Water recycling system at Pecos fire camp treats and repurposes 16,000 gallons


Fire personnel tackling the Calf Canyon Hermits Peak fire say a new water recycling program is a pivotal tool that will help reduce how much water they are pulling from water sources. Water is a treasured resource becoming increasingly scrace, with prolonged drought conditions and large fires burning across New Mexico.”Water has certainly been a concern for us down here in the Pecos village,” Shawn Foster, a logistics section chief with the Calf Canyon Hermits Peakfire, said. “We have effectively doubled the current population of the Village of Pecos.”He said firefighters from many states came to tackle the largest fire in state history, and they need to stay hydrated to keep at it.”We were pulling about 13,000 gallons of water out of their municipal system,” Foster said. Worried about the impact on the Pecos water system, they found a way to reverse it.”We have the ability to process non-potable water into potable water,” Wesley Higgins with the company Water Fleet said. “We also have the ability to take wastewater, whether that’s gray or black , and process that back into a reusable water so that it could be used here on the fire.” Higgins said gray water is what they’re focusing on at the Pecos fire base camp. “The gray water is the water that’s coming out of the kitchen and the showers that we’re able to take that and treat it and recycle it and use it for reuse on dust suppression. The black water would be considered from your restroom facilities. That could also be repurposed. But on this site, we’re not doing that at this time,” Higgins said. The Water Fleet system can treat and repurpose up to 16,000 gallons of water for multiple uses at the Pecos fire base camp, like hand washing, kitchen use and drinking water.Fire personnel said this may eliminate impacts to the local water system.”It is a game-changer for us, as we were concerned about impacting the community of the Village of Pecos,” Foster said.

Fire personnel tackling the Calf Canyon Hermits Peak fire say a new water recycling program is a pivotal tool that will help reduce how much water they are pulling from water sources.

Water is a treasured resource becoming increasingly scrace, with prolonged drought conditions and large fires burning across New Mexico.

“Water has certainly been a concern for us down here in the Pecos village,” Shawn Foster, a logistics section chief with the Calf Canyon Hermits Peak fire, said. “We have effectively doubled the current population of the Village of Pecos.”

He said firefighters from many states came to tackle the largest fire in state history, and they need to stay hydrated to keep at it.

“We were pulling about 13,000 gallons of water out of their municipal system,” Foster said.

Worried about the impact on the Pecos water system, they found a way to reverse it.

“We have the ability to process non-potable water into potable water,” Wesley Higgins with the company Water Fleet said. “We also have the ability to take wastewater, whether that’s gray or black [water]and process that back into a reusable water so that it could be used here on the fire.”

Higgins said gray water is what they’re focusing on at the Pecos fire base camp.

“The gray water is the water that’s coming out of the kitchen and the showers that we’re able to take that and treat it and recycle it and use it for reuse on dust suppression. The black water would be considered from your restroom facilities. That could also be repurposed. But on this site, we’re not doing that at this time,” Higgins said.

The Water Fleet system can treat and repurpose up to 16,000 gallons of water for multiple uses at the Pecos fire base camp, like hand washing, kitchen use and drinking water.

Fire personnel said this may eliminate impacts to the local water system.

“It is a game-changer for us, as we were concerned about impacting the community of the Village of Pecos,” Foster said.

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