Ensenada has a water delivery and sanitation infrastructure, but the water is overly clorinated and unpredictable. Communities are subdivided into colonies of 15 to 30 families and are connected by in PVC pipe to the municipal water main. Pastor Ruben Castaneda, my point of contact in Ensenada, took me on a tour of his community and when I evaluated their situation it became our selection for this project.
The church colony "La Iglesias De La Gran Commission" is comprised of a large church, a medium sized community food distribution building "La Casa de Pan", smaller sized youth classroom, 3 small missionary huts, 10 very small homes, and 1 garden. Each building is fitted with one or two black 500 liter rubber tanks. These tanks are connected by exposed in. PVC pipe and fitted with water softening filters that no longer work. There is also one 16 square foot concrete well that is used for emergencies. Those who can afford bottled water buy enough to drink and use the city water for the rest of their needs. In my interview with the pastor I was able to estimate that the total water demand for the colony to be 635,700 liters/year with a peak monthly demand in July of 68,600 liters.
For the most part potable water remains a luxury. The majority of the people drink untreated city water. It is common to hear of stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, typhoid, rashes, and spotted skin conditions. When such illness sets in, a victim must visit the General Hospital. They are required to pay for medicine, and if they cannot afford it then their only other option is to ask the church for help.
During the summer months July and August, the city water which is pumped into the colony through one in. pipe, may be working for one or two nights, then not for a week, then maybe a week, and then not for a month, and then for two or three days. When such shortages are in effect, many refrain from showering, washing hands, dishes, mopping, generally no laundry is done, and water must be brought by small containers to the church and stored in 500 liter black rubber tanks. Those who can afford to wash in the city do, and often families become dependant on each other and the church for critical uses.
Therefore, we listed the following goals and objectives in order to help thier community meet needs that will help them to continue helping others:
Goal #1: Reduce the contraction of common waterborne diseases by 80% among colony residents and visitor populations.
Objective #1: Treat contaminated water provided by the city with slow sand filtration and gravity fed water chlorination feeder. This will remove organic materials from the water and disinfect, E. coli, viral, bacterial, parasitic, and enteric pathogens.
Goal #2: Build and/or buy (5,000-20,000 gallon) water storage tanks.
Objective #2: Provide dependable water reserve during peak use, dry months, and drought to allow for regular hygiene practice, gardening, and daily duties.
Goal #3: Timely construct a low cost ($5,000-$15,000) water development program that is sustainable and efficient for the entire colony.
Objective #3: Minimize the dependency on third party funding for project design, construction, and operation.
Goal #4: Implement water system using 75% local and city supplies.
Objective #4: Stimulate local economy and promote collaboration among communities to bring about a sense of personal investment and involvement.
Goal #5: Utilize 90% local volunteer, skill, and trade labor to build physical water development structure.
Objective #5: Stimulate local economy and promote collaboration among communities to bring about a sense of personal investment and involvement.
Goal #6: Hold three community wide hygiene classes (before, during, and after) program completion, taught by local leaders and trained by program administrators.
Objective #6: Reduce waterborne disease contracted through poor hygiene practice or source contamination.
Goal #7: Hold three community wide water management classes (before, during, and after) program completion, taught by local leaders and trained by program administrators.
Objective #7: Reduce water waste and source contamination.
Water development program, System One, was designed to address and meet the needs, goals, and objectives listed previously. It is comprised of four phases which treat, supply, and distribute potable water to the colony with a coinciding educational component on water hygiene and water management during each phase. The advantages of this design include primary and secondary water treatment, ample water supply reserve, and a fully integrated community distribution pipeline. The challenges associated with this design involve water pressure, flow and gravity check value specifics, coordinating the international transport of hazardous material (chlorine tablets), and reservoir construction.
Phase 1: Treat and educate, is the first response element to the communitys need for potable water. The plan is to purchase a water chlorination feeder to install at the colonys connection point to the city water line (D.J. Gongol and Associates, Inc., 2008). This will temporarily treat incoming contaminated water from the city and utilize the existing water distribution infrastructure. Our program administration will import and install the chlorination feeder with tablets from the US and educate selected community representatives on how to operate the easy to use device. The selected community representatives will also be trained by our administration on how teach the colony about basic hygiene habits and good water management practices.
Phase 2: Supply and educate, is focused on providing the colony with a sufficient amount of water during peak use, dry seasons, drought, and city source undependability. It will also eventually supplement the chlorination treatment with a 20,000gal./70,000ltr. Slow sand filtration reservoir. A reservoir construction team led by our administration will take two selected community representatives through the entire process so that the techniques will be preserved and remain within their community. The selected community representatives will also be trained by our administration on how teach the colony about basic hygiene habits and good water management practices.
Phase 3: Distribute and educate, is the operational stage leading to total system integration. It requires laying approximately 1,700 feet of PVC piping into a 6 in deep trench connecting the treated water supply source to the colony buildings. Two additional 2,625gal./10,000ltr. Poly plastic tanks will be bought from a local distributer. One will be situated at the highest point of the colony and the other at the connection to the main reservoir. Once these are in place the chlorination feeder will be removed from the initial location and reattached to the main reservoir outlet. An electrical centrifugal pump will boost the water from collection tank 1 to collection tank 2 and a gravity fed distribution system will supply a consistent clean water supply to the entire community. The selected community representatives will also be trained by our administration to teach the colony about basic hygiene habits and good water management practices.
Phase 4: Reinforce and educate, is intended to evaluate System One's overall program success and further contribute to its total reliability. Two specific additions to the system involve installing a 7,200 ft2 rain harvesting apparatus to the roof of the church with an average collection potential of 15,000 gallons for a reasonably estimated winter rainfall of 2.5 inches (Lonely Planet Publications, 2008). The other addition includes an innovative back-up and/or dual option electric/manual pumping process. The already in place electrical water pump will be backed up with a bicycle pump, a merry-go-round pump, a spring horse pump, a teeter totter pump, and/or a swing pump. These various innovative pump options are part of a long term future play-ground proposal. This area is located between the high point water tank and La Casa de Pan, and will one day become a kid friendly playground that also pumps water.
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