Determination of the potability and approval of water is a
responsibility of the Surgeon for Army units. Radioactive contaminants in
water are not affected by boiling or by other water treatment methods
designed for chemical or biological contamination.
Spring or well water should be used in preference to surface water. If it
becomes necessary to use radiologically contaminated water, for example:
lakes, ponds, rivers and streams, the instructions set forth below should be
followed and the water used only under these conditions.
1. If the external radiation hazard permits operations in the area
around the water point without a shelter, the water is suitable for
consumption for a period not exceeding 1 week, provided that normal
field purification methods have been accomplished.
2. The AN/PDR-27 RADIAC Set should be used (probe open and held
approximately 1 centimeter, about 1/2 inch, from the surface of the
water) to give a qualitative indication of Beta-Gamma contamination.
The range scale should be at the 500 scale.
IN AN EMERGENCY ONLY, water from a moving stream or similar source may be
used, even though it contains radiological contamination, if it is filtered
through a column of earth of at least 15 centimeters (6 inches), preferable
25 to 30 centimeters (10 to 12 inches), which must be obtained from
The column must be supported by a fine mesh
material to prevent passage of earth particles.
The resultant product is
the water should be boiled or treated with iodine purification tablets or
calcium hypochlorite to kill biological contamination.
PART C - DECONTAMINATION TYPES AND METHODS
There are three levels of decontamination: Immediate, Operational, and
Thorough. Immediate Decontamination is carried out by individuals when they
are contaminated. Operational Decontamination sustains operations, reduces
contact hazard, and limits the spread of contamination. The aim of Thorough
Decontamination is to reduce or eliminate the need for individual protective
Personnel engaged in nuclear decontamination should wear a dosimeter and be
closely monitored for level of radiation exposure.
The amount of
radiological contamination that can be tolerated will vary depending on the
Personnel contaminated with a dry contaminant, such as fallout, should shake
their clothing and gear.