Kishaba water pressure to improve with coming solutions
CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan -- Col. Thomas A. Pecina hosted an informational meeting Sept. 18 to share solutions with Kishaba Terrace housing area residents about ongoing water outages.
“The leadership understands the problems residents are facing, and is very involved in solving this as quickly as possible,” said Pecina, commanding officer of Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, and Camp Foster commander. “Air Force and Marine Corps housing officials, Air Force and Marine Corps water systems engineers, leadership on Camp Foster, and residents have come together to identify and fix these problems as quickly as possible.”
Pecina, explained that the root of the current water problem is that the water demand exceeds the current water supply.
“It is an old system, the occupancy has gone up more than what we had last year, and that means that the amount of water being drawn has gone up,” said Pecina. “We have the new naval hospital on base (and) that also has an effect on the water demand, and some of the water supply points from the city have changed. All of that combined in an unfortunate situation this summer when Kishaba residents did not have adequate water pressure.”
Pecina personally walked through Kishaba housing door-to-door in recent weeks talking with and reassuring residents.
The short-term solution is to reduce the demand on the water in the Kishaba Terrace housing area, according to Pecina.
“We are looking to move out 50 volunteers who will be relocated either off-base or in a different housing area which will reduce the demand for water for Kishaba residents,” said Pecina.
The mid-term solution involves adding water to the system. “Our mid-term plan, which will be implemented in March 2015, is to add more water volume to the camp,” said Pecina. This involves adding incoming water pipe lines to the system and drawing from the new water storage tank on Plaza Housing, according to officials.
The longer range plan is more ambitions. “Our long term plan, which should come into effect in approximately 15 months, is to redo the entire infrastructure,” said Pecina. “This plan involves an approximately 4 million dollar contract to replace all the waterlines within Kishaba housing, which should eliminate the breakages of old pipes and valves and allow higher pressure during peak hours.
Airmen with 18th Civil Engineer Squadron, 18th Civil Engineer Group, 18th Wing, who are responsible for maintaining Kishaba water lines, have been working around the clock to find a solution to the current water issues, according to Air Force Staff Sgt. Destrey L. Robbins, a water fuel system maintenance craftsman with the squadron.
“We are doing everything in our power to find alternate ways to get adequate pressure,” said Robbins, from Madison, Nebraska. “We have both day and night shifts checking the water pressure routinely. They do this by checking the pressure in the fire hydrants at all hours of the day to identify the high usage hours and see how low the water pressure goes to during these hours. We also do this to pinpoint areas with the lowest pressure.”
Robbins also explained that they have prepositioned water maintenance teams on Camp Foster to reduce the response time if there are issues.
Pecina shared that information concerning the current water challenges can be found on official social media sites.
“We will communicate scheduled and unscheduled outages, maintenance and upcoming projects by pushing the information though Facebook pages,” said Pecina “We have our III Marine Expeditionary Force and MCIPAC Facebook page, the Kadena Facebook page, as well as the Camp Foster page where I can personally post. We also have a light board set up as you enter Kishaba Terrace housing through the tunnel which will be updated with new information.”
Additionally, officials are asking residents to visit the following website for more information regarding the current water situation http://www.mcbbutler.marines.mil/Camps/CampFoster/KishabaHousing.aspx or call 634-HOME (4663) to report outages and check for updates regarding water issues.
“We want to take care of our service members and families in Kishaba and throughout the island,” said Pecina. “We are all doing our best to get our families in Kishaba good water pressure as quickly as possible.”