Often we do not appreciate mundane things, we do not realize how sometimes a single sip of drinking water can be important and valuable for a person. In the frontline conditions this issue is especially drastic. Many things are reevaluated there…
Particularly, “AQUA-AS” reagent-free water treatment plants have helped in solving the problem of providing drinking water to Ukrainian soldiers in Luhansk region.
Interestingly, thanks to this technology, you are able to take any water for domestic needs and drinking – literally from puddles or forest swamps, which is especially opportune in wartime.
“Stozhary” talked to one of the developers of such water treatment plants, Oleksandr Pochtar, and asked about the years of his active volunteering in the Luhansk region.
He is a associate member of the Engineering Academy of Ukraine, author of numerous scientific papers and publications, inventor, owner of 32 patents for his developments (14 more are currently being prepared), patent attorney-consultant of EAU Academician Professor Drevetsky V.V. and Academician of Ecology MANEB Kurilyuk M.S. (сurrently, another 67 patents in the field of water-ecology are in their joint development). He is also the director of the research and production company “AQUA-AS”, which offers economical and safe reagent-free water treatment.
“Stozhary”: Mr. Oleksandr, please tell us, what was the start of such an initiative to organize assistance to our military by sending water purification units to the anti-terrorist operation zone?
Oleksandr Pochtar: In fact, our facilities performed well in the field back in 2013, when they were involved in a large-scale field event – the annual festival of off-road extreme motoring “Off Road Free Fest”. Those days were very hot, and the need to quench your thirst and basic hygiene was a very important organizational issue. The plant, which had a capacity of 30 cubic meters of water per day, fully provided drinking water to the base camp and 8 showers. Water intake was made from an open reservoir. Over 10,000 people visited the festival over three days.
In 2014, when Russia invaded Ukraine, among the first ranks of volunteers some of my friends, members of the community of “jeepers” (fans of extreme off-road racing), took up arms and went on their “combat” vehicles to defend their homeland.
Accordingly, back in 2014 at times i began to visit the anti-terrorist operation zone, of course, we immediately felt how acute there is the problem of providing the defenders of Ukraine with drinking water. We reached Bolotyany, this is our furthest point.
“Stozhary”: Your water treatment plants are quite easy to use: easy and fast to install, fully automated, so they do not require specially trained personnel, they do not need to be regularly maintained, updated, resupplied with spare parts, they have an extended service life. Tell me, did you have to improve them to make them more compact and mobile to transport them to Donbass, or was this the feature of the invention even before the idea of using them in the war?
Oleksandr Pochtar: Indeed, we have upgraded something for the military – we have refined them to be as simple as possible to use.
Although before 2014, on the foundation of our non-aggregate type installations, we prepared their mobile portable version, which can be transported from place to place, spending minimal time on their installation and dismantling. The system can also be mounted on any vehicle, thus becoming mobile. It requires only a water source and power supply.
Of course, additionally, they find many applications other than ones demanded on the frontline – it can be used at construction sites, remote production or settlements, and various outings. Both continuous and intermittent modes of operation are possible.
The facility is completed with an ultrafiltration membrane becomes indispensable at times of emergency management of certain situations. It is worth noting that such a membrane helps to remove all insoluble particles and retain viruses and bacteria, while maintaining the natural composition of water.
This unit can also be used for water pre-treatment for purification plants before reverse osmosis or ion exchange systems, which extends the service life of expensive filter elements and materials.
“Stozhary”: But each unit is quite expensive, it is tens of thousands UAH, who provided the financial part for such assistance to the military?
Oleksandr Pochtar: These were voluntary donations from members of the OffRoadMaster club, gathered all over Ukraine. As volunteers, we went to the front line, installed facilities there, taught the guys how to deal with this thing.
“Stozhary”: AQUA-AS plants have been operating consistently for years. Currently, where exactly at the frontline, how many battalions do they continue to be used in?
Alexander Pochtar: Six of our plants went to Donbass. Volunteers of the Lviv Battalion were the first to receive such an installation. We also provided drinking water to the 12th, 128th battalion, 24 brigade 3 OMPB and others.
However, now there are not six of them left there… For example, the guys from the 128th as they were leaving Debaltseve demolished the plant.
It is worth noting that while at the front, Mr. Pochtar also did not stop his inventor activities and his engineering thought found a creative realization in the improvement of certain military devices. In particular, he improved the sapper grappling hook, which is used, in particular, to neutralize the so-called tripwires during demining of the Donbass.
Due to proper weighting, the hook is not buried after falling, and high-quality steel is processed by a special bluing technology that eliminates reflection from the sun. Even the holding case, which stores the whole set, is designed so that accidental sounds are excluded when moving.
Multipurpose four-beam “Motrosov’s grappling hook” is successfully being used at the frontline not only to neutralize almost all types of anti-tank and many anti-personnel mines – the front beam was added to provide the military with additional melee weaponary (in such use one of the three downward beams serves as an arm guard, which protects the hand from strikes), and the front beam can be used by the sapper as a probe.
“And with the emergence of capacitive mines in the Donbass, which are triggered by touching them with metal, we began to add a dielectric beam-probe to the kit,” – said the volunteer.
By screwing one downward beam into the “Motrosov’s grappling hook”, you can get a hook for hanging the cauldron over the fire.
When all 4 rays of the hook are screwed in and the handle is removed, it turns into a spike that can be mounted on the roadway to prevent the passage of enemy vehicles.
In combat, it is difficult to predict all situations, but so much multifunctional equipment can come in handy. With all 3-4 beams screwed in, the “Motrosov’s grappling hook” can be used as an anchor for the boat: “One time two fighters were left in the boat without an oar, they were carried away by the current. But thanks to the presence of such a “hook” tied to a strong rope, which they threw ashore, the guys were able to get to land, ” said a correspondent member of the Engineering Academy of Ukraine.