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Report: Halliburton Memo Says Company Failed to Purify Water in Iraq

The Associated Press says an internal Halliburton report accuses the U.S. military contractor of exposing U.S. troops in Iraq to contaminated water.

The news agency says the report reveals that water for washing and other non-drinking use was neither chlorinated nor carefully monitored for safety. In one instance, the memorandum says, missed contamination could have caused "mass sickness or death."

According to the internal report, contaminated water was discovered in March, 2005, by a water expert for Halliburton's KBR subsidiary at the Camp Ar Ramadi base in Ramadi. The news agency quotes the expert as saying he resigned after KBR barred him from telling military officials about the untreated water.

Halliburton said Wednesday that starting in May, 2005, after the internal report, it changed its water filtration system and started adding chlorine to non-potable water. It added there is no evidence of illness caused by water it provided to U.S. troops.

The Halliburton company was run by Vice President Dick Cheney in the years prior to his election with President Bush. It has extensive military contracts, and has been criticized for overcharging the Pentagon, as well as for receiving contracts without going through the normal bidding procedure.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.