May 04, 2007

Army Replaces Septic Tanks in Falluja’s Wastewater Treatment Plant

Involving hundreds of Iraqis in the workforce, the new sewer system in Fallujah is the biggest construction project the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversees in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq.

Fallujah’s new facility will use the construction of pump stations, trunk mains and a treatment plant to serve as the backbone for a city-wide system. This is the initial phase that will eventually connect every home in the city.

“That community has been relying on septic tanks and the raw sewage is making its way onto the streets and into the storm sewers going directly to the Euphrates River,” explained Michael Jakubiak, part of a team of U. S. Army Corps of Engineers involved with the project. “So you have residents downstream that are taking their drinking water from that contaminated source. This project will improve that situation.”

Jakubiak said his office meets with the various construction firms for some 13 separate contracts, city and Iraqi ministry officials on a regular basis to ensure issues are resolved and the project moves forward.

“It’s those city and ministry officials who will eventually take over operation and maintenance of the new sewer system and we want to make sure it meets their standards," he added. "They’re fully engaged and eager to see this project completed.”

“There’s no question the health of Fallujah’s residents will be benefited by this project. Our mission is to help the Iraqi people get back on their feet and I’m proud to be part of this effort,” said Jakubiak. He had been involved with sewer-related projects in Cary, N. C., prior to volunteering for a year’s duty in Iraq.