The following article was written by (now-retired) Col. Stewart Fearon, U.S. Army Reserve 63rd Regional, Support Command, Mountain View, California and published in the Corp Environment. It is used here by permission.
The 63rd Regional Support Command (RSC) Directorate of Logistics
has the mission to repair and maintain more than 30,000 pieces
of military equipment that are stored and maintained at Equipment
Concentration Sites (ECS) throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, New
Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
One particular ECS, located in Yermo, California, has 2,066 pieces of
equipment worth more than $208 million. ECS 171 is strategically located
near the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California, to provide
equipment to U.S. Army Reserve units taking part in training. Yermo’s
location gives it easy access to California’s highway infrastructure and a
rail head allows for the rapid movement of military vehicles and equipment
to any port along the west coast and the world. More than 120 units store
equipment at ECS 171 because of the accessibility and proximity to NTC.
Before working on equipment, it has to be thoroughly cleaned. This
makes it easier to identify worn or damaged parts and prevents dirt or
contaminants from getting into the equipment, which can cause additional
wear and tear.
The equipment also has to be cleaned prior to transporting it across
state lines to prevent the spread of non-native vegetation to other regions.
This is accomplished by using a wash rack that is basically an industrial
sized high pressure car wash. Wash racks normally use a lot of water and
are not conveniently located.
Executive Order (EO) 13423, Strengthening Federal Environmental,
Energy and Transportation Management, was signed by President George
Bush Jan. 24, 2007. It requires all federal agencies to reduce water use
by 2 percent annually through fiscal year 2015. EO 13693, Planning for
Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade, signed by President Barack
Obama March 19, 2015, calls for the reduction of water use in federal
buildings by 2 percent per year through fiscal year 2025. On top of
that Jerry Brown, the governor of California, issued an executive order
mandating water restrictions throughout California.
Several of the maintenance technicians at ECS 171 who served in
Iraq and Afghanistan used solar powered decontamination and wash
systems that used recycled water while they were deployed. They took their
Army Reserve moving toward more sustainable facilities
experiences in theater and applied them to the problem
of maintaining the equipment, saving water and energy,
and protecting the environment in Yermo. The above
ground steel wash rack they chose is made by Riveer
and was provided by and installed by EST Companies.
The Riveer Engineered Wash Water Recover
System has zero discharge and is a portable custom
containment system that does not require any special
permits to operate.
This system is designed for vehicles and equipment
up to 15,000 pounds per wheel, which is important when
cleaning the Medium Flail Vehicle used to clear mines.
Because it is a closed loop “zero-discharge” wash rack, it does not need a
constant supply of water. This also prevents any waste water from being
discharged into local streams or rivers, eliminating the need for a storm
water pollution prevention plan.
The wash rack at ECS 171 is 18 feet wide and 53 feet long with two
18-foot center troughs with automated conveyor systems to remove solids.
The mud or debris is separated out using a wedge wire screen filter and
suction pump. The sludge is then deposited into
two dewatering quarter yard hoppers with filter bags
where it is tested for hazardous materials and then
disposed of properly.
In addition, the ECS 171 wash rack does not
require external power to operate. The control system
operates off a rack of batteries that are charged
by the 3 kilowatt photovoltaic panels. The pump is
driven by a diesel engine and produces a constant
stream of hot water at 3,000 pounds per square inch.
All the components are contained in three 20-foot
insulated, climate controlled shipping containers with
aluminum interior wall skins. This makes the entire
wash rack system easily relocatable.
Hugo Gonzales, 63rd RSC director of logistics,
said his goal was to “protect the environment;
reduce the water and power consumed; and provide
mission ready equipment for Soldiers to train on
at a moment’s notice.” This system helps create
sustainable facilities while reducing water and power consumption in
accordance with EO 13693 and California’s mandatory water restrictions.
Because of the success at ECS 171, Gonzales is putting in similar
systems at ECSs in Gatesville, Texas; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Fort Hunter
Liggett, California, and Fort Sam Houston, Texas. This is just one of the
ways the Army Reserve is serving as a good steward of the environment
and creating more sustainable facilities.
ABOVE: The ECS 171 wash rack does not require external
power to operate. The control system operates off a rack of
batteries that are charged by the photovoltaic panels. The
pump is driven by a diesel engine and produces a constant
stream of hot water at 3,000 pounds per square inch (PSI).
TOP RIGHT: The above ground steel wash rack is a portable
custom containment system with a closed loop zero-discharge
wash rack that does not need a constant supply of water.
RIGHT: The wash rack at ECS 171 is 18 feet wide and 53 feet
long with two 18-foot center troughs with automated conveyor
systems to remove solids. The mud or debris is separated out
using a wedge wire screen filter and suction pump. The sludge
is then deposited into two dewatering quarter yard hoppers
with filter bags where it is tested for hazardous materials and
then disposed of properly. (Courtesy photos)