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Lance Cpl. Mark A. Stevenson, wrecker operator, Support Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), tests the washrack’s water reclamation system during its construction, March 22. The water reclamation system funnels water into a series of baffles and chambers that gradually clean the water of impurities by using gravity to trap dirt and debris at the bottom.

Photo by Cpl. Mark W. Stroud

Logistics Marines innovate, clean vehicles efficiently

4 Apr 2012 | Cpl. Mark W. Stroud

Marines with Support Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), completed construction of a vehicle washrack at the battalion motor pool, March 27.

The washrack provides the Marines with dedicated infrastructure and equipment to clean the battalion’s tactical vehicles.

“[Cleaning is] the first step in preventive maintenance,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Troy C. Havard, maintenance officer, Support Co., CLB-4. “Continued build-up of dirt and grime on the vehicles leads to breakdowns.”

The washrack consists of a 3,000-gallon water bladder, a 150 gallon-per-minute pump and high-pressure hoses to spray off the trucks. Additionally, a water reclamation system was added to funnel runoff water into a series of baffles and chambers that gradually rid the water of impurities by using gravity to trap dirt and debris.

When the baffle system reaches capacity, Marines will cease washrack operations and remove sediment from the collection chambers. These actions will maintain normal operations and recycle the water runoff, explained Havard.

“The water is reasonably clean by the final baffle chamber,” Havard said. “From there we are able to pump it out and reuse it for cleaning vehicles.”

The system to recycle water is a marked improvement from the washrack’s predecessor, according to Sgt. Kevin A. Rodriguez, basic water support technician, Support Co., CLB-4.

“Even if we are losing some of the water, it is better then what we had before,” said Rodriguez. “Water is precious resource … and by recycling it, we can help keep [water trucks] off the roads.”

The washrack was constructed over a two-week period, replacing the facility left behind by the previous Marine unit.

“[Combat Logistics Battalion 6] had a washrack located directly in front of the company offices,” said Havard. “It was messy and left a lot of mud. When the unit left, space was freed up in the back of the lot and we built our new washrack there.”

Heavy equipment operators with Bravo Company, CLB-4, assisted in the construction of the washrack by digging out a trench for the system of baffles and chambers.

Rodriguez viewed the washrack as a chance to add the expertise of the battalion’s water purification specialists to the CLB-4 mission.

“Everyone in the battalion can contribute in their area of expertise, but water purification specialist don’t normally get to contribute here on [Camp Leatherneck], not like they would out on the [Forward Operating Bases] where they are maintaining showers, hygiene facilities and water supplies,” said Rodriguez. “This washrack was our chance to contribute water purification expertise to the battalion and help them complete the mission.”


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