24 January 2015

Inauguration in Jesús de Otoro

January 21st, 2015 was the inauguration of the AguaClara treatment plant in Jesús de Otoro, Intibucá, Honduras. Now having operated for 2 months, the water treatment plant is part of a larger development project in the town that has also improved the sewer system and roads. These parts of the project were also inaugurated along with the plant. The entire project was funded by  the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (COSUDE) as well as the municipal government of Jesús de Otoro. COSUDE works on development issues throughout Central America and has previously assisted in the funding of AguaClara plants in Alauca, San Nicolás, and Morocelí. They will soon be funding a future AguaClara plant in San Matías in the department of El Paraíso.
A representative of COSUDE addressing the audience at the town center to formally inaugurate the Jesús de Otoro project
During the morning of the inauguration, representatives from all involved parties met at the town center for a celebration. The successes of the project were announced and a local high school band showed their own prowess, playing songs to celebrate the improvement of their town's infrastructure.
APP Civil Engineer Santiago Garcia (center, purple) explaining the treatment processes in the Jesús de Otoro plant
In the afternoon, everyone toured the new roads before making their way up to the AguaClara plant, where Agua Para el Pueblo Civil Engineer Santiago Garcia led a brief tour of the water treatment processes used there. The plant was packed with supervisors of the different aspects of the project, members of the local water boards, and representatives from COSUDE. Santiago and one of the plant operators, Carlos Maldonado, answered a whirlwind of questions over the sound of water exiting the plant before the procession quickly returned to the town center. It was a long day for everyone at APP and in Jesús de Otoro, but we are more proud than ever to say we are helping to supply the people of Jesús de Otoro with clean water 24 hours a day!

10 December 2014

Jesús de Otoro, AguaClara's 10th Plant

The AguaClara program is proud to announce the operation of the full scale water treatment plant in Jesús de Otoro, Intibucá, Honduras. This plant is the 10th to come on line in Honduras in less than 10 years and provides clean drinking water to more than 4,000 people. This means AguaClara technologies in Central America supply potable water to more than 40,000 individuals!


Construction of the plant began in May and Agua Para el Pueblo has been training local operators from Jesús de Otoro in the theory and practice of water treatment since August. These operators, for their part, have been working hard to not only learn about water treatment, but also to build and install the hydraulic components of the plant. Their hard work is finally paying off as they can now see the clean water they are helping to supply to their families and neighbors.

Over the next two months, Agua Para el Pueblo will transition complete control of the plant to the local water board, JABASCO.  The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (COSUDE) funded the construction of this plant, but the local water board and users of the water system will pay for the sustainable use of this water for years to come. We have been working closely with the members of JABASCO throughout the construction and training process and know they will sustainably provide clean water to Jesús de Otoro. The people of Jesús de Otoro will officially inaugurate the plant in January, 2015.
Agua Para el Pueblo Employees along with the plant operator candidates outside the completed plant in Jesus de Otoro

24 November 2014

Team Spotlight: Ram Pump

The main purpose for the Ram Pump is to provide AguaClara plant bathrooms with clean water. This semester the Ram Pump subteam will be focusing on deciding whether or not the Ram Pump should be a stand alone entity or a part of the plant itself. Ultimately, deciding whether or not to include the Ram Pump as a part of the plant is a cost consideration. The pump could be sold separately to reduce construction costs.

Ram Pumps are not an AguaClara innovation and are sold commercially. Past Ram Pump subteams have tested the AguaClara design for the Ram Pump to commercially bought Pumps and discovered that the AguaClara design performs just as well as the commercially bought product but costs significantly less.
“The cost of the AguaClara Ram Pump design is probably under $100,” Abby Brown ‘17 said.

The Ram Pump design was implemented into the San Nicholas plant during the Honduras trip this past winter break. The pump initially worked great but has since stopped working. The current team is attempting the accurately model the actual plant design in order to work out the kinks in the system.

“the pump itself is doing what it needs to be doing.There’s not enough head loss,” Brown said.

In order to increase the head loss the team would have to raise the system which has proven difficult.

“Overall the problem is we can’t simulate the environment accurately because we’re just in room and can’t raise the bucket as high as it would be in the field,” Kadambari Suri ‘17 explained.

03 November 2014

Team Profile: Stacked Rapid Sand Filter

Stacked Rapid Sand Filters are an AguaClara innovation that are significantly easier to operate and maintain in AguaClara plants. The Enclosed Stacked Rapid Sand Filters are an adaptation of these filters for flow rates of 3 L/s or less. Flow rates such as these are common through the India plants and the eSTaRs subteam will be working closely with AguaClara LLC in India. This Semester’s team consists of Senior Environmental Engineering majors Mary Millard, Sarah Bolander and Savannah Wing, Operations Research Junior Skyler Erickson and Sophomore Environmental Engineer Subhani Katugampala.

The eStaRs subteam was a part of the AguaClara summer internship program.

“The biggest project over the summer was getting the backwash system working,” Millard said.

This semester’s team will be working closely with engineers on the ground in India. “We’re hoping to help solve a lot of the problems going on in Gufu,” Erickson said. “We really want to find the upward turbidity the system can handle and by the end of the semester we’ll have a better understanding of the extremes the system can handle in the field.”

“We’re currently discussing how we could run several filters in parallel,” Bolander said “They’re already doing this in India but we’re looking for something more easy to handle.”

Summing up the semester’s goal nicely Millard noted “The LLC is working with TaTa in India and trying to produce next version eSTaRs on a large scale. We want to use our data in the lab to make sure it’s fine tuned and improved.”