800 E. Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
19 February 2010
Dear Mr. Franklin Evert & Water Without Borders,
I am a Junior Civil Engineering major at Villanova University and am currently
involved in a service project with the Villanova University College of
Engineering where 16 students will be designing and implementing a water
purification system for an orphanage community in Honduras called the Amigos de
Jesus. The Villanova Community has had a
long-standing relationship with the Amigos and has completed a number of
different projects in the 11 years that we have been volunteering there. This year’s goal is to implement our water
purification system design for their existing distribution system over our
spring break at the end of February.
Currently, the Amigos water supply includes a 100’ deep well from which
groundwater is pumped into four storage tanks.
The cumulative capacity of the four tanks is 2400 gallons fulfilling a
current service demand of approximately 1200 gal/day (services on the average
50 boys, 20 adults, and 10 volunteers).
No means of disinfection or filtration are being used and it is not
uncommon for some of the boys to get sick.
All non-native individuals living or working there are unable to drink
the water. Our design efforts are
complicated by the fact that we have very little information relative to the
existing water quality; physical and financial resources at the orphanage are
limited; and we have only now one week to secure our materials and one week to
accomplish the installation. It sounds a
bit daunting, but the potential benefits to the orphanage keep us
motivated. With the challenges outlined
above in mind, we are planning to keep our initial design as simple as possible
with potential for implementing certain aspects in phases if necessary.
We recently decided that our best hope for constructing an
effective system would be to utilize cartridge filtration and possibly
incorporate disinfection via chlorination.
Our current plan is to install a 5 micron roughing filter and a 1 micron
absolute finishing filter in series.
This arrangement should reduce potential contamination from Giardia,
Cryptosporidium, and other surface water influence that may be present. Right now we are looking into purchasing “Big
Bubba” cartridge housings and disposable filters for our system. These units will accommodate flows in the range
of approximately 30 gpm.
am I writing you to tell you all of this?
As I mentioned earlier, the Amigos have an extremely limited budget,
which inherently restricts what we can do for them. For instance, the filters that we looked
into are somewhat expensive (approximately $150 each), so the Amigos may not be
able to afford to replace them on a regular basis. So we are also looking into re-usable
filters. And these issues go on. I am sure that your organization has dealt
with these exact types of situations over and over again, and you are most
likely all too familiar with what I am talking about. So, I am asking you for your help in whatever
shape or form that you can provide.
Whether it is a donation of supplies, ideas, or advice, any assistance
that you may be able to provide to our project would be greatly appreciated. Also, any help you are able to give will be
recognized by the University and posted on our web page.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any
questions concerning the trip or if you would like to contact either of the
Professors overseeing this project. I
have included their contact information below.
Also, feel free to take a look at our website Amigos de Jesus, which
is still under construction but available to view. Thank you for taking the time to learn a
little about what we are trying to do, and I look forward to hearing back from
Christian Ryan Paggi
Andrea L. Welker, PhD, PE
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Bridget Wadzuk, PhD
Civil and Environmental Engineering