SHELLING NEAR MAJOR WATER FACILITY – DONETSK FILTER STATION
Voda Donbasa (VD) informed the WASH Cluster that yesterday (7th November 2018) Donetsk Filter station (DFS) was surrounded by clashes from 5:20 pm until 6.00 pm. The on-duty night shift of DFS took action by closing off all valves related to chlorine pipelines around the site, in order to protect personnel and surrounding areas from the lethal effects of chemical release, and staff then took cover in the onsite bomb shelter.
Donetsk Filter Station supplies water to the following settlements: Avdiivka, Kruta Balka, Vasylivka, Verkhniotoretske and western areas of Donetsk city. It officially provides water in total to 378,983 people (2018 figures from Voda Donbasa).
There were no reported damages to the Filter Station, and the WASH Cluster is in touch with VD and will inform partners of updates.
This incident highlights both the immediate dangers faced by civilian workers as well as the risks of chlorine gas release to people living nearby in Avdiivka or Donetsk city (around 3-4 tons of chlorine is stored at DFS as a matter of routine, and used to purify water). Repeated incidents at the DFS highlight the need for demilitarized protection zones to be established around the DFS and other critical infrastructure.