On the trip to Guatemala this August, the team was able to accomplish their goals, set goals for the future, and learn more about this extensive project.  After a long pause in construction, the team facilitated the largest delivery of construction materials in the project’s history.  The team also was able to finish the elevated water tank’s fill line, work with the water committee to install water meters & pressure reducing valves, and open discussion with community members about the future of the project.

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Team Accomplishments:

  1. Took inventory of well house and oversaw the delivery of the largest amount of distribution materials in the system’s history
  2. Updated drawings for the production of as built drawings of the entire system
  3. Presented water and chlorine safety methods to community members
  4. Heard community members’ concerns and questions regarding the system
  5. Completed the tank fill line
  6. Installed gate valve at the tank
  7. Made plans for a thrust block to be placed at the fill line connection
  8. Took as built measurements of the tank to design a way to connect the distribution line to the tank
  9. Assisted Water Committee president in installation of water meters
  10. Explained to water committee members how to install, the importance of, and locations of water meters and pressure reducing valves
  11. Discussed and measured an additional distribution sector in the future of the project
  12. Reviewed decisions and meeting minutes of the Nahualate Water Committee
  13. One of the committee’s most important decision was that water meters will now be installed by the water committee at every house connection

The Tacachia team had a very successful summer in Bolivia this year. Our team of nine students not only monitored and repaired past projects to ensure their sustainability, but also completed the water project that has been in the assessment stage for over three years. The community was very eager to begin construction and was asked to complete trenching before our arrival. To our surprise, the community had already laid and 95% of the pipe a few days before the team arrived. We were very pleased that so much progress had already been made and that we could now spend time troubleshooting the existing distribution lines that hadn’t had water flowing through them since testing in 2012. The distribution lines were in worse shape than expected and everyone was exposed to replacing PVC pipe by the end of the trip.


On our second to last full day with the community, we cleared an area and hoisted the 400 pound tank up the steep mountainside using ropes and man power. The team and the community shared a bonding moment as we helped pick away at the vegetation and level the soil for the tank. Moving the tank was a truly amazing sight to see as the students and community members pushed and pulled together to bring the tank to the excavated area. This was the final step in completing the design and everyone breathed a sigh of relief as the tank was connected to the conveyance system and water began pooling at the bottom of the tank. On our last morning in Tacachia, we saw a few community members collecting clear spring water from their taps a few feet from their front doors. The eight days in Tacachia were not only rewarding for the community but also for the travel team who finally got to see our hard work paying off.


Team Accomplishments:

  1. Unclogged ram pumps
  2. Took pictures of current erosion control status
  3. Surveyed community members on biosand filter use
  4. Completed conveyance line
  5. Completed as-built survey of conveyance line
  6. Repaired majority of broken distribution system piping
  7. Discussed ram pump and conveyance line O&M with community

The EWB Missouri S&T Los Eucaliptos program travelled to Bolivia for 10 days in the beginning of the summer break from school.  The team successfully completed the implementation of a French drainage system that will help keep houses from flooding during the rainy season from up-seepage due to a high water table.  The team also completed extensive surveying of the Rio Erquis and the historical distributary channel which will allow the team to complete a 100 year flood study.  Other members of the team, explored locations for a possible lagoon, sealed leaks in the water tank, and conducted interviews of community members.  In addition, the team had meetings with a University in Tarija, the community of Los Eucaliptos, and Habitat for Humanity Bolivia.

loseucc  loseucb

The Honduras team had a very productive trip this May. We also learned a lot about improvising and over coming unforeseen challenges. One major thing the team had to over come was the malfunction of a key piece of equipment. The flow meter that we were going to use to get data regarding system operation and flow broke on the second day we were there. The team had to be flexible and think of productive work to do that did not involve the use of the flow meter. Overall the trip was a success and the team accomplished a lot.


Team Accomplishments:

  1. Completed chlorination. Entire system is now being chlorinated.
  2. Presented 100k gallon tank designs to Dr. Ugarte and Water Committee. Also discussed tank price and funding options.
  3. Surveyed path for 100,000 gallon tank supply line and tank location site.
  4. Got valuable information regarding the operation of the system from the system operators
  5. Received an updated map from Henry with his new pipe configurations
  6. Got cost estimates of some of the materials needed for the tank construction.
  7. Discussed the importance of 24/7 water and monitoring with Dr. Ugarte.
  8. Got a recommendation from Dr. Ugarte for another community we could work in after the completion of our project in Santiago.

Los Eucaliptos, Bolivia

During the summer of 2013, a team of students and mentors traveled to Los Eucaliptos, a village in southern Bolivia. Since the team plans to have a new well drilled in the near future, students met with a well drilling contractor and laid pipe to the site of the prospective well. The people of Los Eucaliptos are forced to turn to purchasing bottled water to survive the dry season, so the increased water supply provided by this new well has the potential to greatly improve the quality of life in the village. The construction of a community center is also in the team’s future plans. The team assessed the location of this new development. EWB S&T has been traveling to Los Eucaliptos since 2008 and has implemented many different projects over the last 5 years. These projects often require adjustments and repairs as time goes on. On this trip, the team verified that previously implemented erosion and surface water control systems were still operating correctly. The future of the team is focused on implementing canals to solve flooding problems which occur during the rainy season, implementing the community center, and installing a water purification system.

Nahualate, Guatemala

In July 2013, 12 students, 2 professional engineers and one Missouri S&T professor traveled to the community of Nahualate, located in the province of Suchitepequez, Guatemala. Nahualate takes its name from the nearby river upon which many of the 3,000 residents of Nahualate rely on as their primary water source. Many of the other approximately 500 households use shallow wells and springs, all of which are contaminated by surface water runoff with fecal coliform bacteria. Since the beginning of the Nahualate Program in 2008, the team has completed multiple assessment trips, drilled a 430′ deep well, constructed two well houses, and begun the design and construction of a water distribution system. Design of a water tower has been completed and the construction will be performed by a Guatemalan contractor in the spring of 2014. Disinfecting the water with chlorine is just one part of the team’s solution to bring potable water to Nahualate. The Guatemala team knows that educating the community on these subjects is essential, so public education was a big focus during the July 2013 trip. The team visited local schools to provide education demonstrations about basic sanitation and personal hygiene, and gave dozens of citizens their first taste of chlorinated water. Also during this last trip, the team dug trenches and installed 400 meters of PVC piping. As of late September, the local construction manager and the people of Nahualate have laid 3.6 km of piping. Since this project is so large and sophisticated, the Guatemala team is welcoming sustainability as a new overarching challenge and addressing problems with innovative ways that can be used in a rural setting like Nahualate.

Santiago, Honduras

In August 2013, 11 Missouri S&T students, three University of Missouri Masters in Public Health students, and two advisors traveled to Santiago, Honduras. Santiago is home to approximately 8,000 people, but the town is operating on a water system that was originally created to sustain a much smaller population. The major problems the team faces are poor water quality due to contamination in the distribution system, water unavailability due to an unpressurized system, poor system design, and heavy leakage. This trip was a combined implementation and assessment trip. The team installed a chlorine metering pump at one of the community’s four wells and trained the municipality workers to operate and maintain it. The team also conducted several assessment activities including the gathering of survey data, taking water quality samples before and after the introduction of chlorine, the installation of eight water meters to gather water usage data, and the mapping of previously unknown portions of distribution system. The primary goals for the coming year involve creating a better system for documenting any changes made to the system by the community members, supplying the municipality with an efficient method of identifying and fixing leaks, and designing solutions to ensure that all areas of the community consistently receive water. The overall objective of the EWB S&T Honduras Program is to provide Santiago, Cortes, Honduras with an efficiently managed and operated water system, with adequate and high-quality source water that is appropriately treated and available 24/7 for all customers.

Tacachia, Bolivia

This summer seven students and two mentors traveled to Tacachia, Bolivia to continue EWB-S&T’s work in the small Andean community.  The primary purpose of this eight day trip in July was the building of a cable-suspension bridge across one of the neighboring rivers to hold a water distribution pipeline.  Students worked with the mentors and the community to see the student lead design implemented. This involved surveying, re-design calculations, mixing concrete, and much more.  The team was able to see the completion of the bridge before departure.  The team also assessed previously implemented projects including biosand filters and an erosion control project began in the summer of 2012. Maintenance was performed on existing ram pumps in the community. During the 2013-2014 school year, the team has plans of completing the water distribution system and locating the best possible water source for the community.

In the summer of 2012, all four teams had the opportunity to travel to their respective communities halfway around the world. Throughout the previous school year each team had focused on their community and prepared for the upcoming summer trip. Since each community had different needs, the summer trips varied from team to team.

Tacachia, Bolivia:

During the July 2012 trip, the team worked on a number of projects. The distribution team worked with the community to digging a new path for the river to flow through and using this excavated dirt to armor the riverbanks. This solution will provide protection for the community’s farmland because the river is a cause of a large loss of farmland due to floods and mudflows each year. These improvements directly affect the members of the community and have an indirect positive impact on surrounding communities.

Los Eucaliptos, Bolivia (formerly known as Erquis Sud)

In May 2012, the team traveled to Bolivia with 14 students, 1 faculty member, and 1 professional mentor to build two projects and assess one project. The team added on to the existing erosion control system. One gabion spur, consisting of 2x1x1 meter mesh baskets filled with large rocks, was extended downstream to prevent erosion of the community’s land. 200 feet of steel water pipe were added between the location of the well, and the water tank was installed. The surface water control, or flooding, team held meetings with the community and other stakeholders to approve the location of the proposed flooding channels, which are designed to prevent the existing flooding within the community. In addition, negotiations were held with two separate well drilling companies.

Santiago, Honduras

The Honduras team completed a host of projects during the 2012 implementation trip. The team hired a contractor to drill a well to increase water supply to the community. By the time the team left Honduras, the well was near completion. A contractor was also hired to build an elevated well house, which was designed by the team. In addition, the team received a fully up-to-date map of Santiago and was able to map out the entire community’s water distribution system. With the new map, the team worked alongside the community to conduct a leak study on a third of the system. They pinpointed leaks and measured the associated water loss. Lastly, the team constructed a water level indicator for the community’s storage tank. Before this tool, the water level could only be determined by climbing onto the tank and looking inside. Now anyone can easily read the water level, even from a distance.

Nahualate, Guatemala

In August of 2012, a team of 8 students, 1 faculty advisor, and 1 professional mentor returned to Nahualate, Guatemala, on a technical assessment and implementation trip. During this implementation trip, the team moved the location of the well to allow easier access for the large drilling machinery. The drilling began as of August 8th, and the well is projected to be finished by November of 2012. The community’s water committee also met with the team to discuss areas where pipes were needed and started installing some of the piping. They also discussed the progress of the project and further plans for the future.

sh installing the water distribution system and fix any broken parts of the system. Also, the team assessed new potential water sources near the community of Tacachia, which consisted of a spring, a well, or a river. As part of this assessment the team completed some water treatment tests to see how they could improve drinking water quality. The ram pump team worked with community members to test and fix any problems to the previously installed ram pumps. The latrines team collected preliminary information on the future location and implementation of the latrines. The team worked with our in-country partner Engineers in Action (EIA) to implement an erosion control solution, consist


For the 2011 trips, all four teams traveled over the summer to build or maintain their designs in their respective countries. Most teams also took on a teaching role this year, teaching the communities to maintain and control their own projects when EWB leaves.

In May, the Tacachia, Bolivia team traveled and worked to finish several existing projects. The biosand team took surveys and spoke with each family about issues with the filters or their implementation to see how the filters could be improved upon. The community members dug the trenches for the main line of the water distribution system, and the distribution team completed two of the three branches of the main line and worked on a third. A community member was shown how to maintain and construct the system when the team leaves, so the third branch should be completed by the community. The ram pumps and galvanized steel delivery line were completed. The community was taught how to clean and maintain the pumps on their own in the future, and the erosion control team finished an extensive survey of the Rio Palca river and its banks, allowing for further design decisions to be made next year.

The Erquis Sud, Bolivia team traveled in July to begin work on an erosion control system, which will protect the eroding river bank from further damage. One wall of the gabion system was completed, a second was started, and two more should be completed during the dry season next year. The team also took extensive surveys of the area’s topography in order to assess the flooding damage and devise a solution.

The Santiago, Honduras team split into three sub-teams this year: tank, health and education, and water distribution. The tank team spent the trip improving and maintaining the community water tank by cleaning and sealing the 40,000 gallon tank and ensuring that it remains protected from environmental hazards in the next year. The health and education team collected data on the water consumption and overall wellness in the community, working with the local water committee and the community itself. The water distribution team surveyed the land for a location to build a new tank and assisted in collecting water-consumption data. They also built a 500 ft pipeline to provide water to the community of Almendros.

Finally, the Nahualate, Guatemala team traveled in August for assessment and implementation of last year’s designs .The team took topographic data of the community to finalize the pipeline design. With the help from the community, a well house was built to store and protect electrical equipment for the well. The well itself is currently being dug by a Guatemalan drilling company hired on the previous trip where work is continuing at a steady pace. The team met with the local water committee to keep them up to speed on the projects and discuss future plans for implementation next year.


has been a busy year for EWB at Missouri S&T! At the beginning of the year, the Nahualate, Erquis Sud, and Tacachia Projects went on assessment trips to help finalize their designs for the summer. After a busy spring of finalizing design, the projects made final travel plans.

The Santiago, Honduras project team, which was unable to travel last summer due to national political issues in 2009, headed off to Honduras on May 17th. During the ten days in country, we surveyed the entire community, and traced all of the current water distribution pipes. This data will allow an accurate model to be produced, so that issues with the system can be resolved, and the community can have clean water 24/7. Water testing was done on previously installed slow sand filters, giving us exciting confirmation that our filters are working as expected. A large amount of health surveys were also taken, giving us statistics on health for over half the community of 590 households!

The next trip to leave was the Erquis Sud, Bolivia project team, who flew out on July 3rd, and will return the 18th. The main goal of the trip is to continue our partnership with the community of Los Eucaliptos in Erquis Sud, Bolivia by working with them to implement a distribution system, which will bring potable water from the large storage tank to pilas that are much closer to the houses.  Additionally this summer, a local professional driller will drill a deep water well as a sustainable source of clean water for the community members.  The electrical grid will be extended to the area in order to power a submersible pump to bring water from the well up to the storage tank.  This trip marks EWB-S&T’s second implementation in Erquis Sud.

The Tacachia, Bolivia project team will be traveling July 23 through August 12 for a slow sand filter implementation in all homes throughout the community. Assessments will also be made for gabions in the Rio Tacachia to prevent extreme one meter bank erosion that occurs every year. Last, a company in La Paz will be contacted during this trip about the possibility of creating a temporary bridge for the community to use during the rainy season so the members can attend school and trade with surrounding communities. The team can’t wait for this trip to continue relationships developed with the community members!

The Nahualate, Guatemala project team will not be traveling this summer. This project is the largest we have ever undertaken, and requires the most detailed engineering. With the surveying data gathered in January, the design process was able to continue. The team is now working on fundraising the large bill required to undertake this project, as well as finalizing all their designs. We are hoping to be able to implement the first stage of this project in the summer of 2011!