Friday, April 07, 2006 | Report to slam Halliburton on water woes

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - Halliburton Co. exposed troops in Iraq to contaminated water even after a former company worker publicly accused the Houston-based contractor of failing to chlorinate water supplies, Senate Democrats alleged Thurs- day.

Back in January, a one-time water purification specialist for Halliburton subsidiary KBR told a Democratic panel he tested water used for showers, shaving and washing clothes at Camp Junction City in Ramadi last March and found it had not been treated with chlorine.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, said he will release a report today from an Army doctor confirming that water contamination problems continued even after the issue was raised on Capitol Hill.

Halliburton allowed troops to bathe in water pumped from the Tigris River that tested positive for E. coli and coliform bacteria, Dorgan said.

Halliburton spokeswoman Cathy Mann pointed to a March 14 statement on water quality that said, "KBR has worked closely with the Army to develop standards and take action to ensure that the water provided in Iraq is safe and of the highest quality possible.

"Halliburton and KBR are committed to doing the right thing because we care about the health and welfare of the troops, our employees and all those who serve and work in Iraq."