Water and Fuels maintained for mission

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jensen Stidham
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
With more than half a million feet of gas, sewer and water lines here, an experienced team of Airmen work day and night to keep the 20th Fighter Wing clean, healthy, and mission ready.

Twenty-four 20th Civil Engineer Squadron water and fuels systems maintenance Airmen keep everything gas- and water-related here running correctly. From water heaters, sinks, water treatment, water and sewer maintenance, to emergency gas breaks, they do it all.

"We do a lot of different things in this career field," said Staff Sgt. Daniel White, 20th CES water and fuels systems maintenance journeyman. "Our career outside of the military is like four completely different jobs."

The base keeps the Airmen busy with a variety of gas and water related jobs each day to ensure mission capability.

"The whole concept to being a military base is being able to supply yourself, by yourself," said White. "That's why we work hard 24 hours a day to keep everything maintained."

The Airmen are not only responsible for the Air Force regulations for water and gas checklists, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control water regulations also govern their operating standards.

"We produce on average 600,000 gallons of clean water every day," said White. "That means a lot of work has to go into making sure the water meets the standard. We have to add chemicals like Chlorine and Fluoride. We take water samples every three hours to make sure the chemicals are correct and then every month we have to report all of our readings to DHEC."

Once the water is clean and ready to be used, it enters the water lines and, if there is excess water, the water towers.

"We have a total of four water towers on base," said White. "One for general usage, two for housing, and one for the fire department. We also have to maintain the water towers annually by climbing up them, inspecting the water lines and checking everything the water touches."

Their job doesn't end with ensuring the cleanliness of base water, the 20th CES Airmen are also responsible for maintaining gas lines.

"We walk the gas lines every year to make sure everything looks good and is working the way it should be," said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Eakins, 20th CES WFSM craftsman.

In addition to water and gas, they also manage the more than 250,000 feet of sewer lines.

"Once a year we check every manhole and jet every pipe to ensure there aren't any blockages," said White.

Maintaining all of the water and fuel systems has the 24 Airmen around base constantly performing inspections.

"My favorite part about this job is being able to be outside getting 'out and about' each day," said Eakins. "I come into work each day not always knowing what to expect because all the different jobs."