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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  1. Ugh. It is about time they got rid of that thing. I remember being deployed there first in 2008. A rocket hit the pond and just sunk. Everyone joked about the unlucky EOD guy to be tapped for the job of recovering that one.

  2. Yea, I remember that thing. Anytime we had to go near it we would immediately detour as far around as possible. Unbelievable stench that was just indescribable.

  3. you know how big lake michigan is? you can fit the entire city of chicago in the southern corner of lake michigan. the poo pond is nowhere close to being in any possible way to being compared to even an eight of the size of lake michigan or any of the great lakes.

  4. What a horrible thing for America to do to another country… And people wonder why they hate us. How would we feel if another nation invaded and left disgusting ponds of their own feces in open view?

  5. Joshua I assume you are not in the military and if you are you know nothing about Kandahar. It is a NATO base consisting of many different nations military. You cannot blame the shit pond soley on America we are not the only ones who go #2. Plus our shit don’t stink…jk—-Oh and although the smell does travel a respectable distance there are only a few small villages close enough to smell it and intel tells us that they are scouts for the Taliban so screw them.

  6. In regards to Joshua’s remarks “what a horrible thing for America to do to another country” It is painfully apparent that you have never been anywhere near a country such as Afghanistan. Most of the country has no sewer system or indoor plumbing for that matter. It is a common sight to see people and kids openly going to the bathroom. The things we have done for that country and the modernizations we have brought even given to them has brought them out of the stone age, if we leave behind one shit pond so what!!!

  7. Pingback: Safe in Afghanistan | Long-Distance Love

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