Official: Process of closing ‘poo pond’ starts in October


If you love the smell of human waste in the morning, time is running out.

NATO will begin the process of decommissioning the infamous cesspool at Kandahar Airfield affectionately known as the “poo pond” starting Oct. 1, a military spokesman in Afghanistan says.

The process of draining and filling in the lake of semitreated sewage is expected to take 90 days, Col. Ernest Erlandson said in an email. A new wastewater treatment plant at Kandahar Airfield is currently operational, but not all of the sewer lines have been connected yet.

In October, a NATO official said the wastewater treatment plant would come online in six months. But as that time came and went, NATO avoided questions on when the process of decommissioning the Poo Pond would begin.

That prompted FlightLines to ask Defense Department spokesman George Little about the matter at a May 17 news briefing. What happened next can best be described by the official transcript:

Q:  George, there is a lake of human sewage in Kandahar Airfield affectionately known as the “poo pond.”  It’s roughly the size of Lake Michigan.  I’ve written about it so much my name is synonymous with human waste.  I’ve been asking NATO for months when it’s going to be closed, and I’ve run into radio silence.  I think it’s a closely guarded military secret.  The last I heard, there was a plan to drain it and fill it in and replace it with an honest-to-god wastewater treatment facility.  Could you check what is the latest on when this thing will be closed?

MR. LITTLE:  Yes. I don’t quite know how to elaborate any further on that particular question.  But I will — but I will — I will — I will take it.


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