Santiago, Honduras

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The Honduras team is working in a significantly larger community then most. We currently have a chlorinated water system but are working to make it more robust. Our long term goal is to have our system reach every house in the community with 24/7 access to water.

Team Lead: Kelsey Bloom (knbkqf@mst.edu)

“Being a member of the Honduras team has allowed me to use my engineering education to solve real problems. I have met some amazing people who changed my perspective on what it means to live well. EWB is without a doubt the best part of my college experience.”

 

 

Background information

Santiago, Honduras is home to about 10,000 people. The community’s water distribution system is insufficient causing most homes to only get water for a few hours a day, two or three times a week.There are leaks in existing pipes causing the water waste and contamination. In the past, the Honduras team has distributed 21 Bio-Sand filters and built a 2,000 gallon Ferrocement tank as wellas 21 rainwater collection systems. Since our initial interaction with the community in 2007, our goal has been to provide the community with 24/7 potable water.

May 2016

The Honduras team traveled for a week in May 2016. The team accomplished a lot during the trip! They installed a tie-in between the two major wells in the community. This addition to the system creates more redundancy in the system and allows one well to compensate for the other if it should fail. They also monitored their previously implemented chlorine system, the operator who runs that system had a very good grasp on how it works and how to troubleshoot any problems that arose; overall the system is running smoothly. The team met with a majority of the community teachers and taught them how to teach school kids about germs, washing hand, and general cleanliness, The team also had several meetings with the community leaders to discuss future plans and even met with a Minister in the Honduran government to help secure funding for the phase of the project.
Overall the trip was successful and was a great learning experience for everyone that went.

January 2014 

The Honduras team of EWB-S&T travelled to Santiago over the 2014 winter break. Five students and two mentors visited the community from January 13th-18th. A second chlorination system was installed primarily by the community members with the supervision of EWB. Water quality samples were taken from various locations in the community to test for chlorine and bacteria levels. A third chlorination system is to be installed by the community members in the near future. In addition to these installations, water meter data was gathered to help the team estimate the demand a typical household. A meeting was held between the community leaders and EWB-S&T to clarify the ultimate goal of the Santiago, Honduras project.

Summer 2013 Implementation and Assessment Trip

In August 2013, 11 Missouri S&T students, three University of Missouri Masters in Public Health students, and two advisors traveled to Santiago, Honduras. The major problems the team currently 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 workers to operate and maintain it. The team also conducted several assessment activites gathering survey data, water quality samples, installing water meters, and mapping previously unknown portions of the distribution system.

Summer 2012 Implementation Trip

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.

Summer 2008 Implementation Trip

In August 2008, a team of sixteen Missouri S&T students, a faculty advisor, and a professional engineer traveled to Santiago, Honduras on the implementation trip tobring potable water to the town. Upon arrival, a town meeting was held in Santiago with community leadersto lay out the plan for the next week of work and answer any questions the community members may have had. Over the course of the ten-day trip, several small teams worked to help bring potable water to Santiago. The water filtration team distributed 21 Bio-Sand filters to some of thepoorer families in the community. The rainwater collection team built two collection systems for the residents on the outskirts of the town. The entire team worked on the 2,000 gallon Ferro cement water storagetank, which was completed before the team departed.  The assessment team mapped the community using GPS andgathered other information that will be pertinent for future projects relating to the waste water and water distribution systems.  The trip as a whole was very successful and benefited both the community and the EWB –Missouri S&T team.

 

Spring 2009

A small team of five students and one faculty advisor spent two days in Santiago. The team surveyed a spring as a potential water source for the community on the outskirts of town, surveyed water lines on the main system, collected water samples for water-quality tests, and met with the community to discuss further assessment and implementation.

 

 

Summer 2010

Due to an unforeseeable military coup in Honduras, the team was unable to travel during the Summer 2009, as originally planned. They plan to continue the work of their summer 2008 trip as well as continue to assess and implement a water system for the community living just outside of Santiago. As these community members have no access to the town’s water supply, the team hopes to design a system that will pump water to the community from a nearby spring or run a lengthy pipeline from Santiago’s system. This involves designing and implementing a system that will pump water over 250ft high, or a system that pumps water from almost a mile away. Plans have also been made to survey the distribution system to supplement the GPS data gathered in 2008. They also plan to complete health surveys in the Santiago community, as well as in a community who lives on the outskirts of Santiago and address many health issues within both communities. A public health education day is planned to teach local educators about the importance of hygiene, clean water, and proper sanitation.

The primary focus of this project is to provide the community with clean, safe water. A large team of students and advisors spent ten days in country working hard to collect data for future use. The stu-dents conducted land surveys to map the town’s existing water sys-tem as well as possibilities for a new well. Another small team worked on gathering health surveys from the community members. These surveys provide the team with data about the needs of the community as well as a baseline to assess the impact of the project when completed. While the team was there, they also delivered soap and crayons to local schools. These supplies were gathered and donated by several schools in the St. Louis area. The team educated the classes on proper hand washing techniques and how to maintain an uncontaminated water supply. They also held an education day for community officials. The meeting served to educate the community about the projects, as well as to help the team understand their needs. The team also tested water ran through bio-sand filters that had been distributed in 2008. The results were successful as the water was clean and safe to drink, showing the filters were continuing to work two years after implementation.

 

 

Summer 2011

The team plans to improve the town’s existing water system. After testing the flow rate out of each of the three wells in the community this fall, the team has modeled the entire system. By manipulating the model, the team can find out the best way to improve the pressure and water distribution throughout the town. This project has a huge scope as there are approximately 6,000 people in Santiago. From this, the team will decide whether another larger storage tank, well, or both will be best for the community. If all goes well, after this implementation, the community should have 24/7 access to water and no longer have to store water for days in their large outdoor sinks.