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The community of Los Eucaliptos has reported that they are having some up-seepage problems in homes located in the low topographic region of the community. To alleviate these issues, we have come up with the plan of a French drain system. Our goal is to catch the water that is seeping into the homes and to redirect it into a nearby ditch. This will not only remove the up-seepage problem, but will also consequently remove mold and sickness in the homes and community.

Implementing a French drain system is fairly simple, but the effects are tremendous. First, a trench with a width of two feet and a depth of three foot will be dug and then lined with a geotextile fabric. Three inches of gravel will be laid on top of the fabric, followed by a six inch perforated pipe. Gravel will then fill in the remaining space of the trench and the geotextile fabric will be folded over on top. The topsix inches of the trench will be soil so that surface water does not drain into the French drain. An illustration of this description is shown below. 


alex ennis and brooklyn collins assessing the pros and cons of a spring near tacachia     The people of Tacachia, Bolivia are just a few steps away from having clean water in their homes. This summer, EWB-S&T traveled to the community to make a few final observations and measurements and get community input on which water source would best suit them. Using this information, EWB-S&T this semester. This is an ambitious timeframe, but after six years of visiting Tacachia, everyone involved plans to choose a spring and design a pipeline for Tacachia so that they can have water by the end of wants to see the idea of potable point-of-use water come to fruition.

Working towards this goal, here’s a summary of what we did this summer:

 - We assessed the pros and cons of each spring location

 - We surveyed from the distribution tanks to the springs to determine how much material

 - We cleaned, tested, troubleshot, and photo-documented the ram pumps to update our

 - We performed some maintenance on the distribution line, and identified places that needed

 - We surveyed the community members to determine their understanding of bio-sand filters

 - Masters in Public Health students from MU did a preliminary health assessment of the

     With all of this being accomplished, we have much work to do this semester to meet our goal of getting potable water to Tacachia by the end of the semester. The Tacachia team is  determined to work as hard as we can do make this dream a reality.


   EWB S&T’s Guatemala team traveled August 11th through the 17th with 9 students and 3 professional mentors to accomplish several tasks. The team was very excited to inspect the elevated tank which was completed in the winter of 2014. We worked with the community to verify the continuation of construction of the distribution system with hopes of completion in the coming year.The team was also able to determine ideal water meter locations, evaluate the flux of individuals on the system, and take inventory of the parts for distribution. After taking inventory and assessing what material was needed, especially for the week of August 11th, purchases were made. One of the purchases was made in order to continue piping across a bridge. This continuation of piping will allow construction to continue into the next section of community.

     Because a portion of pipe in the original plan will not be installed in the system, we found that a Pressure Break Tank will not be necessary. In place of the tank a pressure release valve will be installed. After walking along the distribution lines and talking with Felix Us,  the team learned that several valves were not installed where they were in the original plan. The community will now have to install valves at the set locations. In addition, a presentation was given to community member and the Water Committee updating them on the system and teaching some basic hygiene rules.

     In May 2014, EWB-S&T’s Honduras team sent 9 students and 2 mentors to Santiago to monitor the team’s chlorination efforts, continue leak assessments of the community water distribution system, investigate of water supply status in nearby Maranatha neighborhood, and to survey for potential water storage tank locations. The team was delighted to see the improvements that the community has made to their current system and the efforts they have put forth to sustain the projects that EWB-S&T has implemented.

      To monitor chlorination efforts, EWB-S&T performed BacT water analysis at houses on the distribution lines to test for fecal coliforms in the water. As predicted, homes receiving chlorine had no signs of such coliforms that can make their families sick. The team is also monitoring health clinic data for  water related illnesses as well as school attendance records. They are continuously fighting chlorine injector clogging issues and hope to mitigate all of those this year.

Kourtnee Long

     Santiago is a growing community, reaching almost 9,000 people according to the most recent census. With the growing population, the community faces growing water issues. EWB-S&T is working to assess if the current water capacity and water storage quantities are substantial for this size of community. The potential of adding an additional water storage tank is being investigated this school year with survey data, leak study data, and water usage data that was collected in May. 

    The team also had the pleasure of taking a day off with Dr. Raul Ugarte, the Alcalde of Pimienta, the governing Municipality of Santiago.  Dr. Ugarte and his family treated the team to a day at the beach in Puerto Cortes.

     The May trip provided the team with critical data that the team needs to continue their work in Santiago. The experiences gained from the trip touch not only the lives of families in Santiago but make a lasting impact on all of the team members as well. They look forward to another challenging and rewarding year.

More Articles...

  1. Travel Update - Los Eucaliptos, Bolivia
  2. February 2014 Update
  3. Honduras Update January 2014
  4. November 2013 Update

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Tacachia, Bolivia

Missouri S&T students discuss their EWB experiences helping bring clean water to the village of Tacachia.


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