Corps clean water project quenches thirst in Sri Lanka

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Imagine walking three miles every day for potable water to complete daily chores. For many Sri Lankan residents this is their reality until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Alaska District finishes connecting hundreds of Puttalam households to the town’s water supply.

Clean water to satisfy parched throats and more time for other activities are becoming a new standard for 371 families living below Sri Lanka’s poverty line. The new hookups are drawing water from existing main supply pipes owned and operated by the Puttalam Water District alongside neighborhood roads. The additional network is delivering water to resident’s front door steps through an outdoor spigot and water meter.

“They are thankful that someone has taken notice and wants to better their community,” said Mike MacMillan, project manager in the Environmental and Special Projects Branch overseeing the construction.

Located in western Sri Lanka, the Puttalam project was identified as a priority by the Department of State to improve the living conditions of the community. The Alaska District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Pacific Ocean Division is on schedule to accomplish the connections in September 2014 – one year after the project’s onset. Approximately 100 homes are tapped into the system already and steady progress continues with 10 to 15 homes linked up each week.

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