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NEWS | July 22, 2020

Without water, there is no base

By Air Force Airman 1st Class Cory Davis 628th ABW Public Affairs

The 628th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Water and Fuel System Maintenance Flight is responsible for the water and fuel systems at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina.


Personnel assigned to the 628th CES/WFSM are responsible for the upkeep of sewer lines, fire suppression systems and water distribution.


"We're trained on water, which is water distribution, water mains, water plants, treating water, back-flow prevention, lawn irrigation, sewer plants [and] sewer lines,” said Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Lucero, 628th CES NCO in charge of water and fuel system maintenance. “There is also in houses where it's drinking water as far as showers, sinks, toilets, urinals, faucets [and] anything that a water line can be hooked up to.” 


Lucero said personnel try to stay ahead of possible stoppages and malfunctions by checking the systems often.


“We normally send people out on sewer rounds,” he said . “We have them check the lift stations to see if anything gets clogged up; make sure the pumps are running, because if those get clogged that means we have sewage stoppages. Sometimes we have a water break, or a sewer break or something along those lines we normally plan out for for repairs. Another thing we do is take requests for repairs we get for different buildings or dorms or whatever normally small quick and easy stuff we have a crew that is ready to take care of it.”


Lucero also noted how they work with other units on JB Charleston to help keep the base running.


“We work hand-in-hand with the fuel’s flight because we also do liquid fuels,” he said. “We maintain pipes and valves within that system. Our guys work with the petroleum oil and lubricants flight. Whenever the refueling planes are using refueling vehicles we work on their pipes when maintenance is required and they usually tell us what's going on.”


Darin Dull, a pipe fitter of water and fuel maintenance assigned to the 628th CES, went into detail about how they assist with hurricane readiness before and after they occur.


“We assist other shops and secure things that could be a flight hazard by tying things down," said Dull. “We actually go out and assist heavy equipment operations to move and secure equipment.”


Lucero highlighted the importance of the 628th CES/WFSM mission, noting that a base couldn't exist without water.


“Without a water supply, you won't have sustainability,” said Lucero. “You have to have water for drinking, hydration and plumbing. In order for there to be a base, you need to have a water supply and a flight line.”