horror, on that day alone, “approx 1,800 pounds [were] used.”

    My second reaction, the first being yuck, was that it certainly makes me wonder how KBR treated the hygiene and cleaning water.

  6. built in Iraq with the shit draining out of the light fixtures…..looks like the only thing done well by this Administration has to do with shit. Or, maybe, the only thing done (not even well) always contains shit…

    Just arrest them all please and take them away…throw away the keys…please!

    • KrisC on March 11, 2008 at 14:58

    to take your country to war, then poison your own soldiers.  

    Bloody brilliant, heh?!?!

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