Army officials want the filtration system to be compatible with current equipment to include the Individual Water Treatment Device and the MOLLE Hydration System and standard canteens, according to an official Army announcement. The filtration system must be less than 12 ounces, “easy to use/clean/maintain, low bulk/compact, and capable of producing chemically purified water throughout an operational life of at least 135 liters,” according to the announcement.
U. S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Command is conducting the market survey to see what exactly exists in the water filtration market. Officials said the filtration system must filter indigenous water and remove chemical contaminants while also still offering a taste similar to bottled water.
It can’t take more than 20 minutes to filter the water with a goal of making sure it takes less than 15 minutes, according to the release. The flow rate must not be less than 200 mL/min. If the system uses batteries, they must be commercially available.
Army officials also have required the system must have an “unused service life of 180 days, be storage stable for 5 years and be environmentally-safe during use and subsequent disposal,” the announcement said. The filtration system can’t break if it’s exposed to cold or freezing temperatures and has to keep working once it thaws out.
Companies have until Nov. 30 to respond to the Army. The request for information doesn’t necessarily mean the Army will buy new filtration systems for soldiers, but it’s a step in that direction. Officials will use the information to figure out what systems they want to test and/or help develop a solicitation package.