US Army Corps of Engineers
Engineer Research and Development Center

Water Assessment and Purification (WAsP) Toolkit

No Soldier Thirsty

Published April 19, 2016
Designed and developed by researchers at the Geospatial Research Laboratory (GRL) in Alexandria, Virginia, the WAsP toolkit is packaged within a backpack, providing soldiers a portable, efficient, and compact means of water assessment and purification.

Designed and developed by researchers at the Geospatial Research Laboratory (GRL) in Alexandria, Virginia, the WAsP toolkit is packaged within a backpack, providing soldiers a portable, efficient, and compact means of water assessment and purification.

Water requirements vary widely during combat, training, and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) operations; but the capabilities provided by the WAsP toolkit allow for increased responsiveness by allowing units and commanders to react to changing environments without concern for water resupply.

Water requirements vary widely during combat, training, and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) operations; but the capabilities provided by the WAsP toolkit allow for increased responsiveness by allowing units and commanders to react to changing environments without concern for water resupply.

The Water Assessment and Purification (WAsP) toolkit is a product designed to filter, purify, and test water. The WAsP toolkit is packaged within a backpack, providing soldiers a portable, efficient, and compact means of water assessment and purification. WAsP uses commercial off-the-shelf reverse osmosis filters for water purification and a 12-volt pump that can operate for six to seven hours on solar and/or wind-rechargeable batteries. The toolkit also includes an electro-chlorination cell that can produce 2% bleach from a solution of salt water in 15 minutes. The product water flows through a suite of sensors, which gauge the physical water quality in terms of pH, temperature, oxidation-reduction potential, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, and turbidity. The data is logged and is displayed to the user in a graphical user interface. The system was designed and developed by researchers at the Geospatial Research Laboratory (GRL) in Alexandria, Virginia.

Problem

Water requirements vary widely during combat, training, and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) operations. Sources and availability of water can have significant impacts on these operations. Existing water purification equipment used by the U.S. Army is significantly larger and does not meet the size, mobility, manpower, maintenance, or water production requirements for smaller operations. Currently, many personnel rely on commercial-off-the-shelf systems, which are not specifically built for the military and are not necessarily optimized for the soldier’s needs. The capabilities provided by the WAsP toolkit allow for increased responsiveness by allowing units and commanders to react to changing environments without concern for water re-supply.

Technology

The system draws water from any local source, then filters the water through a standard reverse osmosis system. The water is then pumped through a series of sensors that log the quality data and then relay that data to the user.

Benefits

The WAsP toolkit is designed to meet water demands at the point of need for small-footprint operations while ensuring that water surveillance parameters are being met. Since mission environments can change with respect to the political environment, mission requirements, or issues related to terrain and weather, the capability provided by the WAsP toolkit allows for increased responsiveness. This allows units and commanders to react to these changing environments without concern for water resupply. From the standpoint of economy, the WAsP toolkit allows for less reliance on host nation bottled water purchases and distribution channels.

Specifications/System Requirements

Reverse Osmosis

  • 12 L/hr with a fresh water source

Electro-chlorinator

  • Bleach is produced within the WAsP toolkit as water is being made
  • >15 min, 350 mL 0.8wt% NaOCl (bleach) from brine (Salt solution)
  • >Critical for water sanitization or other decontamination efforts
Communication
  • Wired output: Ethernet/USB
  • Wireless Output:
    • Bluetooth
    • WIFI (802.11 b/g)
    • Cellular 3G/4G
    • JTRS (Rifleman

Status

The WAsP toolkit is customized for each group. To request a demonstration, please contact Dr. Clint Smith or Dr. Andmorgan Fisher.

ERDC Points of Contact

Questions about WAsP?

Dr. Andmorgan R. Fisher, office: (703) 428–6128, email: Andmorgan.R.Fisher@usace.army.mil
Dr. Andrew Madison, office: (703) 428-8203, email: Andrew.Madison@usace.army.mil
Dr. Clint B. Smith, office: (703) 428–6789, email: Clint.B.Smith@usace.army.mil